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Where to aim for first two night's camp out of Happy Isles?

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  • Jim W
    My itinerary is 15 days total; 8 to Muir Trail Ranch, but I want to start out slow and easy. Past experience tells me that a gentle break in on the first two
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 30, 2008
      My itinerary is 15 days total; 8 to Muir Trail Ranch, but I want to
      start out slow and easy. Past experience tells me that a gentle break
      in on the first two days makes the trip much more enjoyable. I'll
      begin with only 2 days food and resupply via mail at Tuolumne. The
      plan is to spend two nights between Happy Isles and Tuolumne, pick up
      my mail drop in the morning after hiking a few miles, then make the
      upper end of Lyell Canyon for night three.

      I'll arrive via Amtrak at 8:00 PM and be in the Valley permit line at
      0:dark:30 the next morning to get a first-come permit. According to
      http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildcond.htm the wilderness
      office opens at 7:30. 12 first-come permits for Little Yosemite
      Valley and 4 for "Happy Isles to Sunrise/Merced Lake (pass-through)"
      are available. Does that mean I need one of the "pass-through"
      permits if I want to hike more than 6 miles the first day?

      Given all this, which permit sounds most reasonable and what does
      everyone suggest for the first two night camp spots? Is Little
      Yosemite Valley to be avoided for camping?

      Thanks
      Jim

      Aug 10 start
    • Kevin Cotter
      Jim, I did some research on the same subject and got the following info from the Rangers: You may use either Happy Isles to LYV or Happy Isles to
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 30, 2008
        Jim,

        I did some research on the same subject and got the following info from
        the Rangers:

        You may use either Happy Isles to LYV or Happy Isles to Sunrise/Merced
        (pass-through). The only difference is that the first allows you to
        camp at LYV, you do not HAVE to camp there. The second does not allow
        you to camp at LYV.

        The only advantage to LYV is they have bear boxes (then again, so does
        Sunrise), but since you only have 2 days' worth of food, that shouldn't
        be an issue for you.

        Just take the permit that's available. Another option is Glacier Point
        to LYV, I realize it doesn't start on the "real" JMT but it'll get you
        where you're going. That hike, along the Panorama Trail, is beautiful
        (then again, who knows what the smoke will do to the views). It also
        starts you at a higher altitude (7000 vs. 4000 ft at Happy Isles), and
        there's a hiker's bus that goes to GP.

        It's a good idea to keep your options open.

        Kevin C (sobo on Aug 10 from Glacier Point).

        Jim W wrote:
        >
        > My itinerary is 15 days total; 8 to Muir Trail Ranch, but I want to
        > start out slow and easy. Past experience tells me that a gentle break
        > in on the first two days makes the trip much more enjoyable. I'll
        > begin with only 2 days food and resupply via mail at Tuolumne. The
        > plan is to spend two nights between Happy Isles and Tuolumne, pick up
        > my mail drop in the morning after hiking a few miles, then make the
        > upper end of Lyell Canyon for night three.
        >
        > I'll arrive via Amtrak at 8:00 PM and be in the Valley permit line at
        > 0:dark:30 the next morning to get a first-come permit. According to
        > http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildcond.htm
        > <http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildcond.htm> the wilderness
        > office opens at 7:30. 12 first-come permits for Little Yosemite
        > Valley and 4 for "Happy Isles to Sunrise/Merced Lake (pass-through)"
        > are available. Does that mean I need one of the "pass-through"
        > permits if I want to hike more than 6 miles the first day?
        >
        > Given all this, which permit sounds most reasonable and what does
        > everyone suggest for the first two night camp spots? Is Little
        > Yosemite Valley to be avoided for camping?
        >
        > Thanks
        > Jim
        >
        > Aug 10 start
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Barbara Karagosian
        Hi all, Just spent 2 weeks in Tuolumne area, Lyell Canyon & up to Young lakes. Tried out some new (to me) gear: Rainshadow 2 tent tarp - for three people but
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 30, 2008
          Hi all,

          Just spent 2 weeks in Tuolumne area, Lyell Canyon & up to Young lakes.
          Tried out some new (to me) gear:



          Rainshadow 2 tent tarp - for three people but we only had two. Loved it,
          recommend putting gobs of silicone on the floor and on your pad to prevent
          sliding (I thought I was going to zoom downhill into the nearest lake, even
          tho I had put some on). Not a true test tho cos it didn't rain, and because
          I had some issues adjusting the bottom, I think I would've got wet.



          MSR Hyperflow filter - also loved it, but found that the input hose easily
          came off its nozzle, and the output attachment to the Nalgene bottle easily
          unscrewed itself, so had to hold those on firmly. Also the filter tended to
          invert itself in the water, and really needed a second person to hold it in
          place. Used for three days with no need to do the backflow thing on it.



          MSR Windpro stove with titanium pot. Loved it - included with it is a
          windshield.



          Mossies - Ok during the day - loads near water at night, plus all sorts of
          other UFOs. Didn't use a headnet but did need 30% deet longacting. Some
          people used Off which was also effective. Didn't see any bears.



          Food - loved tortillas with bean dip and cheddar cheese (bean dip in one of
          those squeezy tubes.) Also Mountain House Pro lasagna with meat sauce, and
          chicken teriyaki.



          Off on an 8 day trip starting at South Lake to Muir Pass and around, next
          week...



          Oh, I was asking various people which pads they used or preferred. One man
          told me I needed to ask thru hikers if I wanted lightweight because they
          sacrifice comfort for light-weight. He prefers comfort. He then told me he
          carried a 50lb pack - ouch!



          Barbara



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Misha
          Hey Jim Here s some info that may be helpful for you. I believe the permit you want is the Happy Isles to Sunrise/Merced Lake (pass-through). I rested
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 31, 2008
            Hey Jim

            Here's some info that may be helpful for you.

            I believe the permit you want is the Happy Isles to Sunrise/Merced
            Lake (pass-through).

            I "rested" (because "camping" is illegal) at 1:30 am in front of the
            wilderness office the night before my trip. The line had formed by
            4:00 am. Technically the permit you get is for starting the NEXT
            day, and you can camp at the backpackers camp for $5 the night
            before you start. However, I left the same day that my permit was
            issued. A ranger near the half dome trail asked to see my permit,
            but he didn't really harass me about being out a day early.

            Now, to answer your question about camp spots. I got a 10am start
            and went all the way to the little creek about a half a mile before
            Sunrise Camp on my first day (13 miles). I was in Tuolomne meadows
            by noon of day two, and camped that night just past the Vogelsang
            Pass Trail (13 miles also).

            If you are spending two nights between Happy Isles and Tuolomne you
            might camp somewehere on sunrise creek in the vicinity of the merced
            lake trail on your first night (about 8 mi), and near the cathedral
            lake trail on your second night(another 9 mi). That puts you in
            tuolomne early on day three. I believe you must go past
            LittleYoValley on your first night.

            Sorry to be so long winded! I just hate to give out unclear
            information. Hope it helps!

            Misha



            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Jim W" <jimqpublic@...> wrote:
            >
            > My itinerary is 15 days total; 8 to Muir Trail Ranch, but I want to
            > start out slow and easy. Past experience tells me that a gentle
            break
            > in on the first two days makes the trip much more enjoyable. I'll
            > begin with only 2 days food and resupply via mail at Tuolumne. The
            > plan is to spend two nights between Happy Isles and Tuolumne, pick
            up
            > my mail drop in the morning after hiking a few miles, then make the
            > upper end of Lyell Canyon for night three.
            >
            > I'll arrive via Amtrak at 8:00 PM and be in the Valley permit line
            at
            > 0:dark:30 the next morning to get a first-come permit. According
            to
            > http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildcond.htm the wilderness
            > office opens at 7:30. 12 first-come permits for Little Yosemite
            > Valley and 4 for "Happy Isles to Sunrise/Merced Lake (pass-
            through)"
            > are available. Does that mean I need one of the "pass-through"
            > permits if I want to hike more than 6 miles the first day?
            >
            > Given all this, which permit sounds most reasonable and what does
            > everyone suggest for the first two night camp spots? Is Little
            > Yosemite Valley to be avoided for camping?
            >
            > Thanks
            > Jim
            >
            > Aug 10 start
            >
          • Jim W
            On 7/31/08, Misha wrote: ... I didn t realize that the first-come permits are for the next day. I think I ll plan to do as you did.
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 31, 2008
              On 7/31/08, Misha <Misha_Marie@...> wrote:
              ...> I "rested" (because "camping" is illegal) at 1:30 am in front of the
              > wilderness office the night before my trip. The line had formed by
              > 4:00 am. Technically the permit you get is for starting the NEXT
              > day, and you can camp at the backpackers camp for $5 the night
              > before you start. However, I left the same day that my permit was
              > issued. A ranger near the half dome trail asked to see my permit,
              > but he didn't really harass me about being out a day early.
              >

              I didn't realize that the first-come permits are for the next day. I
              think I'll plan to do as you did.

              When was this- day of week and all. I wasn't planning to make it to
              the permit office until about 5:00 but might go earlier.

              Thanks,
              Jim
            • Ima Person
              Jim,  the first-come permits are not necessarily only for the next day.  I got mine for starting the same day I arrived.  It just depends if there are any
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 31, 2008
                Jim,  the first-come permits are not necessarily only for the next day.  I got mine for starting the same day I arrived.  It just depends if there are any available or not,  whether someone failed to pick up their permit, etc.  I started the JMT back in late June so it was still early season but don't rule out hitting the trail right after you visit the backcountry office. 
                Good luck !
                Al


                ----- Original Message ----
                From: Jim W <jimqpublic@...>
                To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2008 4:07:25 PM
                Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: Where to aim for first two night's camp out of Happy Isles?


                On 7/31/08, Misha <Misha_Marie@ hotmail.com> wrote:
                ...> I "rested" (because "camping" is illegal) at 1:30 am in front of the
                > wilderness office the night before my trip. The line had formed by
                > 4:00 am. Technically the permit you get is for starting the NEXT
                > day, and you can camp at the backpackers camp for $5 the night
                > before you start. However, I left the same day that my permit was
                > issued. A ranger near the half dome trail asked to see my permit,
                > but he didn't really harass me about being out a day early.
                >

                I didn't realize that the first-come permits are for the next day. I
                think I'll plan to do as you did.

                When was this- day of week and all. I wasn't planning to make it to
                the permit office until about 5:00 but might go earlier.

                Thanks,
                Jim





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Misha
                This was on Friday morning, July 18th. My guess is that you would be ok getting there at 5am. some people didn t get in line until about 6 am and they still
                Message 7 of 7 , Aug 1, 2008
                  This was on Friday morning, July 18th. My guess is that you would be
                  ok getting there at 5am. some people didn't get in line until about
                  6 am and they still got permits.

                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Jim W" <jimqpublic@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > On 7/31/08, Misha <Misha_Marie@...> wrote:
                  > ...> I "rested" (because "camping" is illegal) at 1:30 am in front
                  of the
                  > > wilderness office the night before my trip. The line had formed
                  by
                  > > 4:00 am. Technically the permit you get is for starting the NEXT
                  > > day, and you can camp at the backpackers camp for $5 the night
                  > > before you start. However, I left the same day that my permit was
                  > > issued. A ranger near the half dome trail asked to see my permit,
                  > > but he didn't really harass me about being out a day early.
                  > >
                  >
                  > I didn't realize that the first-come permits are for the next
                  day. I
                  > think I'll plan to do as you did.
                  >
                  > When was this- day of week and all. I wasn't planning to make it
                  to
                  > the permit office until about 5:00 but might go earlier.
                  >
                  > Thanks,
                  > Jim
                  >
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