Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Yosemite in March recommendations needed

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Golden State. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the California Climbing Partners forum.
 

Yosemite in March recommendations needed

Postby sm0421 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:25 pm

Hi, I'm visiting SF on March 9th weekend and would like to visit the Yosemite Park, I checked on the website it looks like a couple of roads are currently closed and will require chains in March. Any recommendations on where I should go for a quick day hike in the Yosemite Valley (or just sightseeing)? If not possible please suggest other outdoor places for a day trip, thank you! -Alex
User Avatar
sm0421

 
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 9:48 pm
Location: New York, New York, United States
Thanked: 31 times in 21 posts

Re: Yosemite in March recommendations needed

Postby fedak » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:33 pm

Two suggestions both just outside of the main park:

1) Hite Cove if the poppies are in bloom.

Image

2) Wapama and/or Racheria Falls from Hetch Hetchy

Image
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
http://www.fedak.net/backcountry.html
User Avatar
fedak

 
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2003 5:28 pm
Location: Stateline, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 74 times in 61 posts

The following user would like to thank fedak for this post
mrchad9

Re: Yosemite in March recommendations needed

Postby bviti » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:59 pm

Bump>
Wow, I just signed up to ask the very same question. I'll be there starting the 16th. Wondering if any high - ish peaks are doable in a day with the roads closed? I heard 4 mile to glacier point and yosemite falls are high on the list by everyone else. Would that be snowshoe / crampons in March? Can I do anything over 10K? Sorry didn't really want to usurp your post ;)
bviti

 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:40 pm
Location: New Hampshire, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Yosemite in March recommendations needed

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:29 pm

Yosemite falls doesn't require any gear as it is on the north side of the valley and snow and ice melts off. If you want to get to 10K I would recommend Cloud's Rest instead (9926 feet). Superb views but to do it in a day from the valley is quite a haul.
User Avatar
mrchad9

 
Posts: 4195
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:01 am
Location: San Ramon, California, United States
Thanked: 1210 times in 821 posts

Re: Yosemite in March recommendations needed

Postby FreeHueco » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:34 pm

4-Mile Trail is often closed in winter, but not always. You have to play that one by ear...

Same goes for the Upper Falls Trail. The Mist Trail might be closed, but March is getting late enough in the year that you might be able to get up there.

My favorite day hike in winter is to go up the Falls Trail, hike east along the valley rim and then come back into the valley via the Snow Creek Trail. It's something like 16 miles, assuming you catch the shuttle from Mirror Lake Trailhead back to Camp 4.

If you want an easier option, walk the Valley Loop Trail, or parts of it. Super-nice and mellow terrain. Definitely get close to the waterfalls. Hike out to Nevada Falls if you have time for a second hike (you can also make a loop with the Panorama Trail and the 4 Mile Trail).

As for getting farther out, it's a fairly long walk to get to the high peaks around Tuolumne Meadows. I think it's 11 miles to Tenaya Lake, and then another 10-15 from there. It might be doable if the weather cooperates...
User Avatar
FreeHueco

 
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2003 10:49 pm
Location: Sunnyvale, California, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Yosemite in March recommendations needed

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:54 pm

I would definitely do the Mist Trail if you've never been to Yosemite. It will probably be closed, but that doesn't stop most folks from doing it anyway (there is no one there to stop you and no harm in doing it... common and accepted practice).
User Avatar
mrchad9

 
Posts: 4195
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:01 am
Location: San Ramon, California, United States
Thanked: 1210 times in 821 posts

Re: Yosemite in March recommendations needed

Postby fedak » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:36 am

> there is no one there to stop you and no harm in doing it... common and accepted practice

Except for the large array of lethal sized icicles on the ledges over the upper stair portion of the trail. :)
They may have melted off by March- but this is one of the key reasons that trail is closed in the winter.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
http://www.fedak.net/backcountry.html
User Avatar
fedak

 
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2003 5:28 pm
Location: Stateline, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 74 times in 61 posts

Re: Yosemite in March recommendations needed

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:57 am

No doubt the trail is sometimes dangerous, but I've been there several times in January, March, and April when it was closed. No ice anywhere.

Problem is that the NPS just shuts it down and leaves it closed, regardless of what the actual conditions are. A 'Proceed at your own risk' notice would be better. And you can always turn back if you determine it is unsafe.
User Avatar
mrchad9

 
Posts: 4195
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:01 am
Location: San Ramon, California, United States
Thanked: 1210 times in 821 posts

Re: Yosemite in March recommendations needed

Postby fedak » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:07 am

Yeah, but given the sue-happy nature of the American public I can see why they err on the side of caution.
And the Yosemite Rangers are nowhere near as overprotective as the Grand Canyon ones

FWIW, the namesake mist from Vernal Falls does tend to create 5-10 foot icicles above the upper portion of Mist Trail.
(Not to mention coating the stairs with solid ice). Just be careful if you are ignoring a closure warning.

The closed panorama cliffs portion of the JMT is also quite dangerous in the winter- as the retaining wall traps the snow and ice.
Crossing that was one of the most astronomically stupid things I've done in my life:

Image

So the official "Recommended" winter route is to head up the JMT to Clark Point, dip back down to the top of Vernal Falls, and then head up to Nevada Falls from there.
All of this is pretty much a crapshoot in March- the trail could be completely dry or under 10 feet of snow depending on how wet the winter was and how warm the spring started.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
http://www.fedak.net/backcountry.html
User Avatar
fedak

 
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2003 5:28 pm
Location: Stateline, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 74 times in 61 posts

The following user would like to thank fedak for this post
SeanReedy

Re: Yosemite in March recommendations needed

Postby SeanReedy » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:31 am

Those are all great suggestions above, but as noted, conditions could make having a variety of options in mind a good idea.

If the 4-Mile Trail is open up to Glacier Point, heading back down to Happy Isles via the Panorama Trail (followed by Nevada Falls, and the Mist Trail/JMT) makes for a spectacularly scenic loop.

Alternately, if starting from Happy Isles and heading up to Nevada Falls leaves you still wanting a bit more of a hike, you could then continue part way up the Panorama Trail and turn back after reaching Panorama Point or Illilouette Falls (if not wanting to head all the way up to Glacier Point).

http://www.yosemitehikes.com/hikes.htm
User Avatar
SeanReedy

 
Posts: 768
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:37 pm
Location: Garlic, California, United States
Thanked: 380 times in 300 posts

Re: Yosemite in March recommendations needed

Postby sm0421 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:30 pm

thank you guys, I'll research the trails you recommended!
User Avatar
sm0421

 
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 9:48 pm
Location: New York, New York, United States
Thanked: 31 times in 21 posts


Return to California

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.