lyell canyon

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Golden State. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the California Climbing Partners forum.
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Bob Burd
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by Bob Burd » Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:22 am

1000Pks wrote: They go to lengths to catch illegal campers, they have eyes and a lot of experience doing such.

Jereds, if you have no reservations or good plans, please stay home or find something else to do. Unless you like $1000 fines and maybe some jail time.

No, they don't go to lengths, that's the main point. They check the cars at the turnouts, cruise the parking lots and campgrounds and keep people from speeding and killing bears and themselves.

Good Lord, you're just sleeping in the woods or on a slab of rock and you're gone in the morning. You don't need a tent. What they *really* don't want is people making campsites and fire rings and leaving shit around. Leave No Trace - it's not hard.

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by Alpinist » Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:31 am

Go after Labor Day and the crowds will thin considerably.

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by jareds » Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:59 am

yeah you're right i'll stay home and go another time. thanks for the advice!
Last edited by jareds on Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Princess Buttercup

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by Princess Buttercup » Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:16 am

Just dayhiked Lyell and Maclure two weekends ago, and the glacier was in pretty atrocious shape: suncups deep enough to hide a body; lots of running water; hopping from ridge to ridge over the cups was a sloppy, slick mess.

I'd recommend hitting Maclure first and heading up the ridge from the saddle, thereby avoiding the glacier entirely. That way you can leave the crampons/axe at home as well.

Pics are here: ... 665411205/

Have a great time! It was indeed a spectacular area that I plan to visit again.

-L 8)

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by jareds » Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:39 am

MooseTracks wrote:Just dayhiked Lyell and Maclure two weekends ago)

whoa that's like 28 miles right? def planning on doing a much slower pace than that. if we ARE able to get a permit it'll be a 2 or 3 day thing, nice and slow. otherwise we'll break it up and do a few different hikes.

thanks for sharing the pics, looks rad!

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by jareds » Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:04 am

1000Pks wrote:There's going to be millions on the road, and I know some good peaks to do with efficient itineraries, if anyone was interested.

@1000pks def interested; new to the sierra, don't know many areas yet so i'm just going off of word of mouth and help i get from SP members. feel free to PM me info, it would be well received. thanks!

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Day Hiker

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by Day Hiker » Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:20 am

$1000 fines and maybe some jail time

For sleeping on the ground? :lol:

mrchad9 wrote:satellite?

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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by fedak » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:18 am

What Bob said.
And not what Pete said. (Jail time for sleeping in your car at a trailhead? :roll: )

The Rangers do a cursory check for flagrant violators. Usually as part of their dawn patrol. You'll see them do this every morning- one Ranger drives the length of the Tuolumne area at dawn and spot checks the parking lots with the floodlight. This isn't an exhaustive search- There have been times when I've been sleeping in my vehicle and they passed right over me. And if they do catch folks they will usually just make them leave rather than start handing out fines.

It is *highly* unlikely if you have parked legally and wandered a hundred yards into the woods and bivvied that they will come looking for you.
This isn't Jack Bauer Ninja Ranger with night vision goggles, it likely a hung over junior ranger who drew short straw for the morning rounds.

With that said, If I need to sleep in my vehicle I'll usually go do it on SaddleBack lake road. This is sufficient elevation for acclimation and get you out of park and out of the Yosemite Ranger patrol routes.

They *do* speed trap the living hell out of the area near the Tuolumne Campground (where it dips to 25mph for a few hundred yards), so watch out for that. And don't keep food/scented items in your car. The bear risk is legitimate.

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by mrchad9 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:19 am

2nd the speed trap comment.

Do not speed through Tuolumne or Tenaya Lake areas.

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by rhyang » Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:16 pm

mrchad9 wrote:2nd the speed trap comment.

Do not speed through Tuolumne or Tenaya Lake areas.

If they write you a ticket, it's a federal thing, not California, so you can't avoid the point(s) by taking traffic school. And it will go on your driving record and affect your auto insurance. Ask me how I know :(

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by no2haven » Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:46 pm

Not sure how much time up there you're planning to spend, but if you can get up a day early you can (nearly) guarantee yourself a walk-up permit. Walk-up permits are released the day before you leave, so if you want to head out on Saturday, be first in line at the ranger station Friday morning. You'll get a permit.

Keep in mind that first in line usually means grabbing a spot on the porch before 6am, but Lyell canyon has a good number of walk-ups available so being first in line isn't usually critical.

In terms of car-camping, I tend to pull over in the overflow parking for the various campsites just below Tioga Pass and near the resort to sleep. I've been spooked parking on the Saddlebag Lake road - its a little too isolated for me to have random people driving in and out during the night.

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by butitsadryheat » Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:09 pm

Just got word the rangers are moving in on the four parties camped illegally in this satellite photo... :lol:


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by jareds » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:15 am

update: had a rad trip, thanks for all the tips.

hiked up mt. dana, it was steep and tall coming straight from sf that morning.

next day took it easy up in 20-mile basin past saddlebag lake as the park was pretty crowded. beautiful spot, not as crowded as i expected. traffic wasn't too bad either.

thanks again for helping me make a rad weekend full of memories!

pics to prove it:


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