Ideas for 2-Night Yosemite Trip - Early September

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Re: Ideas for 2-Night Yosemite Trip - Early September

Post by mrphil » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:53 pm

Upper Cathedral Lake is probably still going to be crowded in early Sept, and the JMT through that trailhead to the Valley is always one of the first to go on reservations. Up that way, Nelson Lake is pretty secluded, if you're willing to do some cross country to get there. Exiting from there behind Elizabeth Lake back down to Tuolumne Meadows is easy enough.

The Sunrise trailhead is also usually a tough gig to reserve because of the access to CR and not being far off the JMT and just over the hill from the HSC, but Upper Sunrise Lake has good fishing, although I like camping at the middle lake. The lower lake is usually packed, but the other lakes tend to be less so. Still, anywhere in that whole JMT/HSC highway core area isn't going to give you much solitude or privacy.

Ten Lakes is beautiful and has lots of sites, but we've never caught much that was worth it. It is a great area to explore if you're looking to set up base and day hike. Up past Lake #5 in the high country between there and Mt Hoffman is superb for exploring.

If you're willing to extend your first day's mileage and push a bit (10-ish miles), head up Rafferty Creek past Vogelsang and go to Bernice Lake. Lots of places to explore, somewhat decent fishing. That's what I would do, fwiw.








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Re: Ideas for 2-Night Yosemite Trip - Early September

Post by Fairbanks142 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:33 am

Good input, thanks. I'm hoping that with our trip being the week after Labor Day, and on weekdays, that we'll have a better shot at getting the Sunrise Lakes or Cathedral Lakes trailheads. Maybe wishful thinking, but somewhat better odds and worth a shot I would hope.

Regarding the high traffic and lack of solitude in the JMT/HSC/CR area, we're accustomed to backpacking in national parks like Grand Canyon, Glacier and Rocky Mtn where the campsites are regulated and more often than not you have relatively close neighbors in your campsite. Seems that even in these high traffic areas of Yosemite, by mid-September on weekdays, we'll have a good chance of landing a campsite without anyone else being right on top of us. Again, maybe wishful thinking, but I would think so based on everything I'm reading.

And again, this will be our first trip to Yosemite, so my assumptions and wishful thinking aren't any match for the wisdom and different perspectives that I'm getting from everyone here! Thanks again to all!

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Re: Ideas for 2-Night Yosemite Trip - Early September

Post by Fairbanks142 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:47 am

Allright, I got my wilderness permit reservation....and it's for my 3rd option, the Rafferty Creek> Vogelsang trailhead. Hoping to get some additional input on best locations to set up base camp for 2 nights (not at the Vogelsang High Sierra Camp)....looking for the ideal spot for scenery and fishing from the campsite itself, and for day hiking on the middle day to great views. And less than 10 miles in from the trailhead.

Evelyn Lake has good fishing, but it looks wide open and is more prone to be windy? Townsley Lake looks ideal? (Might be more competition for campsites there, even on weekdays in mid September, and with more day traffic from the HSC?) Bernice and Ireland Lakes are more distance from the TH than we'd like to cover in one day. (Same with Reymann Lake, if we went up and over between Rafferty and Johnson Peaks.) Boothe Lake looks good, but not good for fishing. So I'm leaning towards Townsley Lake as the destination, but would love input on that.

And the more I read, the more I'm thinking we can't go wrong no matter where we go in the Vogelsang area. But any suggestions for which lake to make our base camp destination (scenery and overall quality of the campsite being the top priority, with fishing quality secondary), I'd very much appreciate it!

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Re: Ideas for 2-Night Yosemite Trip - Early September

Post by rlown » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:55 am

There is a big tree on the NE side of Evelyn. It is the wind break; either side. You can see it on Google Earth. I've been there about 8 times. Townsley can get windy; blow out windy. But it is only a day hike from Evelyn over the plateau. Don't bother with Boothe. Don't even follow the trail up through Vogelsang HSC. Turn left at the small 200' rock escarpment right where Evelyn is.
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Re: Ideas for 2-Night Yosemite Trip - Early September

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:23 am

Once the HIgh Camps are closed you do not need to worry about crowds. Not sure when this happens or what date you mean by "early" september. Townsley is more shady in late season then Evelyn. But the heat of summer can linger into early September too. Not sure about the fishing at Townsley. The ridge south of Evlyn Lake blocks the views of part of Fletcher Peak. Townsley is definitely more scenic, so at least do a day-hike to Townsley for photos.

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Re: Ideas for 2-Night Yosemite Trip - Early September

Post by rlown » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:15 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:Once the HIgh Camps are closed you do not need to worry about crowds. Not sure when this happens or what date you mean by "early" september. Townsley is more shady in late season then Evelyn. But the heat of summer can linger into early September too. Not sure about the fishing at Townsley. The ridge south of Evlyn Lake blocks the views of part of Fletcher Peak. Townsley is definitely more scenic, so at least do a day-hike to Townsley for photos.
The HSC's close around Sept 15th depending on storms. You can see Fletcher from the plateau. Townsley is best fished at the inlet where it is deep. Go deep! A friend fished the West end and got nothing.

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Re: Ideas for 2-Night Yosemite Trip - Early September

Post by QITNL » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:19 pm

Rafferty Creek is a real nice trail and that's a good time of year for it. There are some nice spots to camp up by Vogelsang Lake. I don't fish, but I've seen plenty of them jumping there and other folks fishing it. It's in a bit of a windbreak between the two peaks.

If I'm stopping there, usually I'll head past the HSC and cross the outlet of the lake. From there and a little to the right you can head up the slabs a hundred yards or so on the north ridge of Vogelsang Peak. There are some good little spots to camp. Wide open and a great view from your tent. Fairly exposed so you get a nice breeze to blow away the bugs; if it's windy, it might be too much.

If you prefer a few trees around your camp, stay on the trail a few more hundred yards past the outlet, then head up into the clumps of trees on the northwest side of the lake.

Vogelsang Peak is a fun scramble. It's also pretty easy to get up to Fletcher Peak (or peaks, there are a few nice high points): follow the trail a little past Vogelsang Pass then head up and to your left. Some good use trails head up from that point. Once you gain the ridge, you can loop back to your left to hit Fletcher, or to your right towards Parson Peak. It's a real cool plateau and popular with the mountain goats. Good views of the park.

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Re: Ideas for 2-Night Yosemite Trip - Early September

Post by markskor » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:40 pm

Fairbanks -
Camping/fishing near Voglesang - thoughts.

There is a small, exposed, backpacking area, maybe 200 yards, on trail, just north of the HSC that has a few bear boxes, but unless you are getting meals there, really no reason to camp at the HSC.

Dinners at the HSC, if you can get in, (I always ask while passing by), are worth it though, if you are a one or a two. You sit 6 to a table, and if lucky, you get to share fine food, good company, as well as some fine libations. Those in the know (a lot of affluent folks go through there) often "mule-ship" up (@$7.00 a pound) expensive alcohols for their table. (Even with Mike along - both of us looking like dirtbags)...have often sampled great Single Malts, Brandies, and fine wines too - gladly shared and usually accompanied by long winded tales,...lots of good times at the HSCs.

There are some other local restrictions to know...See TOPO. Posted "No Camping" at Fletcher's north shore till up past the trail. Closest camp, at the back end Fletcher, near the waterfall (and now east of lake), a few great sites there, back in the trees.

If fishing though, suggest overnight or two using Townsley as a base-camp. Don't know how big your party, but hidden a hundred yards backside Townsley, north east of the slab falls inlet there - a few nice flat spots, up in the trees where you won't see anyone...No Fires! As to fishing... suggest inlet, between the falls and also south side, deep.

While there, maybe a trip up to Hanging Basket...(left side easier - you'll understand when you are looking up).

BTW, There are no fish in Voglesang Lake. Fletcher itself is fun but maybe 6" tops.

A bit of easy X-country from your Townsley camp NE could lead you to Ireland (go north side the knob), where it can be good fishing but often windy, or

Directly north/saddle to Evelyn (where the fishing is spotty at best).

Any more specific fishing Q's of the area ? PM me.
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Re: Ideas for 2-Night Yosemite Trip - Early September

Post by balzaccom » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:46 am

A couple of other ideas.

You can find some nice campsites at Emeric lake, just a mile or two down from the pass. A few sites on the ridge east of the lake, and more against the mountain on the west side. No camping at Boothe Lake, the last time I was there...

For a couple of cool day hikes, look at going cross country. one would take you back to Tuolumne Pass, the up over the shoulder of Rafferty Peak to Reymann and Nelson Lakes. Beautiful hiking and they both have fish.

Another idea would be to go up and over Vogelsang Pass, then cross country to the Gallison lakes and Bernice, which hang in a beautiful valley above Lewis Canyon. There's a nice waterfall on the north side of Bernice...and the whole area is really nice.
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Re: Ideas for 2-Night Yosemite Trip - Early September

Post by Fairbanks142 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:13 pm

Another question....coming off the trail (Tuolumne Meadows) in the middle of the week....wanting to get to a shower, a cold micro brew, some good food, and a good place to stay (not camping) for one more night near the park before heading back to SF late the next day....where would you want to stay?

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