2020 will mark 10 years since my first visit, a trip that was a pivotal moment for me. So Yosemite has a special place in my heart, and I'd like to use this trip as a fundraiser to give back, supporting conservation work and youth programs in the park. Any thoughts you might be able to share to help me plan an enjoyable and successful trip would be very much appreciated.
A few details about my experience:
- Solo travel
Level 2 to 3 backpacker
A handful of Sierra trips under my belt ranging from 3 to 16 days in length; familiar with terrain and potential hazards
Some unmaintained trail experience (Colby Pass Trail)
Prefer to stay on trail
Good to go with river crossings, high elevation, exposures, and sketchy passes
Usual pace is 10-13 miles per day on average on maintained trails
I can complete this route anytime between July and mid September, depending on permits.
Tuolumne seems like a logical start/end point so I can resupply there midway.
The northern loop is about 120 miles and travels clockwise through the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, joins up with the PCT, leaves Yosemite and cuts over to the West Walker River Trail, heading southeast and reentering Yosemite on the Buckeye Canyon Trail. Rejoin the PCT and end back at Tuolumne. Resupplying is an issue, since I'd anticipate wanting as many as 10 days to complete this loop. If I can't work out a resupply, I'd consider a lollipop, entering at Sonora Pass and following the PCT to Tuolumne, which would be around 70 miles and maybe 6 days.
The southern loop is about 80 miles. It follows the JMT from Tuolumne to the Panorama Trail, south over Buena Vista Pass and then turning north near Quartz Mtn toward Merced, then Vogelsvang, and back to Tuolumne. I anticipate as many as 7 days and will be able to manage with one food carry for this loop.
Any thoughts on this potential route? Potential challenges aside from resupply that I should consider? Areas to avoid? Places I shouldn't miss?
Thank you in advance for any insights you might be able to share!