Forum Index > Trip Reports > Yosemite National Park, 40 mile loop, 4th of July weekend
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jartelt
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Joined: 29 Sep 2017
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PostTue Jul 09, 2019 3:32 pm 
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Some friends and I backpacked a 40 mile loop in Yosemite NP over last weekend. The rough itinerary was as follows:

Day 1 - Mirror Lake TH to Snow Creek Trail to campsite north of Mount Watkins
Day 2 - Campsite to Olmsted Point to Tenaya Lake to Sunrise Lakes
Day 3 - Sunrise Lakes to Clouds Rest to JMT (Sunrise Creek) to High Trail leading towards Merced Lake to campsite on bluff before Echo Valley
Day 4 - Echo Valley to Lost Valley to Little Yosemite Valley to JMT to Mist Trail to Happy Isles to Half Dome Village for pizza/beer

Overall we had a great time with few if any issues. Tenaya Creek was only knee deep (using the stepping stones) and was actually reasonably warm. There was still a descent amount of snow between Tenaya Lake and Sunrise, but we were able to navigate this area without even consulting our GPS. Plus the snow was hard enough that we never postholed. Sunrise Lakes was mosquito infested, but we came prepared with DEET and bug nets. Our two other campsites were very nice with not too many bugs.

Here is the full trip report I wrote up with all my pictures: https://backpackers-review.com/trip-reports/yosemite-valley-backpacking/

And here are some highlights:

Snow Creek Trail view

Olmsted Point view

Tenaya Creek crossing

Snow on way to clouds rest

Lookout near sunrise

High Trail view

Lost Valley Sunset

Lost Valley river

Little Yosemite Valley
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Mosquito Food
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Joined: 11 Jan 2008
Posts: 74 | TRs
Location: Covington
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PostTue Jul 09, 2019 4:22 pm 
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up.gif Truely epic place.  Glad it went so well.

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Fueled by cornbread
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olderthanIusedtobe
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Joined: 05 Sep 2011
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Location: Shoreline
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PostWed Jul 10, 2019 11:47 pm 
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Somehow I missed this TR before.  Nice.  Gotta love that endless granite in the Sierras.
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John Morrow
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Location: Roslyn
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PostThu Jul 11, 2019 6:54 am 
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How did you go about getting the permit and how hard was it to get?
Thanks,
John

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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
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jartelt
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PostThu Jul 11, 2019 9:29 am 
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For the reserving permit in advance, you have two options:

1) Apply for a permit >24 weeks before your hike start date. Your application then gets put into a lottery for a permit for that start date.

2) If you missed the lottery deadline for you hike date, you can then check the trailhead availability list here (https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/fulltrailheads.htm). In my case, I checked the list for July 4th availability. I knew I wanted to leave from Yosemite Valley or somewhere near there. The Mirror Lake -> Snow creek had availability, so I applied for a permit online and grabbed the open spots. The Trailhead Availability report gives you an idea of which trailheads are most popular.

The only other option is to show up the day before your hike and try to get a walk up permit. I've heard this can be tough for Fri/Sat departures. It's probably easier for weekday departures, but you may need to be flexible on your route since you can't guarantee what permits are available.

How hard is it to get a permit?  It really depends! For the most popular trailheads (Happy Isles, Cathedral Lakes, Glacier Point, Sunrise, etc.), a lot of people apply 6 months in advance and get permits in the lottery. For other ones, there is still a good amount of availability on many dates.
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