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So, in about a month I'll be making reservations for Yosemite in May. I just wanted to get an idea of how many people were interested in going this year, because I may reserve three sites instead of two. Right now I'm thinking May 23rd-28th. edit: these dates look pretty firm now, within a couple days.

This year's big hike: Panorama Trail (strenuous)

8.5 miles/13.7 km one-way to Valley floor (via Mist Trail); 6 hours for 3,200 feet/975 m descent

Begin at the Panorama Trailhead, Glacier Point (trails ends at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley)

As its name implies, this trail offers some incredible panoramic views of Yosemite Valley. The trail crosses Illilouette Fall after 2 miles (3.2 km) and continues partially uphill along the Panorama Cliff. At the top of Nevada Fall, the trail joins the Mist and John Muir Trails to Happy Isles. In the summer, hikers may purchase a one-way bus ticket to Glacier Point (20$) and hike down.

I think it would be a good way to start instead of going straight up, up, up. Then, when we get to Nevada Falls, maybe we'll feel good enough to keep going to Half Dome.



( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 18th, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC)
I don't know if i could make a hike that hardcore, but I would like to get back to Yosemite someday. So, I will put myself in as a maybe!


Edited at 2007-12-18 07:05 pm (UTC)
Dec. 18th, 2007 07:51 pm (UTC)
You are worried about the hike? What about making poops outside?
Dec. 18th, 2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
There's often a bathroom at camping sites with a roof and everything! I have never camped were I had to dig a hole. That is scary!

Dec. 18th, 2007 08:16 pm (UTC)
We'd like to go. Don't know if we can, though. Considering both of us are looking for new jobs, we might not be able to get the time off in May. We'll have to wait and see.
Dec. 18th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
We'd be glad to have you. We pretty much always have room for a couple more. The sites are pretty large and allow 7-8 people each and we try to estimate conservatively with the reservations. So there shouldn't be a problem even if you decide last minute. At worst you might have to find bear box room at the ranger station, because those tend to get filled up fast. :)
Dec. 19th, 2007 01:23 am (UTC)
Yeah. I know the drill. We ended up having to get a bear box at the ranger station last time, because my sister brought tons of food, even though I told her to leave the food up to me. We ended up with enough food for twice as many people and twice as many days. Thankfully, the rangers had room in the overflow section, and we'd brought an extra lock.

We'll let you know.
Dec. 18th, 2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
For some reason that email I sent with campsites never went. The best sites I found were in North Pines: 301, 303, 305 or 132, 134, 136. These groupings are really quiet, relatively private and super close to restrooms, but situated such that nobody needs to cut through the sites to get to the restrooms.

The Wednesday night through Tuesday around Memorial Day are the only times I can go if it's longer than a weekend because of my teaching schedule. I already have to take a week off earlier in the month to work the floor at JavaOne.

I won't be doing the hike, but would be happy to provide taxi service to the top of glacier point so y'all don't have to take the tourist bus.

And finally, I'd like to mention something I proposed earlier - so we don't end up with waaaaay too much food again, could we formalize a cooking schedule for dinners this trip? I'd be happy to be responsible for an official weenie roast night this year, or maybe something fancier on the day the big hike happens.

Dec. 18th, 2007 09:18 pm (UTC)
To be more specific about dates May 21-27 is when I could go. I can't remember exactly how the phones work anymore, but I think it would be easier to get the sites we want if we go on the early end of the weekend, since on the 21st we won't be fighting with the hoards who come in and try to sign up for them starting on the 23rd.
Dec. 18th, 2007 10:33 pm (UTC)
The actual dates of the trip don't really matter as long as they're in the same window. For example, all reservations for the time period May 15 through June 14 open up on January 15. So that's when I plan on calling to make them so we get our spots for sure. I'm still not sure if I'm willing to give up the bigger bear boxes of Upper Pines, I do so love my big ass cooler. We can take more of a consensus on that as we get more definite campers.

I'm totally down with the group meal thing though, at least for dinners. Maybe we can get Alex to organize us on the cooking front. :)
Dec. 19th, 2007 12:08 am (UTC)
Yeah, but not all the Upper Pines sites have the bigger bear boxes, and if you're not bringing enough food to feed everybody every night, you won't need the big-ass cooler. :)

I'm sure Alex would do a bang up job of organizing food. I'm pretty good at it too, but mostly I think if we all said I'm cooking X for everybody on X night, we'd be cool. I trust anybody who was there last year to feed us well. :)
Dec. 19th, 2007 02:03 am (UTC)
Half Dome tips
Sorry to eavesdrop, but I have a Google Alert for “Half Dome” and saw your blog. I am the author of the only guidebook on this. It is called "One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome" published by Wilderness Press. It is available at REI, amazon.com, and bookstores. I also have a website and daily blog dedicated to safely doing this strenuous hike.


I have done the hike 21 times. There are many precautions for the hike. Water (giardia) lightning, the cables, etc. The cables are only up once the weather clears. May 15 may be pushing it. In 2007 it was May 17. If you plan to start at Glacier Point, be advised that the bus system doesn’t start running until 7 am….you may run out of time. This hike will take you 12 hours +. I start at the Happy isles trailhead at 5:30 am. Don’t take it casually – you need to be in condition and a water filter pump is highly recommended. I’m 200 pounds and I drink 7 quarts all day. In the book I tell you how to prepare and have a complete trail guide with descriptions, elevation profile, etc.

If you are in the SF Bay Area area, I am giving talks Mar-Jun at all the 10 REI’s. Let me know if I can answer any questions.

Regards and good luck!

Rick Deutsch
cell: 408-390-6791
"One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome"
Wilderness Press
Dec. 19th, 2007 02:09 am (UTC)
Definitely interested as always. And as always this far out a definite maybe.

If we want to organize group dinners I'm cool with that.
Dec. 19th, 2007 02:47 am (UTC)
Dec. 19th, 2007 04:31 pm (UTC)
Dec. 19th, 2007 05:21 am (UTC)
Interested? Absolutely.

Whether that translates to "able to go" might be another matter. But I'm definitely interested.
Dec. 26th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
Well hell, my brother just gave me an annual NPS pass, which gets one vehicle and/or 4 people in for free. Seeing as how it's one of those "use it or lose it" presents, that bumps up the likelihood for me.

Now i just have to find a few national parks that don't require a car to reach. Ooo! The Hyde St. Pier!
Dec. 19th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
Count Kim and I in.

Big ass cooler needed for beer, not food. We will see if Kelley can come too.

I liked the site last year well enough. It was cool being right next to the river there.

Will bring the kayaks this time, as that was a fun little river run.

We will try the hike unless one of us breaks a leg previously.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )