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5 or 6 days from Porcupine Creek Trail

Tucson, Arizona
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5 or 6 days from Porcupine Creek Trail

I secured a wilderness pass from Porcupine Creek TH. I am fit and carrying about 27 lbs fully loaded, altitude does not posses issues as my backyard is a 9K ft mountain that I hike on during the weekend. Anyway, I would really like to see the Little Yosemite Valley, east of the visitor center. I read the rule about staying in the wilderness until your trip is over, or risk violation. It looks as if I can take the Porcupine Creek trail south towards Mt. Watkins then southwest around Half Dome and get to the trail. But is this violating that rule? It is not clear to me as I will be on trails the whole time. Otherwise, can I take the Porcupine trail south and then northeast towards Olmstead Pt. go down around Sunrise, Clouds Rest and exit at the LYV trailhead? One way or another, I would like to get to this part of the park. Side note: Vogelsang is also a spot I would like to see, but is that too ambitious from Porcupine Creek?

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Atlanta area
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1. Re: 5 or 6 days from Porcupine Creek Trail

It depends exactly what you mean here -- how exactly would you propose to go from the Mt. Watkins area to the other side of Tenaya Canyon? If you mean to come down the Snow Creek Trail and then up the Mist or JMT Trail, you would end up crossing through Yosemite Valley and thus end your wilderness permit. But, if you planned to head northeast from Mt. Watkins, up past Hidden Lake and up towards Tenaya Lake and then down towards Clouds Rest and Half Dome (effectively looping all the way around Tenaya Canyon), yes that could be done all on one permit (provided you didn't take any motorized transportation or other way you can end a permit).

And you say you really want to see Little Yosemite Valley -- there's really nothing much to see there, it's forested.

Edited: 15 May 2018, 02:47
Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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2. Re: 5 or 6 days from Porcupine Creek Trail

Hi

What is your entry date?

Are you trying to include Half Dome? What is it about Little Yosemite Valley that is so appealing?

Are you headed back to Porcupine Creek for your exit?

Atlanta area
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3. Re: 5 or 6 days from Porcupine Creek Trail

P.S. Volgelsang from Porcupine is a long way, but doable if you are very fit and used to long miles at altitude. But it would be a stretch to see LYV *and* Vogelsang from Porcupine in 5-6 days. If you want to see Vogelsang, better to try for a walk-up permit for Rafferty Creek or Lyell Canyon as first choices, Cathedral Lakes or Budd Creek or Sunrise Lakes as secondary choices.

EDIT: PNWF raises additional good questions. You certainly could not go from Porcupine to Vogelsang and back to Porcupine in 5-6 days. Snow and water crossings could be a factor depending on when you plan to go. Half Dome would be a stretch to add into this itinerary and timeframe and also requires an additional permit.

Edited: 15 May 2018, 02:55
Tucson, Arizona
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4. Re: 5 or 6 days from Porcupine Creek Trail

Okay, I realize my post and thinking wasn't clear. I found another trip someone took that I may try to mimic and even extend it is shown here (looks like I can't embed the map pic)

gonefisching.com/trips/…

Honestly, I thought LYV was worthwhile to see but I guess not. If you are so kind to look at the link above, tell me if that looks like a good plan, what you would change etc.

Atlanta area
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5. Re: 5 or 6 days from Porcupine Creek Trail

Note that this is exactly the second option you asked about in your original post (Porcupine down the NE to Olmsted to Sunrise, CR and LYV). That itinerary is fine, though 3 days/2 nights is aggressive for most people. And that would bring you through Little Yosemite Valley whether you wanted to see it or not ;-)

But again...when?

And...what about Half Dome? Do you want to ascend it? Do you have the additional permit to do so (you apply for it as a separate permit but it wouldn't be a second, separate document, it would say on your wilderness permit if you have the add-on permit to ascend HD or not).

Edited: 15 May 2018, 04:07
Tucson, Arizona
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6. Re: 5 or 6 days from Porcupine Creek Trail

Sorry, I am to start on June 25 and end on July 1. I have read that it is easy to extend the stay, though I really don't have experience carrying that much food. I am not interested in Half Dome, so no on that. I prefer climbs, solitude, great views.

And thanks for all the help so far.

Tucson, Arizona
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7. Re: 5 or 6 days from Porcupine Creek Trail

And since many are hinting at skipping LYV, I have no qualms with leaving that out.

Really want to see Clouds Rest and honestly not sure what else. I hiked around the valley a few years ago and didn't like all the people...

Atlanta area
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8. Re: 5 or 6 days from Porcupine Creek Trail

Considering it's been a light snow year, your timeframe should be good. Again, when you descend from CR to get down to Yosemite Valley you will come through LYV, can't avoid it, though by that route you would only cross through a little bit of it.

On that itinerary you should consider going from Porcupine all the way down to North Dome, then as you head up from there a very worthwhile spur is Mt. Watkins. CR is spectacular -- crossing the arete is a bucket list moment IMO, just keep in mind that you probably won't get to have the summit all to yourself. Then when you come out of LYV you will be at the top of Nevada Fall and will take the upper section of the Mist Trail down to top of Vernal Fall. From there you will have your choice to continue down on the Mist or to switch over the JMT. The Mist is a unique experience, but descending you will be on the drop-off side of the stairs and carrying a full pack so consider that carefully, the down from there is viewless but not as steep and no drop-offs to worry about.

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