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Tahoe-Yosemite trail gearlist
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Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Tahoe-Yosemite trail gearlist on 06/03/2006 18:32:02 MDT Print View

I may have the opertunity to hike the tahoe-yosemite trail this summer in early august, I am not positive if I will have the time, but it looks good so far, anyway, It is a very little known trail, it is not even official, it only exists because of an out of date, guide book published in the 70s, I got one, but it was one of about 4 left for sale one the internet, used, and for $40, I have read that most of the time you are looking for the trail because it is not maintained or well used. It is in bear country, and stretches between lake tahoe and the center of yosemite national park, it is about 180 miles, and I will be doing it without resupply, It will take around 9 days because I am afraid to plan for more than 20 miles a day on terrain and elevation I am not used to. I made this gearlist, with my little knowledge of the sierra nevada mts. and hiking in grizzly country. Those experienced in this area or with this trail, help and advice would be greatly apreciated.
I hope to see some great veiws and great country, From pictures, I can tell this will be much more spectacular than any Appalachain Mtn. trip I have hiked. I am also looking forward to the unmapped portions of the trail, the of trail navigation will be a great experience

I planned based on an estimated 20-85 degree temp. I have read about for this time of year, as well as lots of rain and wind, and for the many stream crossings

01.50 Nike Dri fit Visor
03.70 Under Armor Metal short sleeve shirt
04.10 Fitness gear running shorts
01.10 Wrightsock double layer coolmesh socks
31.40 Salomon XA pro 3Ds

15.50 Leki ultralight ti air ergo poles w/ duct tape
03.60 Garmin etrex Venture (on hipbelt)
01.50 spectra lanyard with photon light, whistle, swiss mini champ

19.00 Golite Jam
01.10 stuff sacks for bag, essentials, & stakes
01.10 2.5 & 1 gallon ziplocks
00.90 4 liter sea to summit ultra sil dry sack

09.50 Golite poncho tarp
02.00 BMW hi vis tent stakes (8) & Air core spectra 2 guy lines
05.00 Torso sized ridgerest
15.50 Nunatak Arc Ghost
07.00 Titanium goat bivy w/ bug netting

00.20 Tuna can esbit stove
00.20 foil windscreen
02.50 snow peak 450 ti mug with foil lid
00.80 2 mini bic lighters
00.30 lexan soup spoon
01.80 platypus 1 liter bottles (2)
19.70 URSACK TKO hybrid

02.50 Petzl tikka plus
01.00 homemade first aid kit essentials
02.00 finger tip toothbrush, tp, & Dr. bronners for washing & toothpaste
01.50 banana boat spf 30 sport tube and lip screen
01.00 cutter advanced bug repellent
06.60 (2) Kodak disposable digital camera

08.50 Bozeman mountain works cocoon jacket
02.50 Golite wisp wind shirt
05.60 montbell stretch windpants
04.50 Under armor heat gear long sleeve shirt
01.10 wrightsock double layer coolmesh socks
01.50 Reebok fleece hat

worn or carried 3.8 lbs
in pack 7.8 lbs

Edited by ryanf on 06/04/2007 17:28:36 MDT.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
R.F.'s list on 06/03/2006 19:07:51 MDT Print View

Forget the bear spray and save 11 oz. Youv'e been listening to one too many Western tall tales.:-)> There are no Grizzlies in the Sierra or in any of the Pacific Coast states (except for occasional incursions in far NE WA). Just Black Bears including some very clever habituated bears in various hotspots like Yosemite, hence the use of mandatory bear canisters for Yosemite and many of the designated Wilderness areas in the Sierra.
Dr. Jordan will need spray up in the Brooks Range, I might carry it in Montana, but, you won't need it in the Sierra. Really. Now, you have a 8+ lb. pack. and a nice gearlist. Have fun.

Edited by kdesign on 06/03/2006 19:21:09 MDT.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: R.F.'s list on 06/03/2006 19:30:39 MDT Print View

Thanks Kevin,

I guess reading about yosemite bears, And of grizzlies out west made me misunderstand about the bear situation in the sierras. The dangerous bears must only roam up north. I guess I wont need the spray.


Edited by ryanf on 06/03/2006 19:37:04 MDT.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Black Bears!!! They's Black Bears on 06/03/2006 19:37:56 MDT Print View

Again, Ryan---No Grizzlies in the Sierra---INCLUDING Yosemite. Those Yosemite bearrs you've been reading about? BLACK BEARS!!!
oh, you edited your post. good.

Edited by kdesign on 06/03/2006 19:38:39 MDT.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Tahoe-Yosemite trail gearlist on 06/03/2006 20:24:50 MDT Print View

Aaaaahhhh yes, old maps and guide books ... the source of untold amounts of trouble. (in this contect "trouble" can be a synonym for "memorable experience")

Sounds like a great trip, although 20 miles/day sounds like a bit on an unmaintained trail. I'm not saying that'll you'll have trouble covering 20 miles, just that some of them might be off course and not making progress towards the physical destination.

Looking forward to a trip report.

Jeff Jackson
(Just_Jeff) - F

Locale: Colorado's Front Range
Re: Tahoe-Yosemite trail gearlist on 06/03/2006 22:58:33 MDT Print View

What is your normal hiking terrain?

Some areas of the Sierra are pretty tough - especially as I come from sea level to the standard 10,000' passes in Yosemite. Covering 20 miles on an unmaintained trail in mountainous terrain with that much elevation gain would wear me out.

YMMV, of course...just something to consider.

No water treatment, compass, maps, guidebook? And 180 miles on one disposable camera? You've got more discipline than I do, my friend!

One more thought - How much can you comfortably carry in that pack? 9 lb base + ~18 lb food + 2L water + a bit for fuel may be pretty close to discomfort for a few days. (At 2lb/day for 9 days of food...I'm sure you could cut a few pounds from that with a more strict menu, though.)

Hope you have a great trip!

Steven Nelson
(slnsf) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Tahoe-Yosemite trail gearlist on 06/03/2006 23:14:38 MDT Print View

You will, however, likely need a bear canister. The BearVault is a good choice, but if you can get a hold of a Bearikade, you'll save some additional ounces.

Edited by slnsf on 06/03/2006 23:15:21 MDT.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Tahoe-Yosemite trail gearlist on 06/04/2006 09:51:15 MDT Print View


Can you elaborate on the route? The "official" Tahoe-Yosemite trail is a well-established and well-maintained route. How does your proposed route differ?

So far as I know there are no canister requirements north of Yosemite (and I'm not sure whether they're required in the northern portions of the park) so you might be able to dispense with the canister most of the way by picking one up along the way (southbound) or dropping it off once out of the park (northbound). Perhaps at Sonora Pass?

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Re: Tahoe-Yosemite trail gearlist on 06/04/2006 11:17:37 MDT Print View


I am an Appalachain hiker, If you have ever hiked out east, you know that, it is very rocky, and even though it is not as high, here you can still have elevation gain/loss of 2,000-3,000 feet daily

out here I can hike 25-30 miles a day, but I think even with elevation, heavy pack, and terrain of the sierras, I could hike 20 miles a day. But I will probably train over the summer on day hikes with a heavy pack to get used to it.

I consider my water purifacation tabs as a consumable, and my dad will probably carry maps, and compass and guide book, because he is an expert in all things navagation. But I will have a garmin GPS with a load of waypoints to keep me on track

My Golite jam carries 30lbs pretty well, so I am not concerned about comfort. I will be posting a mock meal plan later for you guys to help with


I am not positive on the trails ccondition, I read someones trail journal an the internet and they said it was very easy to get off course, and they hiked half the time off trail.

Here is something I got off the comp.
The Tahoe-Yosemite Trail does not have the same type of pedigree as the Muir Trail, which was publicly established and constructed early in the twentieth century. The Sierra Club and the U.S. Forest Service discussed the Tahoe-Yosemite Trail around 1916 and worked on the trail around Meeks Bay and around Echo Lake, but they did not formally establish it. The Tahoe-Yosemite Trail evolved informally and unofficially in hiking and conservation circles. Outdoor author Thomas Winnett eventually brought the trail before the public in 1970 after he and others personally walked, measured, and researched the route. His guidebook contains maps, measurements, history, and advice, so backpackers and hikers can enjoy the trail.

and another description
The Tahoe-Yosemite Trail winds its way along the crest of the Sierras, sometimes paralleling the PCT, and sometimes sharing the trailway for short distances. The trail passes many of the High Sierra's lakes, and passes through the Desolation, Mokelumne, Carson-Iceberg, and Emigrant Wilderness areas. Highlights of the trail include Emigrant Meadow, the "Benson Riviera", and the northern Yosemite high country, along with many other attractions. The trail also includes route finding over St Mary's Pass through high alpine meadows, and sometimes difficult trail routing along Lost City Creek.

one more
The Tahoe Yosemite trail isn't an official trail such as the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail. Its existence is due to a book written to describe a route in the Sierras. The Tahoe Yosemite Trail book is written by Thomas Winnett and is available at hiking stores or over the internet. The trail receives no funding for maintenance except what any other trail would receive.

and here is a link to that trail journal

Edited by ryanf on 06/04/2006 11:36:34 MDT.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Tahoe-Yosemite canisters on 06/04/2006 11:53:35 MDT Print View

...and the bear canister will be required in Yosemite Nat'l Park.

I think for peace of mind (and your 1st backpack in the Sierra) you should have and use a canister the whole route. You could arrange a drop at Sonora Pass to p/u a canister before you continue on into the Park but what I said...

Edited by kdesign on 06/04/2006 11:57:02 MDT.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Tahoe-Yosemite trail gearlist on 06/04/2006 12:00:08 MDT Print View

Hi Ryan,

Thanks for the link, I've got a much better idea of your route now. You can probably get a good idea of the various trail stretch conditions by following a couple of of the Sierra hiking web groups and perhaps contacting relevant Forest Service offices, especially once all that snow melts! Other than outright crosscountry in brush, navigating the high Sierra is usually pretty straightforward. A lot of your trip is near or above treeline, where forest undergrowth isn't much of an issue.

Trails can be rough and rocky, especially where frequented by commercial packers. Sometimes that means a lot of slipping and sliding (and dreaming of horse stew).

Creek and river crossings will probably still be high, and bring the DEET!

Persuming the N-S option, I'll speculate you can do this trip withough a canister at all, presuming you can do the big push to the Valley on the last day. [Famous last words] I've never had a problem hanging my food north of Yosemite, and only carry a canister when headed to very popular areas, which this route seems to avoid.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Tahoe-Yosemite canisters on 06/04/2006 12:02:40 MDT Print View

Thanks rick and KD,
I was suprised to see the URSAK aproved, I am glad to hear that canisters are not required out of yosemite, because I wasent sure I could fit 9 days of food in 700cu. in. canister.

I think for this trip I could use a ursack with aluminum liner and a regular bear bag. for yosemite aproval and lightweight

good I wasent looking forward to hauling that 2.5lb canister

Edited by ryanf on 06/04/2006 12:10:11 MDT.

Thomas D. Rountree
(mindentom) - F
Re: Tahoe-Yosemite trail gearlist on 06/04/2006 14:58:00 MDT Print View

I live in the Sierra Nevada and have hiked and backpacked the area of the Tahoe-Yosemite Trail for over 40 years.
The first 50 miles of the trail ( Meeks Bay to Summit City Creek) are on very good trails (PCT, Tahoe Rim Trail, etc.) and is very popular with day hikers and backpackers. Expect hordes of people in early August.
The last 72 miles of the Tahoe-Yosemite Trail is also on very good trail (mostly the PCT), but with far fewer people.
The middle 64 miles consists of lower country, some very bad to non-existant trails, and over 12 miles of road walking. My advice would be to skip this section and take the PCT instead. You would have much better trail, higher elevation, and much better scenery.
In early August, you will probably have temperatures no lower than 30 degrees, if that, no difficult stream crossings, no rain, and few bear problems until Northern Yosemite. Due to this being a big snow year in this part of the Sierra, you will still have lots of mosquitos.
Although this is very nice mountain country, it is not the "High Sierra" and is not as spectacular as those areas south of Tuolumne Meadows.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Tahoe Yosemite Trail on 06/04/2006 17:46:09 MDT Print View

Ryan don't worry about the bears. They usually will run away from you as soon as they see you. Think "overgrown' dogs in a sense. If I were you, I would bring an Ursack but not with the cylinder. I have been backpacking along time in the areas from Tahoe to Emmigrant and I have never had a bear problem,....not once. I was up in Emmigrant this weekend and the snowline is at 8000ft. So I hope that most of the snow would be gone by the time you go.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Re: Tahoe-Yosemite trail gearlist on 06/04/2006 17:58:36 MDT Print View

Thanks Thomas, for the info. If temps will only be down to 30, I may not need the cocoon, instead mabey a vest.

Thanks for all the bear information, I am glad I posted. I think I will get a ursack with the liner, because it is required in yosemite, I am not concerned about the bears, but it would be nice just to tie something to a tree instead of raising a bear bag every night.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
snowline 8000 ft? on 06/04/2006 21:20:24 MDT Print View

that seems impossible really - unless just on sunny side of slopes

i was on west side of Desolation last weekend and it was snowing at 5000 ft - actually was accumulating above about 6500 feet, where I found about 1-2 feet on the ground on sunny side and 2-3+ feet or so in the shade.

just looked at the snow sensor data and it shows about 5 inches on snow at Caples (8000 ft) and 32.5 inches at Blue Lakes (also 8000 ft) so it looks like quite an extreme variation depending on where you are (what are Caples and Blue Lakes, maybe 30 miles apart?). Squaw Valley at 8200 feet has 57 inches of snow, while Heavenly Valley at 8800 feet has only 1 inch. So looks like in the general area at 8000 feet or so, you can go from snowline to almost 5 feet of snow!

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: Tahoe-Yosemite trail gearlist on 06/05/2006 17:29:20 MDT Print View

Ryan, you cannot tie the Ursack to trees no longer. Part of the agreement to getting the Ursack authorized in the Yosemite and Seki was that the Ursack is to be laid on the ground. I would use the odor proof liner to help. Again the only place that "COULD" be a problem is Yosemite, and that tends to be around heavy traffic areas. Northeast Yosemite is not as heavily traveled so the chance of a bear encounter northeast part of the park is much less than Tuolumne, Yosemite Valley.

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Re: Re: Re: Tahoe-Yosemite trail gearlist on 06/05/2006 17:38:15 MDT Print View

Thanks Ken I knew in yosemite you could not tie it to a tree, and I plan on using an OP liner. I do plan on tying it outside of yosemite though. and I am still debating whether or not to bring the aluminum liner or not, it is required in yosemite, But I doubt I will be spending a night in the park. I think I will be fine without it Hmm. im just a tad concerned about my food being crushed. Or being stopped by a ranger and having to pay a $150 fine because I have no liner.

Edited by ryanf on 06/05/2006 18:11:29 MDT.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tahoe-Yosemite trail gearlist on 06/05/2006 19:35:27 MDT Print View

>still debating whether or not to bring the aluminum liner or not[...]m just a tad concerned about my food being crushed.

I think the other purpose of the liner is to keep Mr. Bear from getting his mouth around it and walking off with it.

Scott Peterson
(scottalanp) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Tahoe-Yosemite trail gearlist on 06/06/2006 12:05:49 MDT Print View

If you are not camped in the is highly unlikely a ranger would give out a ticket if you explained you were going to keep moving. You would most likely only encounter a backcountry ranger and they seem to be more realistic about the rules. A front country ranger would be a different story probably.

I still do not see how an untied sack would prevent a bear from walking off with your food unless its girth was bigger than the bears jaw.

Keep in mind also, if you plan to walk late into the day...your highest probability of encountering a bear is on trail in the early to late evening. My buddy got a late start one trip to catch us north of the Hetch Hetchy and was very surprised to come around the bend in the trail at about 1 AM and find a large male on his hind legs marking a tree or scratching or something. They both yelled at each other and ran the other way!!!