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Hiking the North Rim Yosemite Valley via Rock Slides Trail.
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Dan Momii
(DanMomii) - F

Locale: Santa Cruz County, CA
Hiking the North Rim Yosemite Valley via Rock Slides Trail. on 05/17/2011 19:50:28 MDT Print View

Hi everybody,

Just wondering if anybody has experience hiking the Rock Slides Trail aka the Old Big Oak Flats Rd. from Yosemite Valley to North Rim exiting via Snow Creek Trail to the valley floor. I've read a few trip reports that said that the Rockslide Trail was a bit dangerous in certain places and some that said it was not that hard. I am thinking about doing this hike in early to mid June and wonder how bad the snow will be. Thanks.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Hiking the North Rim Yosemite Valley via Rock Slides Trail. on 05/17/2011 20:02:34 MDT Print View

Dan, there was a thread a few weeks ago about this very topic. I don't know where it is, nor have I ever hiked this trail (though I want to one day). If you can do a quick search, I am sure you can find it, or someone will stear you in the right direction

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Hiking the North Rim Yosemite Valley via Rock Slides Trail. on 05/17/2011 20:09:42 MDT Print View

I think Ken is referring to this thread.

Edited by idester on 05/17/2011 20:10:16 MDT.

Dan Momii
(DanMomii) - F

Locale: Santa Cruz County, CA
Hiking North Rim Yosemite on 05/17/2011 20:20:58 MDT Print View

Hi Ken and Doug,

Thanks for the advice and the link. I read the comments on the thread and think early to mid June might be to early this year. I might be doing some overnighters locally for awhile. Any more advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Hiking North Rim Yosemite on 05/17/2011 20:28:23 MDT Print View

Dan, I would suggest later.

You go through over 3000 feet of elevation gain just getting from the valley floor to the North Rim. So, it might seem like early summer down below, and then you run into old snow drifts up by El Cap. On a typical year, the best time to be around El Cap is July 1-15. For this year, I would guess at least a week or two later.

There are some spots along the North Rim where the snow lasts, and where it will be plenty wet. One spot is about a mile west of Ribbon Creek. The other is around Eagle Peak Meadows.

--B.G.--

Dan Momii
(DanMomii) - F

Locale: Santa Cruz County, CA
Hiking the North Rim Yosemite. on 05/20/2011 19:19:21 MDT Print View

Hi Bob,

Thanks for giving me some advice about planning a time for a north rim hike. Just wondering if you have done the hike? If so how was the the Rockslides Trail ? Can't wait to test out my GG Gorilla. Thanks.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Hiking North Rim Yosemite on 05/20/2011 19:24:39 MDT Print View

Hey Dan, aside from local hikes...Santa Cruz Mtns., Ventana etc. Some parts of Yosemite are ready. Rancheria Falls out of Hetch Hetchy is a very nice hike. It is below the snowline and the falls will be pumping. I would look into that hike

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Hiking the North Rim Yosemite. on 05/20/2011 19:35:17 MDT Print View

I hike the North Rim by avoiding the Rockslides Trail.

Basically, I wait until the Tamarack Flat Campground road opens up. By starting there, you can cut out about half of the elevation gain to get going along the North Rim from west to east. I try to pick the season to hit the wildflower peak around El Capitan and for one mile west of there. East of there, there will be wild azaleas.

Starting from Yosemite Valley is OK if you need to start and finish at the same place.

--B.G.--

Dan Momii
(DanMomii) - F

Locale: Santa Cruz County, CA
Hiking the North RIm Yosemite on 05/30/2011 20:49:30 MDT Print View

Hi everybody,

Thanks Bob and Ken for your advice. Just wondering if a Glacier Point hike to Half Dome is possible in late June, or if there will to much snow. Thanks.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Hiking the North RIm Yosemite on 05/30/2011 20:54:27 MDT Print View

Sure, it is possible. The cables ought to be up by then. I suspect that you will have to have a Half Dome permit the same as anybody else.

Half Dome is about 8800 feet elevation at the top, so the only remaining bits of snow will be deep in the woods.

--B.G.--

Dan Momii
(DanMomii) - F

Locale: Santa Cruz County, CA
Hiking the North Rim Yosemite on 05/31/2011 21:20:31 MDT Print View

Hi Bob,

I think I will just wait until mid July to hike the North Rim, I may be teaching summer school, so I may not have the time to go before July anyway. Thanks.

Greg Crafts
(gmctrekker) - F
Re: Hiking the North Rim Yosemite Valley via Rock Slides Trail. on 06/06/2011 16:32:20 MDT Print View

Dan,

Am heading out there with 2 other guys to do the North Rim starting June 20. This is per the north rim trek planned out by Backpacker mag a couple years ago. IF you are interested, I have extra space with our permit since a couple of folks have bailed out. AM concerned about the snow as well. gmctrekker@gmail.com

Anyway, some response I got from someone who did the trek last year:
I did this hike last September. The first leg of the trek can be difficult, as the trail is obscured by rock slides, and had lots of poison oak. We also found ourselves plowing through dense thickets of manzanita in steep loose dirt trying to find the trail. Be prepared to lose the trail, but if you keep heading north and west of where the rock slides are, you should find yourself on the old road at an overlook just opposite Bridalveil Falls.

Days two and three were longer than I'd expected, and there are some steady uphill stretches on those legs, but the entire hike was beautiful. The three campsites that Backpacker suggests you stay at are all very lovely. I expect there will be more people camping at the top of Yosemite Falls in June than there were in September, but who knows with all the snow in the Sierras this year?

Be sure you take the side trips to Eagle Peak and North Dome. Your final campground at the top of Snow Creek is spectacular. Camp on the exposed granite, and you'll find yourself face-to-face with Half Dome, looming larger than life, and enjoy watching it turn colors during sunrise and sunset. At night, we watched the headlamps of the climbers as they made their way up Half Dome's face.

Lisa Frugoli
(alfresco) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Oh, My! Point (aka Rainbow view) on 06/06/2011 20:26:20 MDT Print View

I was just there in May. Hiked to Oh My! Point with 3 nieces and my brother-in-law, none of whom are hikers. They scrambled up and down a mild talus slope with no problems. A bit of scrambling over trees & around rocks on the "road" too. It's really fun, but you need to be able to read a topo map. Hint: the rockslide obliterated the switchbacks...so look UP to find the road whrn it disappears!

Have fun!

Chuck Cheese
(defrag4) - F
how popular? on 06/07/2011 02:40:47 MDT Print View

Been thinking about doing this hike but am not really into running into a lot of people while backpacking, Does this hike take you far enough away from day-use trails that you avoid the hoards of summer in Yosemite? I would be hitting it during the week after July 4th

Dan Momii
(DanMomii) - F

Locale: Santa Cruz County, CA
Hiking North Rim Yosemite. on 06/10/2011 17:45:35 MDT Print View

Hi Greg,

I think there will be too much snow on the north rim June 20, since we haven't really had any hot days too melt the snow. I'm thinking of doing a hike from glacier point to Little Yosemite Valley and climbing Half Dome. Anyway thanks for the invite.

Rick Perkins
(PerkinsGA) - F
Re: Hiking North Rim Yosemite. on 06/16/2011 14:14:22 MDT Print View

Visited trail from 6/6-6/10, planned anyway. Rockslides involved climbing but nothing to difficult. Day two started with an uphill walk in the woods, but once out into the open snow began to appear. In the end, once out of the trees, you can expect 100% snow cover on the North Rim Trail for a majority of the distance traveled. Trail cairns were not as plentiful as expected and deep snow covered all ground markings. We ended up turning back as we approached Ribbon Creek. Not confident in navigating the endless snow.