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Guided Yosemite Trip - Backpacking tourist
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Mike Spain

Locale: Georgia
Guided Yosemite Trip - Backpacking tourist on 03/05/2012 08:42:35 MST Print View

Having just picked up the backpacking bug seriously in the last few years, I have fallen in love with the images of Yosemite Valley, and the JMT. I have set a goal for myself to travel out and do a multi-day hike and fishing trip in honor of turning 40 next year. I want to pack in the most views and experiences into a 4-5 day trip as I can. Then maybe stay at the lodge and do some fishing. Still trying to figure out my plans. I will be just like any other tourist. I was thinking mid spring to early summer as the time to go. I was also planning on using one of the guide companies since this would be my first hike outside of Ga. (I know that will offend a lot of the purists, but it will make my wife happy.)

I was looking for some thoughts and suggestions to maximize my experiences on this trip. Places to see, that sort of thing. I know I want to do half dome. What other things would you recommend.

Thank you for your input.

Brad Fisher

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Guided Yosemite Trip - Backpacking tourist on 03/05/2012 08:58:08 MST Print View

Mid spring and early summer will probably mean a lot of snow except at the lowest elevations. This is a low snow year, but even if you beat the snow you will be dealing with the bugs. I personally think September (after Labor Day) is the best time in the Sierras. The crowds are gone, the bugs are usually gone and the temps are a little cooler. August is also a great time, but I would target later in the month and give the bugs some time to clear out.

I have been doing an annual trip to the Sierras for the past 6 years. The first 4 years I used a guide for a couple reasons (1. I was taking some of my employees so safety was important. 2. Didn't have much experience with the area. 3. First trip was the mountaineer route to Mt Whitney which was more difficult for a first trip). I could have easily handled years 2-4, but it was just easier. The last two years I have lead the trips myself including an off trail section of the SHR. I personally think it is much easier to navigation the Sierras than NC/TN/GA area. I have use Neil S. from Sierra Mountain Guides for all the guided trips. He is a fantastic guide and great guy to hang out with. I would highly recommend using him for a trip.