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Back packing with 12-13 year old boys/girls

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Northern California
posts: 46
Back packing with 12-13 year old boys/girls

A couple of dads would like to take 3-5 children to their first back packing trip this summer. Can anybody please recommend any good trails? We are thinking about 2- 3 night trip.

Maybe anything off Tioga road is good so we can book Tuolumne Meadows campground as the base? We just started planning the trip so open to any suggestions.

Thank you so much!!

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 37,192
reviews: 56
1. Re: Back packing with 12-13 year old boys/girls

Two easy trips ...

May Lake: there is a backpacking campground with running water and an outhouse! But it's not very private and the day-hike option for your layover day is Mt Hoffman (can't think of much else.) The actual hike to May Lake is quite short.

Lyell Canyon: fairly flat walk up the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River. Great fishing for little trout. Day hike to Ireland Lake or further up the Lyell would be fun.

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Lots of people do Young Lakes. I don't know. It just doesn't appeal to me as much for a first trip.

From the Glacier Point Road, you could hike to Ostrander Lake. It's a bit steep for some first timers. Your layover day-hike could be to Hart Lake.

From Wawona, you could hike to Upper Chilnualna Fall. The potholes at the top are fun for swimming. This is probably better as an overnight only.

My favorite book: wildernesspress.com/product.php… You can find cheap ones that are used, but the info is still valid.

LA
Destination Expert
for Kohala Coast, Island of Hawaii
posts: 8,643
reviews: 1
2. Re: Back packing with 12-13 year old boys/girls

Do you mean backpacking as in hiking in carrying tents, sleeping bags, cookwear, food and water and camping off the trail?

Or do you mean doing dayhikes while camping in the Tuolumne Meadows campground?

Northern California
posts: 46
3. Re: Back packing with 12-13 year old boys/girls

We are thinking "backpacking as in hiking in carrying tents, sleeping bags, cookwear, food and water and camping off the trail" I wonder it's good idea to book 4-5 nights at Tuolumne Medows campground and leave cars and main tents there while backpacking 3 -4 days?

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 37,192
reviews: 56
4. Re: Back packing with 12-13 year old boys/girls

No. It is not a good idea to keep your gear set up in a campground and then not camp there. I don't think the NPS guidelines specifically forbid this, but almost every campground I have ever camped in requires that you actually stay in your campsite. The wording is something like "Do not leave campsite unattended for more than 24 hours."

It's easy to reserve Tuolumne Meadows campsites in advance. Book the nights you want and get your wilderness permit for the nights you're on the trail.

Northern California
posts: 46
5. Re: Back packing with 12-13 year old boys/girls

Are there parking lots we can leave our cars multiple night?

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 37,192
reviews: 56
6. Re: Back packing with 12-13 year old boys/girls

Yes. I think the info is part of the Wilderness page. Most trailheads have bear boxes where you put ALL of your smellables. Then you leave an empty locked car in the parking lot or pulloff or whatever it is.

For example, here is a very basic map of Tuolumne Meadows: yosemite.ca.us/maps/tuolumne_meadows_map.jpg If you're hiking out the Vogelsang / Lyell Canyon Trail, you'd park your car in the lot marked with a "2." It looks like this: http://goo.gl/maps/6nPBE In August this lot is full most of the time, so some folks park along the road and then walk over to the numerous bear boxes in the parking lot to store their smellables.

LA
Destination Expert
for Kohala Coast, Island of Hawaii
posts: 8,643
reviews: 1
7. Re: Back packing with 12-13 year old boys/girls

You'll need to get wilderness permits and have bearproof containers for food.

The permits are trail specific and there are limits on the number of permits, so you might not get the one you want.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 37,192
reviews: 56
8. Re: Back packing with 12-13 year old boys/girls

Good suggestions. Here is the basic Wilderness page for Yosemite: nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/backpacking.htm It includes info about trail heads, quotas, the permit process, and renting bear canisters. Permit requests can be sibmitted 24 weeks in advance, and I see that some of the more popular trails have already reached their quota on some dates.

Northern California
posts: 46
9. Re: Back packing with 12-13 year old boys/girls

Thank you so much!! Now I have much better idea about the trip. I will start reading all the links you gave me.

SAN RAMON
posts: 41
reviews: 17
10. Re: Back packing with 12-13 year old boys/girls

Backpacking from Yosemite Creek campground is also beautiful and along the creek. Depending on the water level lots of places to swim as well. Can go all the way to Yosemite Falls and beyond along the rim.