There's a sweet spot in thru hiking ... Mirror Lake is a very popular spot in the Yosemite Valley and definitely a must see to check off your explore list. Your food and related items must be stored in a closed and latched food locker or bear canister unless you're within arm's reach of the food. Using the Mist trail cut about 1.5 miles off the distance to LYV where we had camped the year before. The Little Yosemite Valley (LYV) is a backcountry ranger station located about four and a half miles from the bustle of Yosemite Valley at an elevation of approximately 6,000 feet. If you have a permit for another trailhead, you will have to camp elsewhere your first night, but you can stay in Little Yosemite Valley on subsequent nights. The day trip is a real grind as you are speculating. First things first. Length 2.2 miElevation gain 196 ftRoute type Out & back Following the Mist Trail, hikers climb past Vernal and then Nevada falls before emerging into Little Yosemite Valley. Heading up Half Dome is a 7.2 mile round trip from Little Yosemite Valley, with another 2,700 ft of elevation gain. This section of the Upper Merced River has historically been closed to boaters. When away from the campground, be sure to bury your waste at least six inches deep and at least 100 feet from any water source and trail. This is a moderate one way trail to Little Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park. Everyone staying in LYV Campground needs to take appropriate measures to ensure no bears are attracted by food in the open. It was 7 miles … They will likely give you a pass. As I climbed, the views just got more incredible. This trip begins in the incomparable Yosemite Valley and follows the wild Merced River up into one of Yosemite’s most beautiful areas, Little Yosemite Valley. Little Yosemite Valley is in the Valleys category for Mariposa County in the state of California. Little Yosemite Valley is a smaller glacial valley upstream in the Merced River drainage from the Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park. Little Yosemite Valley, situated between Half Dome, Liberty Cap and the Cascade Cliffs, and straddling the Merced River, is within close proximity of the national park's main valley. The first camping available is at the Little Yosemite Valley Campground. The hike to the valley features two waterfalls and amazing scenery. We did some final rearranging at the car, and walked to a more scenic area to eat some shitty lunch sandwiches (but note: fresh food! Hike Half Dome as early as you possibly can. After the first night at camp, make your way to Half Dome via the Mist Trail. Arrive early to avoid delays at entrance stations. This section is a little gnarly, as one mis-step and you’re in for a nasty tumble. Current conditions at YOSEMITE VALLEY NEAR YOSEMITE VILLAGE 1NNW (YYV) (YYVC1) Lat: 37.74972°NLon: 119.58944°WElev: 3998ft. Bring a bear canister or use the communal bear lockers. The campground is minimally developed and there are no check-in or check-out procedures. Little Yosemite Valley is a flat valley at 6200' along the Merced River, above Nevada Falls and upstream from the main Yosemite Valley. Lots of amazing sites and a nice adrenaline rush. This location makes it popular for those wanting to continue on towards Half Dome … The ranger station consists of three canvas-wall tents, an outdoor cooking area which has a … After failing to get wilderness permits the day before our hike we went back to the wilderness center around 8 am the day we wanted to go up and were able to get same day cancellation permits. We reached the shoulder, and climb the series of steep switchbacks with big steps carved into the granite. The hike-in campground here is a little under 4 miles (6.5 km) from the trailhead in Yosemite Valley and about 3.5 miles (5.5 km) from the summit of Half Dome. Rome2rio is a door-to-door travel information and booking engine, helping you get to and from any location in the world. This hike is absolutely amazing. Everyone staying in LYV Campground needs to take appropriate measures to ensure no bears are attracted by food in the open. I didn't slip. After a kneecap-busting, ball-of-the-foot-breaking descent of nearly 4,000 feet, the Merced looked like Shangri-La. This trail goes by North Pines Campground, Valley Horse Stables, Nature Center at Happy Isles, Sierra Point, Vernal Fall Footbridge, Vernal Fall, Emerald Pool, Silver Apron, Clark Point, and Nevada Fall. Grab some gloves from a pile left at the base of the dome and head up. This trail to our Left, to the South is the first link to the trail coming down along the Merced River from Merced Lake. River water is available nearby, at the Merced River. The campsite is large and incredibly beautiful with 30-40 first come first serve sites set amidst the trees, alongside Sunrise Creek and just a couple minute walk from the Merced River. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your You may collect dead and down firewood to burn (try to limit yourself to wood smaller than your wrist). The Merced River meanders through the 3.5 mi long flat valley, draining out over Nevada Fall and Vernal Fall before emptying into the main Yosemite Valley. Consider using YARTS buses which connect to Sonora, Merced, Fresno, and Mammoth Lakes. Standard JMT Miles Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley Miles and Elevations . Great for photo... Getting There Starting in Yosemite Valley, head to the Snow Creek trailhead just past Muir Meadows. Once you get back to your camp you can stay another night and rest up or just pack up and head back to Upper Pines. It features the Merced River that meanders and stretches for 3.5 mi (5.6 km), draining Nevada Fall and Vernal Fall and dumping water into the Yosemite Valley. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. If you would like to camp in a dispersed Wilderness setting, you must be at least two miles past the campground (at or beyond either Moraine Dome or the Half Dome/John Muir Trail junction). Most climbers only visit … Little Yosemite Valley Campgrounds is minimally developed and depends on the cooperation of campers to to keep it clean, safe, and functioning properly. The Trail You'll hike more... Backpack to Little Yosemite Valley Campsite and Hike Half Dome, Hike to Hidden Falls (aka Tenaya Creek Falls). At GP, the Panorama Trail eventually joins up with the JMT near Nevada Falls and then heads via a relatively flat trail about 1 mile further to the Little Yosemite Valley campsite. We ended up waking up at 1:30 am to start the hike up to Half Dome from Little Yosemite Valley. Day 1: Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley (to mile marker 4.5 on JMT) After planning and thinking about this trip for so long, it was finally time to start! Yosemite is closer than you think! After a kneecap-busting, ball-of-the-foot-breaking descent of nearly 4,000 feet, the Merced looked like Shangri-La. There is no potable water at this campground but the Merced River is close by and the water is drinkable once treated by boiling, with a giardia-rated filter or iodine. Camping on the Way to Half Dome In the valley use the free shuttle to get around. This route is the most popular backpacking trip in the park, and therefore the permits are hardest to get. The pit-style bathrooms at the top of Nevada Fall are the last man-made toilets on the route unless you detour to the Little Yosemite Valley campground. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more! But the real amenity of Little Yosemite Valley was a short stroll down a dirt path, past the campground, past the restrooms, and into the crystal clear waters of the Merced River. Whitney. Length 2.2 miElevation gain 196 ftRoute type Out & back This magical, Yosemite-like gorge will give you a taste of the national park you’ve been looking for without having to make that 4-hour haul east. The trailhead quota system limits use based on where you begin your hike, and … Please explore responsibly! Little Yosemite Valley is displayed on the Half Dome USGS quad topo map. Find all the transport options for your trip from Los Angeles to Little Yosemite Valley right here. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Food lockers are communal, so do not store non-food items and do not put padlocks on the lockers. One of the most popular hiking destinations in Yosemite National Park, Little Yosemite Valley is a glacial valley running from Yosemite Valley up to Mount Lyell. We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Incredible views of Yosemite from the top of Half Dome. The yellow line marks the ascent from Nevada Fall to the top of Half Dome. Get the monthly weather forecast for Yosemite Valley, CA, including daily high/low, historical averages, to help you plan ahead. We’ll set up a basecamp here amid the soaring glaciated granite cliffs and the dominating south face … Little Yosemite Valley lies upstream from Nevada Fall, at an elevation of 6,100 feet (1,860 meters). Little Yosemite is a 2.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sunol, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. Where can I camp? You may apply for a wilderness permit reservation 24 weeks (168 days) prior to your trip through fax or phone. Enjoy the site, but not for too long since you still have a ways to go, the views only get better, and the crowds smaller. Day 1: Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley (to mile marker 4.5 on JMT) After planning and thinking about this trip for so long, it was finally time to start! Would definitely recommend! Wilderness permits for the trails leading to Little Yosemite Valley are the most difficult to obtain, and a wilderness permit reservation is strongly recommended. Little Yosemite Valley is a brief interlude between the steep climb up from Yosemite Valley that led there, and the steep climb up to Sunrise High Sierra Camp laying below the West end of the Cathedral Range. A permit is now required for day hikers and backpackers hiking to Half Dome. Crowds are much smaller if you go during the winter, but some parts of the water might be iced over.The trailhead you take to get t... Also known as Tenaya Creek Falls or Three Chutes Falls, this spot is loved by locals and is definitely worth the hidden trail and scramble over rocks. Bring a bear canister or use the communal bear lockers. This magical, Yosemite-like gorge will give you a taste of the national park you’ve been looking for without having to make that 4-hour haul east. There are 3 ways to get from Reno to Little Yosemite Valley by bus or car. top of page. Consider using YARTS buses which connect to Sonora, Merced, Fresno, and Mammoth Lakes. I have done half dome both in a day trip and used Little Yosemite Valley as a base camp (and have stayed overnight on half dome!). Fires are allowed in the two communal campfire rings just outside the campground. Select an option below to see step-by-step directions and to compare ticket prices and travel times in Rome2rio's travel planner. This trail goes by North Pines Campground, Valley Horse Stables, Nature Center at Happy Isles, Sierra Point, Vernal Fall Footbridge, Vernal Fall, Emerald Pool, Silver Apron, Clark Point, and Nevada Fall. The 4.3-mile trail from main Yosemite Valley to Little Yosemite Valley has 2,065 feet of elevation gain, is scenic and popular. Little Yosemite Campground. Hold on tight! If you don't get a pass via lottery just go to the Yosemite Valley visitor center, tell the clerk you are backpacking to Little Yosemite Valley and that you would like to hike up Half Dome. Overview This is a moderate one way trail to Little Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park. Perfect for filtering water and dunking your head after the long hike up Half Dome. We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. It can be reached by a day hike from the main valley, and is the most popular area in the Yosemite Wilderness. This section is a little gnarly, as one mis-step and you’re in for a nasty tumble. Sometimes Half Dome permits are confusing, so here's some clarification: If you're backpacking for one or more nights, you can add the Half Dome permit to your wilderness permit rather than doing the lottery via recreation.gov. Heading up Half Dome is a 7.2 mile round trip from Little Yosemite Valley, with another 2,700 ft of elevation gain. Little Yosemite Valley is the most popular area in the Yosemite Wilderness, mainly because it provides easy access to Half Dome. We reached the shoulder, and climb the series of steep switchbacks with big steps carved into the granite. Potable Water Take it slow. This trip begins in the incomparable Yosemite Valley and follows the wild Merced River up into one of Yosemite’s most beautiful areas, Little Yosemite Valley. Liberty Cap is situated 1 mile west of Little Yosemite Valley Campground. Outhouse at Little Yosemite Valley campground. Once you reach the top, stay for awhile - the view is like non other from 8800ft. Next, park your car at Upper Pines and REMEMBER WHERE YOU PARKED. Take it slow if you need to and please be mindful of folks coming back down. If you have a wilderness permit for Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley or Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley, you must camp in Little Yosemite Valley campground on the first night (and may camp there on subsequent nights) of your hike. This stretch is 4.4 miles (7 km) long and climbs 2,800 feet (850 meters). Do all washing at least 100 feet from the river. Now, due to the collaborative efforts of the National Park Service and American Whitewater, the new Merced River plan that was adopted in 2014 allows boaters to register and get wilderness permits to run the headwaters of the Merced through Little Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park. The hikers first follow the Mist Trail, then pass Nevada Falls and enter Little Yosemite Valley. Anyone who is interested in visiting Little Yosemite Valley can print the free topographic map and street map using the link above. Anyone who is interested in visiting Little Yosemite Valley can print the free topographic map and street map using the link above. I got up early and packed up my things as quickly as I could, as I needed to get to Yosemite Lodge in time to catch my shuttle bus to Glacier Point. After about a 3 mile hike you will find yourself at the base of Half Dome where you will see two parallel cables pretty much going vertical. But the real amenity of Little Yosemite Valley was a short stroll down a dirt path, past the campground, past the restrooms, and into the crystal clear waters of the Merced River. I was not aclimated to the altitude and had a raging headache for the limited time I was on top. Potable (drinking) water is not available at the campground. Arrive early to avoid delays at entrance stations. Camping is not permitted between Yosemite Valley and Little Yosemite Valley. Bears frequent the Little Yosemite Valley area, so be careful with your food, toiletries, and trash. First-come, first-serve walk up permits are given out 1 day before your trip starting at 11 am. Store only food products in this shared space and don't be shy to remind other backpackers to use the bear locker if they are leaving food or used dishes out. Do not burn trash. Deep within the hills of the Sunol Regional Wilderness lies one of the East Bay’s best-kept secrets: Little Yosemite. Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. The Outbound works best with JavaScript enabled. Continue for a couple more miles, pass Nevada Falls, and follow the Mist Trail along side the Merced River for another mile and a half until you hit the backpackers campgrounds in Little Yosemite Valley. Little Yosemite Valley to Clouds Rest (Saturday, March 24) We got on the trail a little after 7:30AM, a tad later than planned. Little Yosemite is a 2.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sunol, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. Be sure to engage in some strength and conditioning regimen prior to the hike and you will be just fine. This mainly affects the most popular trailheads that fill up quickly each morning, such as Little Yosemite Valley trailheads, Lyell Canyon, Cathedral Lakes, among others. Little Yosemite Valley Campgrounds is minimally developed and depends on the cooperation of campers to to keep it clean, safe, and functioning properly. The Little Yosemite Valley backpackers camp is located along the trail veering Left from the point where the John Muir Trail lands in the corner of Little Yosemite Valley. Not a problem this year. © 2020 The Outbound Collective - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy. This article is overall very helpful. Recommended option. The river is the only water source for the area; do not wash dishes or clothing in the river. We beat the crowds and the heat and were able to appreciate the unbelievable stars and sunrise. Treat river water with a giardia-rated filter, by boiling, or with iodine. Rome2rio makes travelling from Los Angeles to Little Yosemite Valley easy. Liberty Cap is a granite dome in Yosemite National Park, California, United States which lies at the extreme northwestern margin of Little Yosemite Valley. 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