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. 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. Be sure to engage in some strength and conditioning regimen prior to the hike and you will be just fine. Get the monthly weather forecast for Yosemite Valley, CA, including daily high/low, historical averages, to help you plan ahead. Incredible views of Yosemite from the top of Half Dome. Where can I camp? 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. Campfires Once you reach the top, stay for awhile - the view is like non other from 8800ft. Never use any soap (even if natural or biodegradable) in the river. Little Yosemite Valley Campgrounds is minimally developed and depends on the cooperation of campers to to keep it clean, safe, and functioning properly. We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. adventures and follow local regulations. 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. 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. 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. Yosemite Valley can be crowded, especially during the summer and on weekends. 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. Treat river water with a giardia-rated filter, by boiling, or with iodine. The ranger station consists of three canvas-wall tents, an outdoor cooking area which has a … The hike takes you along Tenaya Creek, Mirror Lake, and a boulder-filled canyon. Following the Mist Trail, hikers climb past Vernal and then Nevada falls before emerging into Little Yosemite Valley. Play full screen, enjoy Puzzle of the Day and thousands more. It is situated along the Merced River, about 4 miles from the floor of Yosemite Valley. The only thing I would argue with is a 70L backpack. © 2020 The Outbound Collective - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy. We beat the crowds and the heat and were able to appreciate the unbelievable stars and sunrise. This wasn’t too big a deal since we had decided to go with day packs allowing us to travel at a much quicker pace. Please explore responsibly! Arrive early to avoid delays at entrance stations. If you'd like a Half Dome permit included in your backpacking trip, be sure to specify when making a reservation, or a first-come, first-serve wilderness permit request. Using the Mist trail cut about 1.5 miles off the distance to LYV where we had camped the year before. Little Yosemite Valley is in the Valleys category for Mariposa County in the state of California. Most climbers only visit … Anyone who is interested in visiting Little Yosemite Valley can print the free topographic map and street map using the link above. Liberty Cap is situated 1 mile west of Little Yosemite Valley Campground. top of page. First things first. Select an option below to see step-by-step directions and to compare ticket prices and travel times in Rome2rio's travel planner. Bus, drive • 5h 21m. Recommend making this an extended backcountry trip to get away from the crowds. 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. Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. About a mile and a half in you will find yourself at the top of Vernal Falls. It's not a heavy commitment like the PCT or AT but it's also no week long vacation from work, backpacking the woods of your local forests either. The Valley provides access to nearby destinations such as the back side of Half Dome, Clouds Whitney. Scatter strained dishwater away from the campground and river. Bring a bear canister or use the communal bear lockers. Little Yosemite Valley Campgrounds is minimally developed and depends on the cooperation of campers to to keep it clean, safe, and functioning properly. Everyone staying in LYV Campground needs to take appropriate measures to ensure no bears are attracted by food in the open. 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. Food lockers are communal, so do not store non-food items and do not put padlocks on the lockers. Find all the transport options for your trip from Los Angeles to Little Yosemite Valley right here. Start the hike early in the morning, since it gets pretty hot in the summer and the last part of the hike is in the sun. It was 7 miles … 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. It was about 3.5 miles from the campground to the top of Half Dome – all uphill. This article is overall very helpful. Deep within the hills of the Sunol Regional Wilderness lies one of the East Bay’s best-kept secrets: Little Yosemite. 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. 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. 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. Little Yosemite Valley Campground You may collect dead and down firewood to burn (try to limit yourself to wood smaller than your wrist). The yellow line marks the ascent from Nevada Fall to the top of Half Dome. 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. 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. Current conditions at YOSEMITE VALLEY NEAR YOSEMITE VILLAGE 1NNW (YYV) (YYVC1) Lat: 37.74972°NLon: 119.58944°WElev: 3998ft. 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. 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. If you have a permit for Happy Isles to Merced Lake or Glacier Point to Illilouette, you can not camp in the Little Yosemite Valley area on the first night of your hike. We reached the shoulder, and climb the series of steep switchbacks with big steps carved into the granite. 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. We’ll set up a basecamp here amid the soaring glaciated granite cliffs and the dominating south face … 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. The hike to the valley features two waterfalls and amazing scenery. Potable (drinking) water is not available at the campground. Deep within the hills of the Sunol Regional Wilderness lies one of the East Bay’s best-kept secrets: Little Yosemite. This location makes it popular for those wanting to continue on towards Half Dome … 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. Little Yosemite Valley is a flat valley at 6200' along the Merced River, above Nevada Falls and upstream from the main Yosemite Valley. Composting Toilet Overview This is a moderate one way trail to Little Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park. This is definitely the way to do Half Dome! The day trip is a real grind as you are speculating. 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!). 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. I was not aclimated to the altitude and had a raging headache for the limited time I was on top. This section of the Upper Merced River has historically been closed to boaters. Great for photo... Getting There Starting in Yosemite Valley, head to the Snow Creek trailhead just past Muir Meadows. Little Yosemite Campground. Rome2rio is a door-to-door travel information and booking engine, helping you get to and from any location in the world. 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. Yosemite is closer than you think! Everyone staying in LYV Campground needs to take appropriate measures to ensure no bears are attracted by food in the open. This is a moderate one way trail to Little Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park. Hike Half Dome as early as you possibly can. In the valley use the free shuttle to get around. 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. Consider using YARTS buses which connect to Sonora, Merced, Fresno, and Mammoth Lakes. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more! That is absolutely ridiculous for an overnight trip. Heading up Half Dome is a 7.2 mile round trip from Little Yosemite Valley, with another 2,700 ft of elevation gain. If Half Dome permits are available and Half Dome is reasonably part of your itinerary, you will receive a permit that includes them. Look for the Happy Isles Trail head and begin your trek towards Little Yosemite Valley (3.8 miles). Camping is not permitted on top of Half Dome or at Lost Lake. Grab some gloves from a pile left at the base of the dome and head up. This means if you want a walk up permit for Friday night, you need to get in line at the Valley Wilderness Center early in the morning on Thursday for the 11 am release. Bedrock mortars used by Native Americans for pounding acorns that were found in the area are reminders of Sunol's first inhabitants. The 4.3-mile trek from Yosemite Valley up to Little Yosemite Valley is among the most spectacular and popular adventures in the Sierra Nevada. 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! Consider using YARTS buses which connect to Sonora, Merced, Fresno, and Mammoth Lakes. River water is available nearby, at the Merced River. Panorama Trail to Little Yosemite Valley is a 21 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. 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. You may leave your tent up during the day while day hiking. It can be reached by a day hike from the main valley, and is the most popular area in the Yosemite Wilderness. Perfect for filtering water and dunking your head after the long hike up Half Dome. Liberty Cap is a granite dome in Yosemite National Park, California, United States which lies at the extreme northwestern margin of Little Yosemite Valley. Do all washing at least 100 feet from the river. Little Yosemite Valley is the most popular area in the Yosemite Wilderness, mainly because it provides easy access to Half Dome. I used rock climbing shoes and my normally much-faster friend used hiking boots. Arrive early to avoid delays at entrance stations. 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). Wilderness permits for the trails leading to Little Yosemite Valley are the most difficult to obtain, and a wilderness permit reservation is strongly recommended. I have done like 10 days of camping with a 65L. A composting toilet is available for use near the campground. The initial portion of the trail will usually be populated with day hikers going up to the falls. The river is the only water source for the area; do not wash dishes or clothing in the river. After a kneecap-busting, ball-of-the-foot-breaking descent of nearly 4,000 feet, the Merced looked like Shangri-La. Little Yosemite Valley is also part of a 211-mile through-hike to Mt. Yosemite Valley (/ joʊˈsɛmɪti / yoh-SEM-it-ee) is a glacial valley in Yosemite National Park in the western Sierra Nevada mountains of Central California. Heading up Half Dome is a 7.2 mile round trip from Little Yosemite Valley, with another 2,700 ft of elevation gain. Standard JMT Miles Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley Miles and Elevations . Take it slow. 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. After the first night at camp, make your way to Half Dome via the Mist Trail. Great way to experience Yosemite. 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. Recommended option. Bears frequent the Little Yosemite Valley area, so be careful with your food, toiletries, and trash. Seasonal amenities include ice skating, bike rentals, swimming pool, rock climbing and guided hikes. 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. ). Would definitely recommend! 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. As I climbed, the views just got more incredible. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your Food Lockers Length 2.2 miElevation gain 196 ftRoute type Out & back 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. 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. This hike is absolutely amazing. 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. Little Yosemite Valley is displayed on the Half Dome USGS quad topo map. Under the East Bay Regional Park District's multi-use land management policy, cattle continue to graze in the 6,859-acre wilderness. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. 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. Bring a bear canister or use the communal bear lockers. Great overnight site with direct access to Half Dome for a next-day hike. Fires are allowed in the two communal campfire rings just outside the campground. There are also two large communal campfire rings and a compost toilet for the entire grounds to use. 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