Saturday, September 3, 2016

Backpacking to Dewey Point at Yosemite National Park 8/6-7/16

Backpacking to Dewey Point at Yosemite National Park
In my last trip report at Yosemite, we hiked Sentinel Dome which is a popular hike and fairly crowded. Yosemite valley in general is very crowded and populated which is why backpacking is a great option if you want to avoid crowds of people. You do need a permit for backpacking so you should check online and reserve them here. Hubby did his research and came up with backpacking to Dewey Point from the McGurk Meadow trailhead.

A great thing about getting a backpacker's permit is the day before your trip along with the day after, you can stay at the backpacker's camp in Yosemite Valley. It was a way for us to see the valley before going on our backpacking adventure. We stayed the night before and it was a nice area to camp.
After checking out Sentinel Dome, we headed to the McGurk Meadow trailhead which is off of Glacier Point Road. Below you can see the lot. It's not big. We just parked on the side since there were no more spots. There is no restroom at the trailhead.
McGurk Meadow trail parking area
From the lot, you walk a little bit up the road to the start of the trail.
McGurk Meadow Trail
It wasn't long after we started the hike that we found out that there was a bear by the trail. We kept hearing it from hikers heading back to their cars. It was less than a mile in and we saw the bear. It was neat to see. The bear was minding its own business eating berries and paid no attention to us. 
The trail is fairly flat and is even slightly downhill in the beginning. Not too long after seeing the bear, we came across this old cabin. Turns out it is from the 1890s and was the seasonal home of John McGurk, a cattleman.
John McGurk Cabin
The meadows were nice to walk through, although at some parts the grass was a bit overgrown and seemed not as maintained, but it wasn't horrible. 
Hiking to Dewey Point
At about 2 miles the trail merges with the Pohono trail, and we kept left for Dewey Point. It was pretty cool hiking through this part with the big trees. At about 3 miles into the trail is where the trail ascends up to Dewey Point.
According to my Garmin it is about 4.19 miles to Dewey Point from the trailhead and elevation gain is 806 feet.
AT Dewey Point we set up camp. Hubby found a great spot.
Tent at Dewey Point
We enjoyed the views which were pretty amazing. We had views of Yosemite Valley - El Capitan, Half Dome, Sentinel Dome, Cathedral rocks, etc.. 
Dewey Point
Dewey Point
We enjoyed our dinner views however, there did seem to be a lot of bees around while eating, just like when we were at Sentinel Dome earlier in the day. They got to be pretty annoying. We had to get up and walk around lots or even eat while walking to get away from them. After dinner we waited for the sun to set. It was so beautiful out. I had to soak it all in.
Dewey Point
The kiddos had fun playing around. It's hard to see but they are playing with their new stuffed animals they picked out from the store in Yosemite Valley.
The kiddos waiting for the sun to set.
Sunset at Dewey Point
We weren't the only ones backpacking at Dewey Point that night, as there was a group of grad students from Stanford there along with another group of 3, and we all had a group fire which was nice.
Campfire at Dewey Point
It was actually a pleasant night with no wind. Me and Hubby woke up early and saw the sun rise. It was very peaceful.
Dewey Point, Yosemite National Park
After breakfast and packing everything up, we headed out back to the trail head.
Dewey Point
Some shots of the forest. So beautiful.
Dewey Point to McGurk Meadow trail head
Dewey Point to McGurk Meadow trail head
Overall, our first backpacking trip in Yosemite was a success. We saw a bear, avoided crazy crowds, enjoyed amazing views and most importantly had a fun family adventure. The whole trip was a total of about 8.4 miles roundtrip. 

Have a great weekend!

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