May 21-26, 2017. Sunday to Thursday
(Travel on 20th and 26th)
This is LAST YEAR’S schedule, but it gives a good idea of what the week will look like. The travel info is the same, but I will update the hikes in early 2017.
NEW FOR 2017: We are leaving FRIDAY MORNING so we can have a full day in the Valley on Thursday.
Arrival in Sacramento. Most guys arrive this day, and will be picked up at the airport by Karl. (Guys, text Karl as soon as you land.)
7am Hit the Road! We have breakfast at the hotel in Sacramento early and then hit the road.
We have lunch at the Iron Door Salon in Groveland, an interesting as well as historical stop before our final drive into Yosemite Valley where we’ll enjoy Tunnel View and get a driving tour of the famous Yosemite Valley before doing a short hike up to Turtleback Dome, a favorite from previous years, where you will get a beautiful introductory overlook into the Valley without the crowds at Tunnel View before we head to the lodge.
We’ll have a nice relaxing evening in preparation before our first hike on Monday. Orientation, Fellowship and Prayer mark our first evening together.
On Monday we plan to hike to North Dome. You haven’t really seen Half Dome (figuratively, at least) until you’ve stood on North Dome and looked across Yosemite Valley at it. It’s an incredible closeup view. It is a 8.8 mile hike, round trip. We’ll begin with a quiet hike through the woods before the trail opens up to the spectacular view from North Dome.
On the second day we will head back to Tioga Road for a hike to the famous Cathedral Lakes. The first lake is a 7 mile hike. The more adventurous guys can add an extra mile to visit the second lake. Lower Cathedral Lake is among the most impressive of Yosemite’s granite-wrapped High Sierra lakes. It’s surrounded by Cathedral Peak in the east and by Echo and Tresidder Peaks along the southern shore, all of them over 10,000 feet (3,050 meters) in elevation.
On Wednesday we will do one my favorite hikes, it is actually a loop combining two amazing hikes, Taft Point and Sentinel Dome, but instead of doing both in-and-out, we catch the Ponomo Trail for a few miles along the rim of the cliffs for spectacular views making this an ideal loop hike. We hike Sentinel Dome to Taft Point so the cliffs of Taft are at the end, this year, we may plan to be at Taft Point for the sunset, weather permitting.
- Pat at Taft Point, one of our returning Summiteers this year!
(click image to see larger!)
While hiking to the top of the iconic Half Dome seems to get all the love and attention (it is an amazing Rock) – I know people who have done that hike many times but never any of the other more scenic ones – Sentinel Dome is the overlooked brother of sorts. It provides a 360 degree view of the enter surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains, including a spectacular view of Half Dome whose summit is only 70 feet higher than Sentinel Dome. Plus, it is no where as crowed as Half Dome, which now requires permits to hike since hundreds do it every day.
Hiking down from Sentinel Dome
The final day in the park is bitter sweet. Our Summit is coming to a close and yet it’s been an incredible time and we find ourselves both not wanting to leave while eager to get back to our families and to living out the ideas and decisions we have made here.
Therefore, Thursday is a “free day” in the Valley. We each go our separate ways, or guys can pair up for one of the many hikes in the Valley for some final “God Time” to bring to conclusion what He’s been doing in our minds and hearts. Some will strike out to hike, some will just walk the many easy trails in the Valley, others will find a quiet place to just sit, read, reflect, journal and pray. It’s up to them.
We will gather at the Yosemite Chapel, a real functioning church in the heart of the Valley, to close our week before we begin the drive back to Sacramento by 3-4pm. We will eat somewhere on the way home. For fun, we usually see a new blockbuster movie together as our “re-entry” into civilization. (likely Captain America this year!)
Everyone flies home on Friday. I am excited to be going on my ninth Yosemite Summit and to be soon meeting the guys God brought together for this event. Next year will the 10th Annual Summit – hard to believe! And it will be a backpacking trip!
Every year things happen that make that year unique, I’m excited to see what He does this year in our lives.
Be praying about what God is going to do on this Summit!