yosemite trailhead report

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The cluster of tarns on the descent from Sue Pass. About half a mile upstream I passed a group of older men who warned me “there’s shitloads of mosquitoes down there.” While they had claimed the best spot upstream of Pate Valley, they offered advice about a campsite a bit farther downstream that would likely have some relief due to the river moving faster through that section. Much to my surprise, the bug pressure was very light. Ragged Peak and one last view of Half Dome. The descent from Tower Peak Pass was pretty close to steep enough for downclimbing. If you have a permit for one of these trailheads, you can spend the second night of your backpacking trip at Little Yosemite Valley Campground (no additional reservation or permit required). The Badger Pass Road is typically open from mid-December through March, conditions permitting. The initial climb from Adair Lake had some ribs and gullies that required navigation to get around, but after reaching the tarns, it was pretty straightforward. All of this terrain carved by glaciers over numerous ice ages. One of my favourite flowers, White Mountain Heather. At the edge of Grace Meadow, I came across this deer crossing the creek. This trail is also used for horseback riding, and hikers sometimes report that much if it smells like horse droppings. We would yo-yo each other for most of the rest of the day. The sandy washout below Shelf Pass, some of the easiest walking on the core route thus far. As I traversed down the ridgeline to find a place to drop in, I found this somewhat fresh skeleton of a Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep. By now, most of the summer tourists had gone home, so the park was a bit quieter. I passed a few large groups on the trail ascending the pass. Views of the Cathedral Range from the bench. The ridgeline, and summit of Mount Clark behind. We chatted for a bit, relating experiences -- he called the SHR the “best hike he’d ever done,” but validated me with an “anything from Skurka must be pretty out there”; discussing the difficulties of off trail travel -- “you have to pay attention to every single step”; and he shared the harrowing story of aiding in the recovery of a body at Iceberg Lake near Mammoth. The total quota for each trailhead is the sum of the reservable and first-come, first-served quotas. This photo doesn’t quite convey the immense scale. The view south from Keyes Peak Pass, including Tilden Lake. 4. This is not a very popular trail, but I was happy for a bit of relief from the mental burden of solo off trail travel. Use the free Yosemite Valley shuttle bus to get to trailheads. Passes always look most difficult from below, but this one looked especially steep. Cathedral Peak, Matthes Crest, and a couple other peaks of the Cathedral Range visible downcanyon. Reviews. By this point, the south wall of the canyon rose more than 4,000’ above me. A peaceful section of trail through some pine trees just south of Wilma Lake. Yosemite has so much to see including the … You can clearly see bare ice, crevasses, and the bergschrund. Rock Island Lake from the pass. If the … If you look closely you can see Jose and Jordan descending. The full trailheads report shows which trailheads are full for certain dates (as of the last-updated date shown at the top of the page). This descent was very tricky. While the climb up the west side of Foerster Pass had been fairly reasonable, it was obvious that the descent was going to be a bit trickier. First, the remarkably clear water of alpine lakes rarely touched by humans. trailhead accessible only via Four Mile Trail in 2022, Pohono Trail (Taft Point) I followed the instructions up Lemonade Pass and made it without incident. I did more research about the southern loop. North Rim Trail is a 26.8 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Time for some giant rocks and big water in the bursting Spring run-off of Yosemite National Park. I was pretty surprised to already run into someone else doing the same route. Here is Sawtooth Ridge from the meadow below Burro Pass. The view of Shepherd Crest across Upper McCabe Lake. Glacier Point Road will be closed to all traffic in 2022 to rehabilitate and improve the road. I guess it’s not such a good spot for fishing anymore! It looked like the peak received little attention before this year, maybe a couple of summits per year. This climb is an ass-kicker. I think you should save it for a standalone trip. Last views of the Cathedral Range before reentering the forest. Yes. He was also out to hike the YHR. Sluggo Pass is the low point on the ridge ahead. Mostly flat, but covering more than 11 miles if you do the full loop, the Valley Loop trail offers a moderate fall hike in Yosemite that brings you past Lower Yosemite Fall, Three Brothers Rock formation, past Camp 4 and onto El Capitan. The guidebook wasn’t quite finished when I used it, so I don’t know what the official first version will hold, but it was only really helpful in a couple of places, and left a lot  of interesting history and science out, in my opinion. On May 3rd 2018, at approximately 2:00 pm Yosemite Dispatch received reports of a climber fall with injuries on the Nose route of El Capitan. I wasn’t sure exactly where this had happened, but believed it was somewhere in a ~200 meter stretch. The east face of Mount Clark rising above the unnamed lake above Obelisk Lake. Luken Lake trailhead backpacking south to Yosemite Creek, is this possible? I had cell reception here, so I checked in with my wife and told her I’d reach Tuolumne Meadows this afternoon. The section along the west side of Kuna Crest had endless amazing views of Mount Lyell and Mount Macclure. Mount Ansel Adams, directly across the basin. The climb to Quartzite Peak was tough. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/cathedral-lake-trail Phew, that was a long one! Depending on your situation, I’d recommend the Yosemite Valley, Cathedral Pass, or the more adventurous Echo Canyon route. After knocking a couple of microwave-sized boulders loose, I did my best to skirt the talus on its edges, testing rocks before trusting them with my weight. Below Bear Valley, the trail rejoins the PCT for the final section of “The Washboard.” Through this section, the PCT repeatedly crosses divides between creek drainages. Find the date you wish to start on. For a less tame view of Yosemite Falls, start up the Yosemite Falls trail and get as far as Columbia Rock or a little higher - much more drama! I did the drop-pack and look for headnet dance before I realized I had made the rookie mistake of putting my headnet inside of my pack. Looking down the descent chute into Crazy Mule Gulch. The WRHR boasts more impressive scenery, more solitude, and a greater challenge than the YHR. Except for some bland approach miles and a brief on-trail connector, the South Loop is sustained, difficult, and remarkably scenic. So, what changed that lead me to go back and finish the route? As I walked through the quiet forest, I was startled by the sound of something running ahead. I thought that I’d run into a group or two along the JMT, but I didn’t encounter anyone. WEATHER CONDITIONS. The Clouds Rest trail is one of the best hikes in Yosemite and offers you epic views of Half Dome once you reach the summit. Looking up at Sluggo Pass as the slabs gave way to more talus. Don’t let time constraints keep you from making the trip to Yosemite National Park from San Francisco. The view west from Quartzite Peak, Half Dome and Clouds Rest are clearly visible, as is the burn scar from the Meadow Fire. The primary trail follows the West Walker River south to its origin at Tower Lake. When the glacier melted, it left this enormous pile of rocks, nearly 50 feet high. If you’re searching for sweeping views of Yosemite Valley and an epic view of Half Dome, you can’t beat the Clouds Rest hike. trailhead not accessible in 2022, Ostrander (Lost Bear Meadow) Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture. On the other side, Skurka describes a class 4 slab downclimb, or an unverified loose class 3 chute. The 1,300’ climb to this pass was pretty straightforward, just a bit of routefinding on the way down from Keyes Peak Pass. For the specific Yosemite Highlights Loop described in this report, you want to start at the Mirror Lake Trailhead and must hike towards Snow Creek. I came across another skull today, this one from some kind of rodent. Another great view of the Merced-Tuolumne divide from the saddle directly east of Mount Clark. (Yes, I realize that this trail has been closed for many years.) There might be a lower route across the ridge above this lake, rather than climbing all the way to Sue Pass. Ponds in Crazy Mule Gulch. As I don’t have the free time to research a new 100+ mile off trail route, I needed something requiring relatively little planning, so I decided I’d go with one of Skurka’s routes. The first of many waterfalls, Tuolumne Falls, above Glen Aulin. The talus on this side of the pass was very loose and very sharp. More White Mountain Heather, under moody skies. Looking down the route I ascended the pass. It was steep and loose, but went easily with some careful scrambling. Bats circling overhead in Pate Valley. The Grand Canyon had far surpassed my expectations. Then, we went our separate ways. After a break, it was time to climb again. 4. Additionally, overnight parking is not allowed on the Tioga and Glacier Point Roads beginning October 15; this includes parking lots accessible from these roads. The view north to the Sierra Crest in Emigrant Wilderness from Keyes Peak Pass. Rock Island Lake and the peak behind from its inlet stream, near my camp for the night. After another hour or so, I reached the road again, crossed it, and walked back to my car. At 9,800’, Double Rock towers a full vertical mile above Pate Valley. Mirror Lake to Snow Creek. Looking across and down Spiller Canyon at the next pass, Stanton Pass. Our hike from the Mist Trailhead all the way to the top of Half Dome. Looking across the basin at Mount Ansel Adams. I reached Tuolumne mid-afternoon, hopped in the car and headed east, bound for Mammoth. Looking back up at the 200’ of descending over talus and through brush along the Lyell Fork to join the JMT. trailhead accessible only via Four Mile Trail in 2022. Driving Directions: The Hite Cove trailhead is on highway 140, 8.5 miles (13.5 km) west of Yosemite's El Portal border (10.5 miles west of the ticket gate, which is a couple miles inside the park) and 21 miles (33 km) east of Mariposa. It was a bit sandy near the top, but nothing too rough. By this time, I was starting to realize that this wasn't as obscure of a trip as I had thought. From this perspective, it’s clear that yesterday’s hike really only traversed about half of the Clark Range. The descent from Lemonade Pass, pictured here, was also pretty tough. I wasn’t sure if it was a moth or a hummingbird, but I got a few pictures of it. This was some very easy walking through beautiful terrain. For my trip, I used the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne to approach the northern terminus, and Rafferty Creek to approach the southern terminus. Most of the way to the top of Don’t Be a Smart Pass. The view of Mount Lyell and the Lyell Fork of the Merced River from Foerster Pass. This steep descent is a bit easier by cutting to the descender’s left, and then back across once on the tundra. The Meeks Bay trail head is the start point for the classic 181 mile Tahoe to Yosemite Trail backpacking route described in Thomas Winnett's classic 1970 book, The Tahoe-Yosemite Trail. With over 3.5 million yearly visitors from throughout the world, the iconic Yosemite National Park is known for some of the most beautiful hikes and landscapes in the United States. Only one permit is required. The Lower Yosemite Falls hike is a must-do, chill hike for families and solo adventurers alike. While that's nice, it's not what high route hiking is about. I capped off the day with a sunset from Minaret Vista in Mammoth. Rather than walk all the way around Harriet Lake to get there, I shortcut across the talus on the south shore of the lake, this route might not go earlier in the season. On October 6, 2019 at 15:23, Yosemite Dispatch received a 911 call from a party whose leader had taken a fall on Cathedral Peak in Tuolumne Meadows. How to Read This Report. The Merced Lake Ranger Station, in a beautiful pine forest. June 10, 2018; Accident Report; On July 30, 2017, at 1:59 pm, Yosemite dispatch was notified via a 911 call that a climber had fallen while on the first pitches of Matthes Crest. Here’s a photo of Josh crossing the snowfield with his impressively small backpack. The gorgeous broken slabs south of Soldier Lake. This face of Mount Conness is famous for its technical rock climbing, including a 1,200’ route directly up this face. Day 1-Elizabeth Lake Trailhead (Tuolumne Meadows Campground) to Nelson Lake (9,… The upper parts of this trail were very pretty, with light forest and great mountain scenery. This impressive cascade tumbles more than 1,000’ into the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and would likely receive a lot more attention if the Hetch Hetchy Valley had been left in its original state, instead of dammed for water storage. I looked up and saw a big, furry, black butt running away. Find the trailhead you wish to start from. 1,020 Reviews . If you are looking within 24 weeks of your trip, check out the Trailheads Report . I wondered if I would run into many other groups on this loop. Looking south from the clearing, Mount Lyell and Mount Maclure are clearly visible, the large snowfield of the Lyell Glacier makes Mount Lyell very obvious. Another waterfall, I can’t recall the name of this one. I didn’t think this descent option was particularly difficult, just a little bit slow. Only the Tuolumne, however, still has glaciers at its headwaters. The head of Stubblefield Canyon. Near the top of the climb out of Pleasant Valley, there’s a great view back towards the Sierra Crest, the first of the entire hike thus far. The Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River along the JMT. This was a familiar area, as I had hiked the trail past Peeler Lake a few times. Yes. In Yosemite Valley, taking the Four Mile Trail followed by Panorama Trail, the "loop", is a long hike. trailhead not accessible in 2022, Mono Meadow A number of trails from Tuolumne Meadows also provide indirect access to Little Yosemite Valley (20- to 40-mile hike). All permits will be distributed via email. It's an easy trail to spot when you're far enough away, which only makes it more maddening. Another great vantage point along the JMT, with Mount Maclure coming back into view. From this angle, just downstream, you get a slightly different view of the glacier, and a clear view of the typical climbing route up Mount Lyell. I think that the Sonora Pass approach is much more in the spirit of the high route, and will save you a couple of days of hiking, if you can figure out a car shuttle. Tilden Lake. Mount Lyell and Mount Maclure over Adair Lake. This is about an injury or accident Something else? I figured that continuing to Echo Valley would only save me about 30 minutes in the morning. The bottom of the Tilden Creek Canyon was mostly forested, so there wasn’t too much to see down there. 346 Reviews . From Sue Pass, there’s a great view of the High Sierra to the south. A lovely stretch of trail on the long descent to the Merced. And while these glaciers once blanketed the Sierra from the peaks of the Cathedral Range, the Clark Range, and the Lyell Group to valley floors in Yosemite and Hetch Hetchy Valleys, only a small trace of these glaciers still exist, and not for much longer. For me, that totalled two and a half days from Pate Valley. View trail descriptions and mileages for this area, White Wolf to Smith Meadow The Tuolumne descends through Lyell Canyon and then Tuolumne Meadows before tumbling down the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, and then being interrupted in the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Skate park slabs on the way up to Sluggo Pass. There's also a portable toilet across the road from the trailhead. Here’s a nice Indian Paintbrush. Supposedly the original trailhead was right in back of where the cafeteria is now. From Pate Valley, the trail to Bear Valley climbs 6,500’ over 13 miles, with a brief drop of 1,000’ into Pleasant Valley. Looking down Spiller Canyon. Even the Sugar Pine trees so common in Yosemite Valley began to appear, offering a reminder that I was approaching one of the great valleys of the Sierra Nevada. Your presence here indicates an interest in knowing where you're going, a trait that gives you a survival edge over many Yosemite visitors. Shepherd Crest and Mount Conness across Virginia Canyon. We started in Tuolumne Meadows, staying at Nelson Lake the first night and Lower Cathedral Lake the second night. Seasonal activities in Yosemite National Park. Full Trailhead Report. The Merced Lake High Sierra Camp, which didn’t open this year. Thanks for looking, even if you had to skip around a bit (I don’t blame you). The bathrooms all had these cute drawings on the doors. trailhead not acccessible in 2022, Pohono Trail (Glacier Point) On my descent from Willow Pass, I noticed that my wedding ring had fallen off my finger. Finally, after more than half a day Traversing canyons, I was getting closer to some big mountain scenery. Some neat contrasting rock types along Kuna Crest above Spillway Lake. June 5 (Wednesday): Stopped at Bridalveil Falls (just 1,000 ft walk to a vista of the falls)6:45 to 7:06 And we did the extra portion of the trail.. Electra Peak rising above an immense field of granite. 10. This was the easy part. Right out of the gate, I’d have to regain all of the elevation I had lost today and then some. Having hiked that section last year, I knew it was prone to accidents, especially during a snowy year like this. At top of Kuna Crest, I noticed this wildlife camera. By the way, Echo Valley was not at all rocky and there were plenty of great campsites, although the views were better upstream at Merced Lake. Like previously, I got up very early this morning and headed up to Tuolumne. (pass-through), Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley (LYV), Happy Isles to Sunrise/Merced Lake (pass-through), Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley (LYV) With that in mind, I’ll focus on aspects that I think others will interesting: route details missing or lacking in the guide, my opinion of the route, and a good collection of informative and inspiring photographs. In the summer of 2019 I had a good amount of vacation saved up. Overlooking the first pond, and the south half of the Clark Range. I thought that tomorrow I would try and get across Russell Pass and camp in the Lyell Fork area, which Skurka explicitly recommends in the guide. I was excited to hit a trail at the base of the next canyon, having been off trail since this morning. Twenty-six miles with a good amount of off trail was a pretty significant day. These rocks used to sit at the edge of a glacier. Is there buttloads of snow right now? Another view of the Lyell Fork (of the Tuolumne River, this time). I decided to make camp for the night on a rocky outcrop above Wilma Lake overlooking Falls Creek. Sunset over Kuna Crest. Your support can fund projects to keep trails throughout the park in top shape, including by repairing damage and preventing erosion. Nevada Falls Loop. After finding the outlet creek, I made my way up to the lowest Young Lake and picked up the trail. This is only about 500’ less than the Grand Canyon. Directly across the canyon is Shelf Pass, the next pass, and if you look very closely you can see Mount Lyell and its glacier over the ridge. Sunrise over Falls Creek. So, going over the falls in a barrel is highly discouraged, to say the least. The view of Mount Ritter and Banner Peak from the tarn just north of Donohue Pass. I got an early start in the morning because the day was going to start with a massive climb that would be very hot by late morning. These kinds of things are always easier going up than down, but I don’t remember it being very loose or scary. As the terminuses lie deep in the park’s wilderness, YHR hikers must decide how to reach these points from the frontcountry. I walked with them around the lakes edge before we naturally separated again. Atop Russell Pass. Vogelsang Peak over a pond along Emeric Creek. With its ancient sequoia trees, the iconic Bridalveil Falls and majestic granite cliffs of Half Dome and El Capitan, there are so many wonders to enjoy. The pine tree in the crack described in the guide. Not pictured, the horrendous mosquitos. I had a hard time following the hints in the guide and found myself cliffed out, thrashing through brush, or skidding down sketchy steep slabs a number of times. Half Dome peaks out along the descent to Merced Lake. The best descent route that I found cut hard left until the slope eased about 100’ lower and then descended the snowfield of the glacier directly. One member of the party was calling to report that his mother (77 years old) and her friend (64 years old) were feeling exhausted and hot, and didn’t think they could complete the hike. But, life happened for a little while, and due to a variety of circumstances I couldn’t get back to the park for some solo hiking until late September. The Tuolumne Grove Trail is a 2.2 mile out-and-back hike in Yosemite National Park that displays many giant sequoias, both living and dead. The YHR crosses just right of the left snowfield. trailhead not accessible in 2022, Bridalveil Creek Campground The first 400’ of descent were much trickier, with large talus on fairly steep terrain. Overlooking Harriet Lake and the full Clark Range, from Mount Clark at far right, to Merced and Triple Divide Peak, somewhere at the left end of this photo. I found the top pitch of climbing a little bit tricky. Atop another tumble just above Glen Aulin. I arrived at the wilderness center at 10, picked up a permit for Rafferty Creek (no waiting for no-shows this time) and hit the trail. The view back across Virginia Canyon when the forest opened up. The incredible view from Stanton Pass, the best of the route so far. Just upstream from camp, there was a ford of Falls Creek. Park at trailhead parking lot* Pohono Trail (Wawona Tunnel/ Bridalveil Fall parking) 6. Partway down Russell Pass, with the Maclure Glacier front and center. The lowest pond on the climb to Harriet Lake, with Foerster Peak above. Being a jerk / offensive? Thankfully, this pass was a shorter climb than the previous three, which had all been almost 1,500' of ascent and descent. In particular, I thought the northern third of the core route left a bit to be desired.

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