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Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)

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Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
May 23, 2012 05:35PM
I am seeking advice as I am in the initial stages of planning a trip to Yosemite. This will be my second trip. During my first trip I (together with my nephews) spent 11 days hiking. This trip included hiking up the Merced Canyon to Merced Lake, Vogelsang, Lyell Canyon, TM, Cathedral Lakes, Long Meadow, Washburn Lake, Red Devil Lake, Red Peak Pass, Upper merced pass lake, Merced pass, Buck Creek trail to Chilnualna Falls, Wawona, Mariposa Grove, and hitch hike back to Valley.

Again on this trip it will be me and my nephews (19 and 17). We will have no vehicle and thus will be constrained to entry and exit points that can be reached by foot or public transportation (Yarts, other buses, etc). The goal is to make two 5-6 day excursions separated by an opportunity to resupply food. While all of the places through which we hiked previously deserve revisiting, on this trip we are hoping to visit areas of the park we have not yet visited. We prefer hikes that take us into the backcountry away from heavily visited and trafficked areas, in other words – solitude. We will be hiking along trails, but would be interested in considering any easy off trail segment that would allow us to begin to develop and test those skills without any great likelihood of getting profoundly lost. We like areas that are at altitude with great panoramic views. The segments of the previous hike we liked the most were: the hike up the Merced River towards merced lake, the hike from the red devil lake area across Red Peak Pass and on to Upper Merced Pass Lake, Cathedral Lakes to Long Meadow, Vogelsang to Lyell Canyon. The hike through the south part of the park (over Merced Pass) was not so enjoyable as the rest: it was dense forest, swampy, grassy undergrowth and meadows, and general not as visually interesting as the rest of the hike.

We are open to any recommendation. The tentative time frame is mid-late July for 2 weeks.

Some intial thoughts on our part:

Option 1: A hike referred to in the Falcon Guide as the “northeast Yosmite Grand Tour’. This leaves TM and heads to Glen Aulin. There it follows the PCT North to Virginia Canyon. It then heads generally west over Benson Pass, past Smedberg Lake, Volunteer Peek, Rogers Lake, and follows Rogers Creek to Pate Valley. There it heads east up the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, back to Glen Aulin and TM.

I’m guessing this would take 5-6 days. There is another bit longer version of this which would veer off northwest just past Smedberg Lake towards Benson Lake, west through Kerrick Canyon, leave the PCT and head south to Bear Valley, east to Pleasant Valley and then rejoin the path described above along rogers creek not far from Pate Valley.

Another longer option splits off the first hike at Matterhorn Canyon and goes north to Burro pass, Mule pass and then circles around and meets the original hike along Rancheria Creek I believe.

Option 2: Begin at Dana Meadow, heading south to Parker Pass, Peak Pass, Gem lakes, 1000 lakes, Garnet Lakes to Reds Meadow (which depends on transportation being available from there back to TM, which I believe I read somewhere that this was possible.)

A different version of this has the hike joining the JMT at 1000 Island Lakes and heading north over Donahue pass to Lyell, and up to Vogelsang. From there depending on time, either back to TM along Rafferty or head towards merced Lake along Lewis, then down and into the Valley.

Option 3: Hike the North Valley Rim from Old Big Oak Flat road to snow creek trail and down to Mirror Lake and the Valley.

I’m not sure what any of these hikes would actually be like. Are they heavily travelled? Are they remote or at least feel remote? How are they on the scenic-o-meter? I know there are great reasons to go pretty much anywhere and that it is really hard to go wrong. But, it is a big undertaking for us, and we would appreciate any insight available. Folks here provided some excellent advice for our last trip to Yosemite. I returned and provided a recap, though I’m not sure I provided pictures. I’ll have to check on that. I suppose it’s never too late for pictures if I did not do so already.

Thanks!

Frank
avatar Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
May 23, 2012 06:06PM
Do option 1... but instead of going thru Benson Pass... if you have time...
go ALL the way around up Matterhorn Canyon... over Mule/ Burro... thru
Kerrick Canyon... and up and over Seavey to Benson..
from there you can zig back to your orig route. via Smedberg, etc.
(i.e. the longer option of option #1 above)

Mentioned this sorta here with link to tomdisco's trip report:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,54740,55122#msg-55122

Yes, I know you want to do a resupply... but I'd rec. that.

Have fun



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avatar Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
May 23, 2012 06:52PM
I think others have mentioned a eastern Sierra backpacking shuttle service in the past...you might check them out and see if the cost and others' experience is OK, if so it would increase your range of trailhead options.

Like the pink chicken I'd lean towards a variation on option 1 (particularly given your stated objectives), but I think I'd start it from Twin Lakes (near Bridgeport) which isn't accessible by transit, then I'd do it as a loop w/ the southern side as the PCT and the northern side over Dorothy Pass then back to Peeler Lake (this one's in my plans, but not this year).

Option 2, as stated (or even beginning at Tuolumne Meadows), doesn't give you a 5-6 day trip unless you want to take a few days to explore certain areas along the way (not necessarily a bad idea...). It could also be done in the opposite direction, from Mammoth, w/ an endpoint in Yosemite Valley.

You're looking for 2 trips in the 5-6 day range...options 1+2 taken together could fit your requirements, though if you can work out the shuttle I think the revised option 1 above would be likely to give you more high vistas.

If the shuttle thing does seem workable, then you may also consider one of the trips being in the area between Yosemite and Kings Canyon, w/ an east side trailhead (Edison Resevoir on the west is also a good TH for trips in that area but I haven't seen any posts about shuttle services there).
avatar Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
May 23, 2012 09:27PM
I didn't mention Bridgeport b/c variation of option #1 includes almost all of that loop.
And.. the Bridgeport / Twin Lakes loop is in a zillion guidebooks ...
(mind you... been der... done dat... and it's good... but imo the more days out there the butter)

Maybe do option #1 as a 7 day trip... and then go do something from Reds Meadow Area
as 5 dayer.

There's a bunch of stuff similar to Frank's options ... hmm...

Not Bridgeport... but cool grape goodness:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,40408

Parker/Koip/1000, etc.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,27023

There's so many options... sigh.. I got about 20 more we've done around here somewhere.

Have fun. Explore baby!

Chick-on is looking at you!



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avatar Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
May 24, 2012 11:55AM
Frank,

I did Option 1 last August just as you described it and it took us 6 days/5 nights. The first night was at the end of the meadow in Cold Canyon on the PCT across from Elbow Hill (about 5 miles north of Glen Aulin HSC). This is the last place for water for quite aways, if you want to avoid dry camping. The second night was in the trees about a mile beyond the Matterhorn Creek crossing. Third night was at Rodgers Lake. If you plane to hit Rodgers Lake on a weekend it's unlikely anbody else will be there. It's a gorgeous place to have for yourself. Most hikers go right past it on another trail or go on to Benson Lake and miss it. The fourth night was in the Grand Canyon roughly 2 miles above the Pate Valley intersection. There is a large relatively flat area amongst pine trees for camping that sees frequent use because good camp sites along the Canyon are tough to come by. Our last night was just over the bridge at Return Creek but if you use this area you will have to go brush whacking to find a legal spot away from the trail.

Jim
Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
May 24, 2012 01:00PM
Have to agree that the mule/burro pass area makes for a spectacular day's hiking. Also, Rodgers lake is as good as advertised.
Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
May 24, 2012 11:22PM
I wanted folks to know I have seen and appreciate the responses. I will be commenting further and asking a few questions in the next couple days or so (as I don't have the time at the moment), but did want you to know I did not just ask and leave. I appreciate the advice and feedback you have provided! I'll be back in a day or two when things settle down here a bit.

Thanks so much.

Frank
Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
May 31, 2012 04:27PM
Thanks again for your assistance and advice.

I have decided to follow the advice of Chickon and others and go with option #1 including the extension up matterhorn canyon. The plan is to do it in 8 days (7 nights). There are several things on my mind as I am beginning to contemplate this more carefully.

1) When you get to mule pass there is an option to go north past crown, robinson and Peeler lake or south past snow lake and over Rock Island Pass. Which is preferable?
2) What would be good option(s) for camping in this area? It appears on my map that Peeler lake area is off limits.
3) Tom Disco indicated that he camped the first night in Cold Canyon on PCT across from Elbow Hill (5 miles north of Glen Aulin HSC). Is this stream that runs alongside the trail through cold canyon dependable in Late July? Also, it appears that the stream ceases to exist at about this very place (near Elbow Hill).
4) Is McCabe Lakes worth a side-trip? Is it reasonable to try to make it there from TM in one day (I have calculated it to be ~ 14.5 miles).
5) Any advice on great campsites along this entire route would be most welcome. I am considering the following:

Night 2: anywhere along matterhorn creek in matterhorn canyon after turning north into canyon from PCT.
Night 3: Somewhere after Mule Pass?? Where is good. Depends maybe on whether loop north past crown, Robinson and Peeler, or south past snow lake.
Night 4: somewhere around SEavey pass along Rancheria creek? Is benson Lake worth a side trip?
Night 5: Rogers Lake? It seems that Rogers Lake is highly favored on this site, and that I would be wise to visit it. I would probably be there on a Saturday.
Night 6: Pate valley? Or upstream from there in GC T. On usgs there appears to be a flat area along river ~ 3 miles upstream from pate valley (at mile 133 marker with 130 being at footbridges in pate valley. Also seems to be an area at ~ mile 132 (2 miles upstream).
Night 7: Near return creek or further upstream?
I’m not sure what the hiking will be like through these regions and what good distances will be / and good campsites. Again, any advice is very welcome, including things to avoid.

Are there any known stretches of this hike that are dry and require carrying lots of water? Generally the hike seems to follow water most of the way, with exception of part of Cold Canyon and parts of Rogers Canyon.

My nephews have decided that they wanted to precede this hike with a shorter hike along the North Rim of the Valley. Consequently, we plan to begin our hike at the Rockslides trailhead and follow the OBOFR up to Cascade Creek near the footbridge for the first night. We will camp near Yosemite Falls (is there decent camping here?) the second night and at the Snow Creek Footbridge the 3rd night. We will exit towards May Lake along Tioga Road, and on that same day hike up to May Lake and up to Mt. Hoffman, back to Tioga road, and take the shuttle in to TM.

I found some advice from Bil-e-g on another forum regarding this hike:
“but imo it's a big mistake to do this route and not:
- Go to the EDGE of El Cap and peer down
- Go to the Top of Eagle Peak
- Go to the lookout of Upper Yosemite Falls
- Enjoy Yosemite Point
- Go out on North Dome
- Go to Indian Arch Rock
- Get off the trail before heading down Snow Creek and enjoy the creek some”

This all seems like Great advice, but I have to ask, regarding El Capitan specifically: you say go to the EDGE and peer down. Exactly which edge are you referring to? Other things I read say to avoid getting anywhere near the edge, that the surface is downward sloping and covered with loose gravel, and well….one does not want to start sliding.

I have been reading a variety of postings on this site and elsewhere concerning the beginning of this hike, specifically the OBOFR and Rockslides, etc. It seems to be simultaneously portrayed as easy and absolutely doable by anyone AND fraught with obstacles, potential for confusion, etc including stories of people reaching obstacles and turning back. Is there a preferred approach that is straightforward to navigate? Should one follow the road along the switchback area or climb over the rockslide to the road above? I realize the first day includes about 2000 feet gain in elevation and another 2000 feet the next day.

It seems like there is water periodically along this route. Is there any area that could be dry and necessitate carrying more water at once than otherwise?

What is the thing one is most likely to be surprised by the first time they do this hike (in a negative way), and which can be alleviated by knowledge and planning?

If you have the time, I’d appreciate any help you can provide.

Thanks much!

Frank
avatar Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
May 31, 2012 09:20PM
I've been to Benson and enjoyed it, even though the weather was less than joyful. Beautiful beach. I've posted this pic here before:

Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
May 31, 2012 09:45PM
That is beautiful. Thanks!
avatar Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
June 05, 2012 04:32PM
Let me try to help you some.
Quote
Frank
1) When you get to mule pass there is an option to go north past crown, robinson and Peeler lake or south past snow lake and over Rock Island Pass. Which is preferable?
If you have the time then IMO you should at least go by the Robinson Lakes. There is an incredible Pool there that is well...
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?1,14879

Quote
Frank
2) What would be good option(s) for camping in this area? It appears on my map that Peeler lake area is off limits.
As is typical in Yosemite ... there are a zillion places to camp... and you can camp at Peeler. Barney has some
limitations... but you won't be going down there. I highly suggest that you camp at more or less these locations to start:
Cold Canyon (or McCabe if you really have it in you... but you're missing out if you only go to the Lowest McCabe)
Matterhorn Canyon
WITHOUT QUESTION - Slide Cayon below The Sawtooths
To see the Robinson Pool it is not far from the Junction heading to Snow Lake. So... you can go explore and
then come back and skip Peeler. Peeler is typically very busy.
Quote
Frank
3)Tom Disco indicated that he camped the first night in Cold Canyon on PCT across from Elbow Hill (5 miles north of Glen Aulin HSC). Is this stream that runs alongside the trail through cold canyon dependable in Late July? Also, it appears that the stream ceases to exist at about this very place (near Elbow Hill).
It should. It's been a crazy year though... so worse case you have to hoof it to McCabe or Virginia Canyon

Other answers:
- Big mistake IMO if you don't go to Benson
- Can't go wrong with Rodgers or Smedberg
- I told Jim to go up Volunteer Peak... still my fav. peak... if you have the time... do it!
- Return Creek camping is crap IMO. Go further up for stellar views... or camp near Cathedral Creek inlet downstream.
- HUGE amounts of camping at Pate Valley... next nicest spot is, IIRC, about 1/2 mile W of Register
- You will run into water frequently along the entire trip . b/t Rodgers and Pate there is a Spring...
- Of course I would be remiss if I didn't mention to go to Loch Tablae

You asked a bunch about El Cap route. It's 500 ft. down to THE edge. If you have the time... as I mentioned..
it's a mistake to not go to the edge. It's not any more dangerous than any other edge in the park imo.
Of course some may think otherwise. The west shoulder is also pretty cool to go down and look across and down.

Have fun.



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Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
July 08, 2012 09:15PM
Chick-on,

THanks so much for the advice / help. Somehow I missed seeing your reply until today -- sorry about that.

Thanks for the tip about Robinson Lakes and "the pool". I will certainly plan to get there. It sounds like you are suggesting that the better option might be to go up to Robinson, look around, and then rather than continue on around past Peeler, backtrack and go past Snow Lake and Rock Island Pass. Is this in what you're suggesting? Is it better? YOu indicated that we could run into considerably more people going around past Peeler.

Unless we were to camp soon after leaving the PCT in Matterhorn Canyon it seems that Slide Canyon might be too short of a hike to camp again (and stay on schedule).

I'm guessing there would be camping areas near Robinson, Crown or Snow Lake?

What is 'IIRC", 1/2 mile W of Register?

Your suggestion to continue further upstream of Return Creek means to go in the areas of Waterwheel, LeConte, etc I assume?

I would love to go to Loch Tablae. I have been looking at it. It is however off pathway, and so it will depend on the time available. It seems a shame to be so close and NOT go. How long is a round trip there from the junction heading into Pate Valley? Maybe we could work it out to spend a night at Rogers and the next night at Table.

Volunteer Peak: I am very much intrigued by the possibility of going up Volunteer Peak from the Rogers Lake area. Looking at maps, it seems like there is a good approach from the Northern side of Rogers Lake. Looking at maps, and pictures, it seems that it would be reasonable to approach from that direction and then scramble up the south side of Volunteer. So, my question to you is , "Is this possible?" and, "Is it possible for someone with no real experience doing this?" That is, does it require any special skills, and does it involve any significant exposure on the way up? I think it would be great to do this, but don't want to bite off more than I can chew.

Thanks again for your help. I was looking at TomDisco's pics of his similar trip last August, and am getting excited! I'll be in Yosemite in 10 days.

Frank
avatar Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
July 08, 2012 10:16PM
With respect to Loch Tablae, Table Lake, etc., search the forum for those before committing to going there. I haven't been, you may or may not enjoy the diversion, but the location does have a history here. Nothing wrong with that, just sayin'.
avatar Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
July 08, 2012 11:57PM
Quote
Frank

What is 'IIRC", 1/2 mile W of Register?

Not quite. It's an acronym for: If I Recall Correctly. wink
.
avatar Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
July 09, 2012 08:37AM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
Frank

What is 'IIRC", 1/2 mile W of Register?

Not quite. It's an acronym for: If I Recall Correctly. wink
.

s/Recall/Remember/
avatar Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
July 09, 2012 07:27AM
Quote
Frank
Thanks for the tip about Robinson Lakes and "the pool". I will certainly plan to get there. It sounds like you are suggesting that the better option might be to go up to Robinson, look around, and then rather than continue on around past Peeler, backtrack and go past Snow Lake and Rock Island Pass. Is this in what you're suggesting? Is it better? YOu indicated that we could run into considerably more people going around past Peeler.
You can camp near Crown Lake or, as we have done, just NE of the Robinson "pool". If you have time... loop around to Peeler...
this is much more scenic than Snow. This will take you entirely through Kerrick Meadows. E of Crown Lake will have better
"typical" camping from my recollection... although it's fairly simple to find a flat spot in and around Yosemite.
If you go over Rock Island Pass you skip almost the entire Kerrick Meadows. For me... I LOVE meadows and lakes... so...
I'd deal with the Peeler crowd.
If you are lucky you will miss the high school crowd Bearproof mentioned that start their trek around Peeler near the end of July.
But if you don't camp there... no biggie... (it's a huge lake... and it's easy to find a spot anyway away from the masses)

Quote
Frank
Unless we were to camp soon after leaving the PCT in Matterhorn Canyon it seems that Slide Canyon might be too short of a hike to camp again (and stay on schedule).
Sure. We just camped about 1/4 mile beyond the PCT jct on the west side of the creek. We came from Summit
and I was dog tired by then. It was nice... it always is... but shoot for N of Quarry... try to go til you see the
Sawtooths. I can give you a pict. and coords of a campsite if you really want.

Quote
Frank
I'm guessing there would be camping areas near Robinson, Crown or Snow Lake?
Mentioned this already... but if you locate the pool on USGS... look NE of there... that saddle.
That is where we camped once. Lots of time to enjoy and take pix of the pool and climb around.
Right by Snow is ok (camped there once)... Tarn just NW of Mule is nice (camped there once).
"Falls" in Slide Canyon 1/2 b/t Mule and Burro is spectacular (great flat granite area).

Quote
Frank
What is 'IIRC", 1/2 mile W of Register?
If I Recall Correctly ... funny how that works...
OK, found the spot exactly... It's 1.7 miles West of Register ... 2.3 miles East of trail Jct. in Pate.
I guess I "RI"

Quote
Frank
Your suggestion to continue further upstream of Return Creek means to go in the areas of Waterwheel, LeConte, etc I assume?
Yes. May or may not take some looking... but a number of great spots exist b/t Return and Glen Aulin proper.
Glen Aulin proper (not the HSC) has loads of camping.

Quote
Frank
I would love to go to Loch Tablae. I have been looking at it. It is however off pathway, and so it will depend on the time available. It seems a shame to be so close and NOT go. How long is a round trip there from the junction heading into Pate Valley? Maybe we could work it out to spend a night at Rogers and the next night at Table.
Um... well... I love Table Lake... but then again I love ALL of Yosemite.... so...
don't blame me. tongue sticking out smiley
Let's just call it 2.5 miles from the jct. and 1000 ft. drop.

Quote
Frank
Volunteer Peak: I am very much intrigued by the possibility of going up Volunteer Peak from the Rogers Lake area. Looking at maps, it seems like there is a good approach from the Northern side of Rogers Lake. Looking at maps, and pictures, it seems that it would be reasonable to approach from that direction and then scramble up the south side of Volunteer. So, my question to you is , "Is this possible?" and, "Is it possible for someone with no real experience doing this?" That is, does it require any special skills, and does it involve any significant exposure on the way up? I think it would be great to do this, but don't want to bite off more than I can chew.
If you have seen pictures will people in them then you can see it is a "scramble" of sorts all
the way from the "saddle" to the SE of Volunteer. Simple xcountry from Rodgers to there.
It is not technical, there is no exposure, anyone with the desire should be able to do it.
Spend the time to go up this peak well before shooting me w/r to Loch Tablae.
When you get to the top... THAT is Yosemite. I'm sure you've seen pix. If you want a pix of
something lemme know.

Have fun



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avatar Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
July 09, 2012 07:55AM
Frank,

In regards to Volunteer Peak, we had planned to do the peak but it came at the end of a very long day. We were totally exhausted and after looking at the scramble through boulders and some scree we decided not to tackle it and just descend to Rodgers Lake. I still think it would be an excellant diversion because I've seen chick-on's photos from the summit. If you can plan on doing it earlier in your day it could be quite enjoyable and well worth it.

Once again, I cannot overemphasize how great the Rodgers Lake area is, including a fanatastic camping location.

We had also planned on a side trip and overnight at Table Lake but decided the famed Table Lake was not worth another descent and ascent prior to tackling the Piute Creek descent and then up the Grand Canyon. However, if you do check out Table Lake it might earn you a chick-on T-shirt!
Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
July 13, 2012 01:02PM
There are a couple posts from people who have recently hiked the GCT in full or in part which describe the Tuolumne as essentially a trickle, if that in some places. It would seem that the river would be an integral part of the interest in this stretch from Pate Valley to Glen Aulin. Is that hike interesting enough without the water features to keep on the agenda or would it be worth considering whether there are alternate paths to take for the last leg of our trip?
avatar Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
July 15, 2012 07:35AM
Quote
Frank
There are a couple posts from people who have recently hiked the GCT in full or in part which describe the Tuolumne as essentially a trickle, if that in some places. It would seem that the river would be an integral part of the interest in this stretch from Pate Valley to Glen Aulin. Is that hike interesting enough without the water features to keep on the agenda or would it be worth considering whether there are alternate paths to take for the last leg of our trip?

Frank,
This is a tough one to answer because it is so subjective. Everybody has different opinions. Pate Valley to Glen Aulin HSC is a long 14.3 miles and 3,500' ascent, including the up and down over the Muir Gorge bypass right after Register Creek. It's O.K. if you like being in the bottom of a deep canyon but normally a full flowing Tuolumne River would be a major feature of the Grand Canyon route. Views are pretty much limited to the sides of the Canyon. I did it because I never had before and it provided an exit strategy for our hike right back to where the car was parked on the TM Stables road. I'm not familiar with the trails west and south of Pate Valley so others will have to speak to that.
Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
May 31, 2012 09:05PM
There are plenty of campsites at Peeler Lake. Hiking up Matterhorn Canyon north from the PCT intersection does'nt have much good campsites until you have crossed Matterhorn Creek for the last time. You are now on the west side of the creek, hike about a mile and there are some obvious campsites along the trail that have excellent views of Matterhorn peak. On your way to Mule pass keep your eyes open for a view through the trees of "The Slide". Last August there was alot of snow on Burro Pass, though the trail is easy to follow and not difficult. Mule Pass was much more challenging to locate as there was several feet of snow still on the ground. We did about .5 miles of boot sliding down the west side of the pass. Good fun! It did'nt seem that the pass was going to clear last year before winter came. I'd be curious to hear what the current conditions are.
Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
May 31, 2012 09:43PM
Thanks Rob!

My Nat Geo map has the entire area around Peeler identified as a "no camping" zone, which is why I was asking. Maybe i'm reading it wrong, or something has changed since the map was made.

The campsites you are mentioning along Matterhorn then are about 2/3 up the canyon from the PCT intersection where the canyon opens to the Northeast directly towards burro pass and Matterhorn peak.

Are the snow covered passes you described easily navigable with care and without any special equipment? We managed to get up the snow covered side heading up to Red Peak. It was a little frustrating as we were headed up and thus could not put together visible pieces of the trail with the invisible pieces very easily, and also found ourselves punching through into open cavities beneath the snow on a few occasions. It was ultimately fine but definitely had our full attention, since it was our first time in those types of conditions. Once up, looking down, the path was obvious. If only we had been heading in that direction!

Thanks for the info.

Frank
Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
May 31, 2012 10:08PM
About 2/3 up Matterhorn Canyon is accurate. We just had trekking poles and did just fine at around 4 PM on Burro pass. I would avoid early morning hours when it could be icy. We did the 1/2 mile snow covered slope down using a sideways bootsliding/careful stepping technique. If you are not comfortable with that there is a class 3 rock band on the right which people were using to go up which you can take.
avatar Re: Advice/ Suggestions for 10-12 day hike (2 segments)
June 02, 2012 01:33PM
Frank,

The camp site I mentioned in Cold Canyon is in fact where that stream begins, apparently from underground, so by that time of year its flow seems to be spring fed. We were there the third week of August last year and there seemed to be plenty of water there and it was moving and crystal clear, not stagnant. As for water elsewhere, there is an ample stream flowing in Rodgers Canyon which eventually feeds into Register Creek in the Grand Canyon. Below that in Rodgers Canyon it is pretty dry but there is an ample year round spring that cuts across the trail near the intersection before the long descent into Pate Valley. This is an excellent place to load up with water. You will need it for that long dry 4.7 mile switchback descent, probably the longest descent in Yosemite. You will not be far from water anywhere else with the Option #1 route that I did other than from that Cold Canyon camp site to Virginia Creek.

One word of advice. Plan on getting wet crossing Virginia Creek. All three of us attemped to cross staying dry and all three of us ending up slipping and falling in so we got wetter than if we had simply slogged across in our shoes. The primary crossing for Matterhorn Creek is much shallower at the normal trail crossing; don't know about further upstream.

The trail intersection in Pate Valley next to the Tuolumne shows wide on the map but it's damp in places with lots of semi-swampy type vegetation. Probably also mosquito haven. It may be better further downstream but you're not headed there. As for the first camp site I mentioned on the Tuolumne I'm quite sure that good site I told you about is just over a mile above the Pate Valley trail intersection slightly above where another stream enters the Tuolumne from the south side. There will be no mistaking it when you see it. Nothing else in that area comes close to looking that good.

Jim

P.S., What I called Virginia Creek is actually Return Creek in Virginia Canyon.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2012 08:00AM by tomdisco.
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