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Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year

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Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 04, 2009 09:48PM
I really had a great time on my hike. I feel privileged to have seen a small part of Yosemite that most never get to. Since I only hiked to the High Sierra Camps and back, I want to go back with more time so I can hike down to Water Wheel Falls. I am looking for tips and info on what to expect. Is it necessary to get wet crossing streams when hiking in while the water is still running high. I noticed some spots on the way that looked like they would be pretty decent streams early in the season. How about if you hike in from Tenaya or May Lake. Is that way better or worse early in the season. I am trying to figure what kind of conditions I need to prepare for and what kind of gear to get. Thanks for everyone's help so far. Ken
Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 04, 2009 10:21PM
If I were dayhiking, I'd wear the Merrel Ventilators or the Newport sandals and slog through whatever. If backpacking I'd take the Tevas. As I understand a good portion of the trail was actually under standing water in June.
avatar Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 05, 2009 07:20AM
The route from May Lake to Glen Aulin has more elevation changes and is drier, there is at least one stream crossing and a small lake (I forget the name) near Glen Aulin where the trail is at lake level and could be swampy if the lake level is high. Not familiar with the branch route more directly from Tenaya to the Glen Aulin-May Lake Trail.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 05, 2009 12:51PM
Quote
Frank Furter
The route from May Lake to Glen Aulin has more elevation changes and is drier, there is at least one stream crossing and a small lake (I forget the name) near Glen Aulin where the trail is at lake level and could be swampy if the lake level is high. Not familiar with the branch route more directly from Tenaya to the Glen Aulin-May Lake Trail.

Thanks for the info.
Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 05, 2009 12:51PM
Quote
AlmostThere
If I were dayhiking, I'd wear the Merrel Ventilators or the Newport sandals and slog through whatever. If backpacking I'd take the Tevas. As I understand a good portion of the trail was actually under standing water in June.

I will be backpacking so I guess something like the Teva water shoes. I guess they would double as camp shoes as well.
Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 06, 2009 04:45PM
Quote
AlmostThere
If I were dayhiking, I'd wear the Merrel Ventilators or the Newport sandals and slog through whatever. If backpacking I'd take the Tevas. As I understand a good portion of the trail was actually under standing water in June.

The trail below Glen Aulin camp was indeed inundated in late June 2009. A few hundred yards at least was knee-deep in water. Part of it we log-hopped, part of it we crawled around on the rocks on the north side of the trail. We kept our feet dry, but it was a pain.
avatar Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 06, 2009 04:58PM
Quote
bpnjensen
The trail below Glen Aulin camp was indeed inundated in late June 2009.

Just remember this was a very weird June weather wise.
Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 05, 2009 09:54PM
When water is quite high it can be above the level of the ends of the bridge crossing midway between the SS TM trailhead and the GA HSC. Depending on how much that can be intimidating as the flow though not too deep may be strong. Also much of lower Glen Aulin can be under knee to thigh deep dark water below shady forest such that one has to stumble along where one thinks the trail might be for some distance in very cold water. If one visits about mid June on an average year the flow will have decreased a bit to where the above two are not much an issue. Also note crossing Cathedral Creek may be difficult coming in from the Murphy Creek trailhead when high as the log crossing used to be rather low to the water and of course when the creek is high it can be wet and slippery especially earlier during mornings.
avatar Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 05, 2009 11:15PM
Quote
DavidSenesac
SS TM trailhead and the GA HSC.

Presumably "Soda Springs Tuolumne Meadows" and "Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp"



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 05, 2009 10:25PM
Thanks also. I think it best if I avoid substantial water crossings. Getting a little wet and wading through some streams is OK, but I want to avoid the serious stuff. There is a good chance I will be doing it alone and I do not have a lot of experience. On an average year, I wonder how late I can push it and still get the full effect at Waterwheel Falls.
avatar Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 05, 2009 11:07PM
Anytime in July should be good.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 06, 2009 08:46AM
The most significant high water crossing on the Glen Aulin trail comes early. About .7 mile past Soda Springs is Delaney Creek. I used the large logs to cross there in mid-July but the water would be significantly higher in mid-June so you might still get your feet wet. There may be better places to cross it up or down stream in June.

Later on is Dingley Creek which would be much shallower and significantly spread out (like a delta) unless you detour around it to the north where it is more confined. In mid-July it was almost dried up.

Accessing Glen Aulin via round trips from May Lake or Murphy Creek trailheads seems rather extreme unless you really want to see those areas. The May Lake trail would be a worthy choice for either entry or exit from Glen Aulin but excessive for round trip just to avoid Delaney Creek. The Lake you go past is McGee Lake. You cross Cathedral Creek first (northbound) about a mile below McGee Lake and then cross another creek just south of McGee Lake. I don't know what either of these crossings look like in June.

Jim
Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 06, 2009 04:50PM
Quote
tomdisco
The most significant high water crossing on the Glen Aulin trail comes early. About .7 mile past Soda Springs is Delaney Creek. I used the large logs to cross there in mid-July but the water would be significantly higher in mid-June so you might still get your feet wet. There may be better places to cross it up or down stream in June.

Later on is Dingley Creek which would be much shallower and significantly spread out (like a delta) unless you detour around it to the north where it is more confined. In mid-July it was almost dried up.

Accessing Glen Aulin via round trips from May Lake or Murphy Creek trailheads seems rather extreme unless you really want to see those areas. The May Lake trail would be a worthy choice for either entry or exit from Glen Aulin but excessive for round trip just to avoid Delaney Creek. The Lake you go past is McGee Lake. You cross Cathedral Creek first (northbound) about a mile below McGee Lake and then cross another creek just south of McGee Lake. I don't know what either of these crossings look like in June.

Jim

If you use the unofficial trail from Pothole Dome along the south side of the river to the bridge above Glen Aulin, there is very little water to cross. You can avoid the TM high water by staying back in the woods, then just follow the riverbank down past Little Devils Postpile to the bridge. There is a wet meadow about 2/3 of the way to the bridge, but one can fairly easily route around the south perimeter of it. Jeffrey Schaffer's guidebook gives a good account of it. It is a surprisingly easy route, you can scarcely get lost, and it's fun.
avatar Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 06, 2009 04:58PM
Quote
bpnjensen
If you use the unofficial trail from Pothole Dome along the south side of the river to the bridge above Glen Aulin, there is very little water to cross. You can avoid the TM high water by staying back in the woods, then just follow the riverbank down past Little Devils Postpile to the bridge. There is a wet meadow about 2/3 of the way to the bridge, but one can fairly easily route around the south perimeter of it. Jeffrey Schaffer's guidebook gives a good account of it. It is a surprisingly easy route, you can scarcely get lost, and it's fun.

Cuts off some distance too.
Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 08, 2009 07:40AM
Quote
eeek
Quote
bpnjensen
If you use the unofficial trail from Pothole Dome along the south side of the river to the bridge above Glen Aulin, there is very little water to cross. You can avoid the TM high water by staying back in the woods, then just follow the riverbank down past Little Devils Postpile to the bridge. There is a wet meadow about 2/3 of the way to the bridge, but one can fairly easily route around the south perimeter of it. Jeffrey Schaffer's guidebook gives a good account of it. It is a surprisingly easy route, you can scarcely get lost, and it's fun.

Cuts off some distance too.

Maybe the best benefit of all! smiling smiley
Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 06, 2009 06:07PM
Excellent information. Thanks

Quote
bpnjensen
Quote
tomdisco
The most significant high water crossing on the Glen Aulin trail comes early. About .7 mile past Soda Springs is Delaney Creek. I used the large logs to cross there in mid-July but the water would be significantly higher in mid-June so you might still get your feet wet. There may be better places to cross it up or down stream in June.

Later on is Dingley Creek which would be much shallower and significantly spread out (like a delta) unless you detour around it to the north where it is more confined. In mid-July it was almost dried up.

Accessing Glen Aulin via round trips from May Lake or Murphy Creek trailheads seems rather extreme unless you really want to see those areas. The May Lake trail would be a worthy choice for either entry or exit from Glen Aulin but excessive for round trip just to avoid Delaney Creek. The Lake you go past is McGee Lake. You cross Cathedral Creek first (northbound) about a mile below McGee Lake and then cross another creek just south of McGee Lake. I don't know what either of these crossings look like in June.

Jim

If you use the unofficial trail from Pothole Dome along the south side of the river to the bridge above Glen Aulin, there is very little water to cross. You can avoid the TM high water by staying back in the woods, then just follow the riverbank down past Little Devils Postpile to the bridge. There is a wet meadow about 2/3 of the way to the bridge, but one can fairly easily route around the south perimeter of it. Jeffrey Schaffer's guidebook gives a good account of it. It is a surprisingly easy route, you can scarcely get lost, and it's fun.
Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 11, 2009 04:53PM
I got the book. The way he describes the trail you are at high risk of sliding into the river on polished rock. Does the risk seem overstated in an effort to reduce liability, or is it really iffy in spots?
avatar Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 11, 2009 04:59PM
Quote
traildad
I got the book. The way he describes the trail you are at high risk of sliding into the river on polished rock. Does the risk seem overstated in an effort to reduce liability, or is it really iffy in spots?

I don't remember any bad spots hiking in from Pothole Dome. But his route may have differed from mine.
avatar Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 11, 2009 06:31PM
There is a spot that one can slip on.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 11, 2009 06:49PM
It's in this area... very near to the Postpile...

avatar Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 11, 2009 06:52PM
And here is some of the swampy area you have to navigate.
(some schmo over der is on the trail... the "people who know how to tie their shoes properly"
circumnavoided this one...)
And... there is another marshy area you walk thru besides this.. so... it will be an adventure
if you go early. Have fun

Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 14, 2009 10:14AM
Quote
bill-e-g
And here is some of the swampy area you have to navigate.
(some schmo over der is on the trail... the "people who know how to tie their shoes properly"
circumnavoided this one...)
And... there is another marshy area you walk thru besides this.. so... it will be an adventure
if you go early. Have fun


Yepp, that's it. If you just stay in the trees and/or hug the edge of the cliffs and ledges along the southern side of this swampy meadow, navigating around it becomes fairly trivial, only a couple of small watercourses to loghop across. All along the route, there are "use trails" that you can pick up and follow; occasionally they peter out, but then another one pops up a few yards later and you're on your way again.
Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 14, 2009 10:09AM
Quote
bill-e-g
It's in this area... very near to the Postpile...


That's the one. It's not too bad at all - maybe when wet? The surface seemed coarse enough to me so that the footing was quite stable. I think Schaeffer suggests that it is of greatest concern when one is wearing a heavy backpack and balanace becomes critical, and that might make sense. When we crossed it in June with substantial daypacks (~15 pounds), even with fairly high water, it was very easy to negotiate.
avatar Re: Water Wheel Falls, Already planning for next year
September 14, 2009 10:18AM
If you use GPS I can send you the tracks of the trail.
When we did it we used the Goatineers route up the backside of Polly Dome and walked on the domage
for quite a bit. On the way back we used the trail almost entirely. The trail was simple to follow IMO.
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