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Re: Pohono trail from Bridalveil Falls

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Pohono trail from Bridalveil Falls
April 23, 2014 09:16PM
Hey. I'm trying to get to the Pohono trailhead in early June. My plan was to drive up to Glacier Point on a Monday morning and take the Panorama-Mist trail down to the valley. How can I get to Tunnel View on Tuesday morning and day hike the Pohono trail back to my car?

I have reservations in El Portal for Sunday night and Monday night. Can I take Yarts to the El Capitan bridge and get off? Will the driver let me off there?. I heard about a "social trail" from bridalveil falls to tunnel view, but don't see it on my large-scale map. I see a trail on my map from Moss Spring to Artist Point. Is this the trail, the only trail from Bridalveil? Is the trailhead hard to find, looks like its on the main road.

Looks like the Moss Springs trail is 1.5, plus the .5 miles to Bridalveil, makes my Pohono Trail about 14 miles plus or minus. Is this a doable day hike?
avatar Re: Pohono trail from Bridalveil Falls
April 23, 2014 11:35PM
There's a regular valley shuttle bus that you can take from the east end of the valley to El Capitan Bridge.
Yosemite Valley Shuttle System
From there you could walk across the bridge and west towards Bridalveil. I'd suggest walking parallel to the road a short distance into the forest on the opposite side than the river, i.e. on the side of Cathedral rocks. There should actually be the Valley Loop Trail there, but I'm not sure if it survives in that area.
That'll get you to the parking lot for Bridalveil Fall.
Keep walking up the road towards Tunnel View, but you'll shortly see taking uphill off to the left the OLD road. This is easily hikable up to the Pohono Trail. If you miss where Pohono crosses the road you should be able to catch the Trail again at Old Inspiration Point. Both the road and Pohono Trail go there.

If you catch a ride up to Tunnel View the Trailhead is somewhere off of the smaller parking lot to the left as you're looking at the Tunnel, i.e. opposite the main parking lot / vista point. I can't say for sure where, I think they rearranged things after the last upgrade.

This is a long hike with a lot of uphill, and lots of sites to take in. Are you sure you'll make it in one day?

Good luck and have a safe trip!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/23/2014 11:47PM by qumqats.
Re: Pohono trail from Bridalveil Falls
April 24, 2014 06:00AM
Depending on your stamina, I'd agree that the whole Pohono in that direction might be rather demanding. You'll gain about 3000 feet NET but there are numerous ups and downs so your total uphill will be more like 4000-5000 feet (I'm guessing on that...haven't tried to total it up). I don't have the numbers available off the top of my head but I sizable portion of that 3000 feet is within the first 2 or 3 miles. It's a beautiful trail but one I prefer to do in the opposite direction.

The "trail" you mention from Bridalveil is probably the Old Wawona Road. If you pass the BV parking lot and continue up Hwy 41 towards Tunnel View, you'll see an old road peeling off to your left in a couple hundred yards. You'll do a bit of tree-and-boulder hopping here and there but this is a beautiful hike that will also transport you back into a time when stagecoaches were the "luxury" mode of transportation to the Valley! A couple of miles up the old road (a little beyond Artist Point), the Pohono Trail will cut across this road. You can either turn left and take it uphill or continue on the old road which will switchback it's way up to Inspiration Point (this is a gentler approach (except for getting around a couple of HUGE downed trees as you approach IP) but it's a little longer than coming up the Pohono.

If you decide it's too much for you to do this in a day, an option is to take the Shuttle to the Four Mile Trail TH and go up that way (another beautiful hike with views that just get better and better as you ascend.

And, if you're REALLY beat on day 2, you could always take the daily tour bus from Yose Lodge up to GP spinning smiley sticking its tongue out (although, if you're even thinking about going the Pohono route, I doubt that you'll need to do that!)

Good luck!
Re: Pohono trail from Bridalveil Falls
April 24, 2014 06:03AM
It just occurred to me that there's one other option you might want to consider: Drive to GP on Day 1 but come DOWN the Pohono Trail...to my mind, a MUCH more comfortable day hike. Then on Day 2 you could go up the Mist/Panorama Trails (or the aforementioned Four Mile).
Re: Pohono trail from Bridalveil Falls
April 25, 2014 09:10PM
Its 13.8 miles trailhead to trailhead. Plus the 1.5-2 miles to Bridalveil. I thought it was 12, its a hard-core day hike from Bridalveil fails I think. And I didn't consider the "total" elevation gain from the bottom, just the "net." Seems like this uphill trek is worse than Clouds Rest, which I was planning on doing later in the trip.

Quick question, I have Suzanne Swedo's "Hiking yosemite" book and she talks about "a few" campsites along Bridalveil creek 5.7 miles from GP just off the Pohono trail. I have limited backpacking skills and no pack tent or pack anything else. I know I would need a bear canister and a big pack. If I try to get a wildness permit for an overnighter, I would say Pohono trail for entry and Bridalveil creek for camp right? Those sites are first come first served, but I understand I can camp anywhere if I get a permit. I think I could figure all this out.

Can I day hike the Panorama-Mist to my car, then drive up to GP and hike down to those campsites on the Pohono trail? Then finish the trail to Bridalveil falls on day two.

Mostly worried about the backpacking stuff involved if I do this. Its mostly downhill, so Im not worried about the physical stuff.
Re: Pohono trail from Bridalveil Falls
April 30, 2014 07:11AM
Quote
PermianBasinGeo
Its mostly downhill, so Im not worried about the physical stuff.

Many people think downhill is easy. That depends - by the end of many of the Yosemite downhill bits, various people in my hiking group find that they prefer uphill. Between the toe bang and the knee damage, it can be painful - add a heavy pack and it'll double.

The "backpacking stuff" should be more of a concern. You can rent gear at REI or Herb Bauer down in Fresno, or online at lowergear.com. Rental gear is not the lightest available, nor the best, but it's serviceable. You can rent bear cans in the park when you get the permit or by mail at Wild Ideas (the Bearikade is the lightest on the market but unavailable in Yosemite) or at the place you rent the backpacking gear (REI rents Bear Vaults and Garcias, I think).

The ranger will help you with the rules and camping - there are limited legal places to camp along Pohono. You will be expected to avoid making a campfire ring (if they are even allowed - it will likely be another fire ban year).
Re: Pohono trail from Bridalveil Falls
April 25, 2014 10:13PM
I could take the shuttle up to Glacier Point on day one, do the Panorama-Mist trail. Then on day two I take the shuttle up again to GP and get to the campsites. Then on day three I hike back down to my car. At that point I have a reservation in the valley, so no more yarts. Seems like a much more more easy-going way of doing this thing. Still worried about the lack of backpacking gear though, but I think I could do it for a 1-nighter. Can I get the permit if I fax it soon?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/25/2014 10:15PM by PermianBasinGeo.
avatar Re: Pohono trail from Bridalveil Falls
April 30, 2014 09:12PM
I recall only 2-3 "campsites" at Bridalveil Creek, but those are nothing more than worn-down patches of level ground. There also are some campsites at Dewey Point. You can camp anywhere -- on the permit you don't have to be specific just show you have a general plan that makes sense.

Why take the GP shuttle twice? Go up Pohono, camp night 1 at Bridalveil Creek, continue to Taft/Sentinel/GP and the Panorama camp night 2 up Illilouette, come down the Panorama the next day.
avatar Re: Pohono trail from Bridalveil Falls
April 30, 2014 11:07PM
the 'Bridalveil Creek' we're talking about is where Pohono trail crosses the creek, not the campground along the road, they're miles apart . . .
avatar Re: Pohono trail from Bridalveil Falls
May 06, 2014 10:25PM
Quote
PermianBasinGeo
Hey. I'm trying to get to the Pohono trailhead in early June. My plan was to drive up to Glacier Point on a Monday morning and take the Panorama-Mist trail down to the valley. How can I get to Tunnel View on Tuesday morning and day hike the Pohono trail back to my car?

As you probably know, the Pohono Trail is something like 15 miles from Tunnel View to Glacier Point, with a net elevation gain of about 2800 feet. I'll take the Four Mile Trail all the way up to Glacier Point once in a while but going there by the Pohono sounds like a bit much to me. If you decide you aren't up for quite that much hiking, you could either take the Glacier Point tour bus back to your car Tuesday, or leave the car in the valley and take the tour bus to Glacier Point for your Monday hike. The tour buses I'm speaking of depart from Yosemite Lodge at 8:30 AM, 10 AM, and 1:30 PM each day (in season). The one-way fare to Glacier Point is about $25 and you'll be best off reserving a few days in advance.

Quote
PermianBasinGeo
I have reservations in El Portal for Sunday night and Monday night. Can I take Yarts to the El Capitan bridge and get off? Will the driver let me off there?

Probably not. YARTS does have a policy of letting riders off at trailheads, etc., when (in the driver's judgment) it's safe to do so. On the other hand, NPS has a policy that in the Valley, YARTS (and, I guess, other bus operators) mustn't discharge passengers except at the bus stops that have been assigned to them. I first learned of this policy after a YARTS driver wouldn't let me off at the Four Mile Trailhead. I've also seen another driver let off a passenger there, but I think it was by mistake and I wouldn't count on it happening very often.

The year-round Valley Visitor Shuttle doesn't go as far west as the El Cap Bridge (or the Four Mile Trailhead). During the summer there's an El Capitan Shuttle that makes both stops but it may not be running in early June. Here's the shuttle map to show you what I mean. For getting to the Four Mile Trailhead, I hardly ever bother with the El Cap Shuttle. I routinely walk there from the Lodge (via Swinging Bridge), or even the Visitor Center (via either Swinging Bridge or Sentinel Bridge).

Quote
qumqats
From [El Capitan Bridge] you could walk across the bridge and west towards Bridalveil. I'd suggest walking parallel to the road a short distance into the forest on the opposite side than the river, i.e. on the side of Cathedral rocks. There should actually be the Valley Loop Trail there, but I'm not sure if it survives in that area.

The Valley Loop Trail is alive and well. There's a trail that starts on the upstream (normally east but in this case, north) side of the bridge and the (normally south but in this case) east side of the Merced River. It more or less parallels the road toward Southside Drive, then crosses Southside and connects with the Valley Loop Trail. There are more trails than shown on the map and some of them will try to take you farther east than you want to go. As I recall, the right place to turn toward Southside is just as you come in sight of the driveway to Cathedral Picnic Area. If you reach the actual driveway you've gone a little too far. This map is a little dated but basically pretty accurate. It's the "Topo Hi" from mappingsupport.com. The Valley Loop Trail runs across the bottom and Bridalveil is a couple of miles to the west (left):



Quote
qumqats
If you catch a ride up to Tunnel View the Trailhead is somewhere off of the smaller parking lot to the left as you're looking at the Tunnel, i.e. opposite the main parking lot / vista point. I can't say for sure where, I think they rearranged things after the last upgrade.

It's pretty obvious, actually:



I stand corrected -- 13 miles from Tunnel View to Glacier Point! grinning smiley



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/06/2014 10:30PM by gophersnake.
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