Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Posts
Tuolumne Meadows and Lembert Dome during a summer storm, Yosemite National Park

The Moon is Waxing Gibbous (79% of Full)


Advanced

Re: Pothole Dome and Mt. Watkins

All posts are those of the individual authors and the owner of this site does not endorse them. Content should be considered opinion and not fact until verified independently.

Pothole Dome and Mt. Watkins
May 07, 2014 07:51PM
The early opening of the Tioga Road called us to the high country. We decided on a short overnighter to the top of Mt. Watkins, but before that, we checked out the Tuolumne Meadows area. Despite the low snow year, there is still a foot (maybe two?) of snow near the pass, and a bit still in the meadows.





The Tuolumne itself was flowing strong just below the meadows...



...which, still brown from winter, were flooded in parts:



Next up, Mt. Watkins. There were patches of snow near the (quarry) trailhead and heading up Watkins itself:



Nothing too deep, and certainly no reason for carrying snowshoes.

Piwyack Cascade was raging; the Tenaya Creek crossing is probably going to be deep for a few weeks:



After walking along the long, broad "summit" of Watkins for awhile, we finally saw a leaning tree that looked familiar and set up camp:



The views were generally good, except that a large rock to the south blocked our view of Illilouette Canyon...



...and one to the east hid the Cathedral Range.



The chilly breeze that had been with us since Pothole Dome calmed down a bit by sunset.





The next morning, we took a longer way back. First, down the trail (with a bit of off-trail exploring)...



...to where we might have camped a few weekends ago--or this one had the Tioga Road not opened.



After passing a few nice cascades, we returned via the North Dome trail to the Porcupine Creek T/H, where we had left a second car.




More Pictures




Red tape: BOF entrance was still self-register when we arrived (5/3), and we were told that that would be the case through mid-to-late June for all trailheads outside the valley. However, others have noted that Tuolumne was open to hand out permits. YMMV
Re: Pothole Dome and Mt. Watkins
May 07, 2014 08:15PM
Thanks for the pics and the trip report. The lack of snow is scary.
Re: Pothole Dome and Mt. Watkins
May 07, 2014 10:12PM
Great pictures, I really enjoyed them and they gave a good perspective of the current conditions. Thanks
avatar Re: Pothole Dome and Mt. Watkins
May 07, 2014 11:16PM
Quote
basilbop
. . . snip . . .
The next morning, we took a longer way back. First, down the trail (with a bit of off-trail exploring)...


. . . snip . . .

Is this the ranger cabin on Mt Watkins that's been mentioned a few times around here where you can cache winter supplies?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/08/2014 08:03AM by qumqats.
Re: Pothole Dome and Mt. Watkins
May 08, 2014 03:21PM
Yep, this is the Snow Creek Cabin/Ranger Station. We were curious about it, but we all decided we'd rather stay in the open granite area to the west (views, sun, etc.) than the cabin, provided the weather was decent. We peeked inside the bear boxes and several parties still haven't retrieved their caches/empties. FWIW, the building was locked. Oh, and it's not quite where the map says it is...
avatar Re: Pothole Dome and Mt. Watkins
May 08, 2014 04:38AM
Boy that tree looks familiar:

(July 2013)

Great spot. Just don't hang out directly under that tree in warmer weather, the pitch is dripping constantly (ask me how I know).

Thanks for the pics.
Re: Pothole Dome and Mt. Watkins
May 08, 2014 06:39AM
Quote
JRinGeorgia
Great spot. Just don't hang out directly under that tree in warmer weather, the pitch is dripping constantly (ask me how I know).

OK, I'll bite...How do you know that? grinning smiley

(Yes, I can pretty much guess the nature of the answer...just wanted to give you the set up in case there's a good story that goes along with it!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/08/2014 06:41AM by DavidK42.
avatar Re: Pothole Dome and Mt. Watkins
May 08, 2014 10:27AM
Yes, the hint pretty much tells the story by itself. I don't know about "great story", just that I set my camera down for a minute and a glob landed on the built-in lens cover. I thought my camera was going to be glued shut for the rest of the trip but I got it cleaned up enough to work again. ;-)
avatar Re: Pothole Dome and Mt. Watkins
May 09, 2014 10:42PM
So great to see conditions up there. Thanks so much for posting.
Re: Pothole Dome and Mt. Watkins
May 15, 2014 05:52PM
Funny. This was the first trip I was able to do after dad came home. And I totally didn't even see the trip report until late yesterday! Things have been a blur. It was such a gloriously relaxing weekend (except for the weight of 7 liters of water*), just what I needed. And the way I was situated at night in my bivy sack, I could just open my eyes and look at Clouds Rest, which has been my favorite for most of my adult life - yes, even over Half Dome and El Cap. Well, that was a truly special night. Sooo very soothing and nourishing....

*Yup, 7 liters. For me, heavy. But distance was short, conditions easy, and I hate even thinking about being short on water. I considered it a make-good for the shortness of the hike! smiling smiley
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login