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Re: Pohono Trail Conditions?

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avatar Pohono Trail Conditions?
May 13, 2014 05:21AM

Going to Yosemite for a good long day hike on Thursday and thinking about the Pohono Trail. I've never done this trail in its entirety. What kind of conditions (i.e. snow, stream crossings) can I expet?

...I just noticed in another thread mention of a trail between Bridalveil and Tunnel View. Is this difficult to find/follow? About how long is it?

Thank you,


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/2014 09:25AM by sierranomad.
Re: Pohono Trail Conditions?
May 13, 2014 02:37PM
I hiked the Pohono trail via McGurk Meadow to Stanford Point (with stops also at Dewey and Crocker Points) this past weekend and it was practically snow free, only a few small patches on the trail that were easily avoided. The views once at the rim were outstanding at all three points.
The previous day we did a short hike from Tunnel view to Inspiration Point with a side trip to Artist's Point. Trail is very easy to follow in all areas. And we encountered very few people both days on the Pohono Trail.
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Conditions?
May 13, 2014 04:58PM
Thanks LBF. Good to know.

So here's my plan: Do a loop starting at...oh I forget the name of the climbers campground. Start there, go up the 4 Mile, mosey over the Pahono Trail, catch the trail down to Bridalveil and hike back to my starting point. I figure it should be about 25 miles. It is a little long, but there will be a full moon arisin' at 9:25 so if need be I can do some hiking past sunset.
Re: Pohono Trail Conditions?
May 13, 2014 07:42PM
...I just noticed in another thread mention of a trail between Bridalveil and Tunnel View. Is this difficult to find/follow? About how long is it?

You're probably thinking of the lower end of the Old Wawona Road. From the Pohono Trail, you can actually pick it up in two places:
1. When you get to Inspiration Point (which will be off to your left in the direction you'll be coming), if you're facing the Valley, directly behind you you'll see an old road starting down a small series of switchbacks. The first stretch has some huge trees that you'll have to go over, under or around but after that, there are only minor obstructions all the way down to the valley floor (at least that was the case the last time I walked that stretch about 2 or 3 years ago).
2. You can continue down the Pohono Trail, past Inspiration Point for (IIRC), another 0.6 miles or so. You'll then get to a much wider trail intersecting the Pohono at a 90-degree angle. This is, again, the Old Wawona Road which, after it finishes switchbacking down from Inspiration Point, will have wrapped back eastward (i.e., towards the valley). Turn right here and, in a couple of miles, that'll dump you on the new Wawona Road (Hwy 41) a little bit west of the Bridalveil Fall parking lot.

You know your own pace but this is significantly farther than I'd try in a day. Also, be aware that, although the predominant trend of the Pohono from GP to Tunnel View is downhill, that's only consistently true for the last several miles (after you pass Stanford Point, IIRC). You'll have a good number of up-and-down spots as you cross local creek drainages and the like so there's still a good amount of "up-hilling" after you reach GP. If you're up for it, I'd strongly recommend bringing a flashlight or headlamp. You don't want to be relying on moonlight only to find out that there's a cloud cover hiding it! Also, although the old road is pretty readily passable below Inspiration Point, there are washouts and the like to contend with. They're pretty trivial in daylight but, in the dark, I'd want to be able to get a good look at where I was putting my feet.

I hope that doesn't sound discouraging. If you're up for that kind of distance, go for it. The Pohono is a really beautiful trail with multiple stunning views of the Valley. That, by the way, may add to your time. Whenever I'm on the trail, I find myself lingering at almost every overlook (including the un-named ones...like where it crosses Sentinel Creek) for at least 20 or 30 minutes and some time much more. It's just too hard to pull myself away!

Good luck (and let us know how it goes)!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/2014 07:43PM by DavidK42.
avatar Re: Pohono Trail Conditions?
May 13, 2014 08:37PM
Thanks David. I appreciate your concern. No, your not being discouraging.

I'm not new to long day hikes, though. I've done TM to YV in a day several times; have hiked Grand Canyon from Rim to Rim in a day by starting at 2 a.m. and completing at midnight. I'd rather be able to take my time, but circumstances don't allow it and I've been wanting to do the Pohono for years...and this is the best opportunity I've had so far.

Yes, I have a good headlamp that I will be bringing. It's good to know about the washed out places below inspiration point. I think I should be at Bridalveil before dark (start hiking in the early morning hours).

Thanks again for your good level-headed concern.

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