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Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?

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avatar Tioga Road Shortcut?
June 01, 2017 02:07PM
I'm concerned that I may need a "Plan B (c,d,e,f)" for my Wilderness Permit leaving Tamarack Flat at the end of the month, in case Tioga Road is still closed. Is there a trail that goes from Tuolumne Grove to Tamarack Flat? It looks like it on the Topo map but I don't see any Yosemite Trails running that way. Thanks.
Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?
June 01, 2017 05:13PM
I show a pack trail leaving Crane Flat for Gin Flat (which is where the road to Tamarack starts) on my older topo map.

But this is clearly a question for those local heroes on these boards who have hiked every inch of every trail in YNP



Balzaccom

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Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?
June 01, 2017 05:23PM
Edit: You could follow the Old Tioga Road Old Big Oak Flat Road from just east of the (closed) gate to Gin Flat. It heads uphill from the current road. The road to Tamarack Flat campground is a continuation of this old road.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/2017 06:18PM by basilbop.
avatar Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?
June 02, 2017 07:36AM
It looks like the park shows this part of Old Big Oak Flat as a snowshoe/skiing trail, and the brochure says the trail is marked.

Does anyone know how the trail is marked? Is it with markers attached high in the trees?

Are there bear boxes at the Tuolumne Grove parking lot?

Can you park overnight at the Tuolumne Grove lot?

Thanks.
Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?
June 02, 2017 01:51PM
I don't remember any markers, but it's an obvious, wide road.

I have heard different things about overnight parking at Tuolumne Grove. I do not recall any signs specifically disallowing it. We have parked overnight at the large turnout near the Crane Flat lookout station road, which isn't too far from Tuolumne Grove.

There are no bear boxes that I am aware of in the area.
avatar Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?
June 02, 2017 01:57PM
Thanks Basilbop.
avatar Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?
June 05, 2017 07:23AM
Quote
Coolburn
It looks like the park shows this part of Old Big Oak Flat as a snowshoe/skiing trail, and the brochure says the trail is marked.

Does anyone know how the trail is marked? Is it with markers attached high in the trees?

Are there bear boxes at the Tuolumne Grove parking lot?

Can you park overnight at the Tuolumne Grove lot?

Thanks.

Yes the trail is marked with ski markers. Look for the old road / ski trail ... it's obvious...
If you hit a road on your right... then you went too far... there is deadfall on the trail/road
(it's the Gin Flat loop btw) ... so ... you have to climb over a bunch of deafall...
You can hike this road any time you like... The only thing I would say is that the powers
that be MAY not exactly like you walking on the Tioga Road when it is closed and
stuff is going on... but I wouldn't worry toooo much...

There are no bear boxes at TG parking lot. It is signed "no overnight parking / camping".
You can ignore this sign after Oct. 15th though and in winter. They should cover it up
at that time frame... but, it tis what it tis.
Yosemite Institute / Nature bridge is signed no parking ... period...
I think it is OK to park right next to the gate... but ... imo ... I would actually maybe
possibly park at the Gas Station (again, after Oct 15 and in winter... you can park there
and there are NO signs that say no overnight parking)

This is what I know. Hiked the campground road and OBOFR from TG many times
in fall and winter and such... plenty of people park AT Tioga/Tamarack Creek CG road
junction when the gate is closed and the campground is closed.

I would think Tioga will be open at least a bit by your timeframe... so I'd park at Tioga/Tam Creek
but... anywho... if needed I'd maybe call and ask... and talk to a backcountry ranger
and ask their name or a LE and get their name...
Typically... if it doesn't say you CAN'T park there.. you can... just need to be ENTIRELY off the road.

That's what I know / claim to know.
I got completely burned by the entrance station peeps when I asked them where I could park
after Oct 15 and was doing a Aspen Valley / Tam Creek CG loop from TG once... so
buyer beware.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?
June 05, 2017 08:52PM
Here is the junction of The closed portion of Old Big Oak Flat Road with Tioga Road:


The other side (the south side of the road) ... that road is to Tamarack Creek campground
and has the gate ... but there is an area before the gate you can park at...
I have not seen a no parking overnight sign there.
Honestly I don't know why you can't park overnight on the north side. People
must have been parking there in their RVs or something... sigh
Anyway, liken the south side to White Wolf when the gate is closed... only in that
there is a bit of parking.

So... typically if they don't want you to hike or bike Tioga Road they will put up signs on
the gate... ie:

(this one was taken Nov of 2015 ... I dunno why they hadn't taken the signs off yet... ala:

More than likely there was a small possibility of the road reopening...

So... the road is open to South Fork Tuolumne... you can see the gate here:


fwiw... I've parked overnight at this spot (when the road was fully opened)
in other words... think... if it doesn't say you CANNOT park overnight there...
then you typically can... (do it safely)

Anyway, hope this helps... and yes, I take a lot of pictures...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?
June 06, 2017 08:23AM
Those pics are soo much better than Google earth! Thanks Chick-On. I can't wait to get there.
avatar Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?
June 06, 2017 01:42PM
Quote
Coolburn
Those pics are soo much better than Google earth! Thanks Chick-On. I can't wait to get there.
You are welcome

Yeah, I looked on Google Earth... and 2012? Really?
Sheesh...

Tuolumne Grove parking area doesn't look like that... they improved it... made it bigger...
paved the "loop" and put bus parking more to south..
fwiw.. if you take the service road (hike it that is) ... out to the meadow area... to the south
(south of parking lot and west of Tioga) ... you can find some indian mortars
if you like that kinda stuff...
tread lightly tho please and thank you

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?
June 07, 2017 07:30AM
Ok... just to beat it to death...
I found a few more pix...

Tuolumne Grove parking lot (taken Nov of 2015)


Tamarack Creek Campground road ... (taken Oct 2016)(the day they closed)
Note parking area before the gate...

(they JUST closed the campground) (there's a car on the other side of gate)

and one of the mortars...


TMI?

(I probably have a photo of the bear boxes at Old Big Oak Flat Trailhead too btw)
(there are VERY few THs that don't have bear boxes now)
(but go figure... AT Tamarack Creek Campground... none)
(you are supposed to use the ones at Tioga TH just after Gin Flat)

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?
June 07, 2017 08:19AM
Knowing the Bear Box locations is always a priority. The park list the trailheads with boxes, but not the campgrounds. Its seems weird that they have no extra's at the campground. Does Yosemite Creek or Porcupine flat have extras?
avatar Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?
June 07, 2017 08:40AM
um...
that doc is sorely lacking...
https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/trailheads.htm
Most of the THs which say no
bear boxes have them and have
fur many years...
Poopenaut
Smith
etc...
South Fork Tuolumne has..
that's the one you should use
if you need
Porc and Yose Creek have a
LOT of bear boxes

EDIT: oops... you were talking Yosemite Creek CAMPGROUND
and Porcupine Creek CAMPGROUND

um... yeah... there aren't any bear boxes for backpacking use there either
Yosemite Creek CAMPGROUND is unfortunate in that Yosemite Creek TH
along Tioga is a bit away from the Old Tioga Road that heads down to
Yosemite Creek CAMPGROUND

Sorry for any confushun



Chick-on is looking at you!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2017 10:29AM by chick-on.
Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?
June 03, 2017 07:52PM
The old Big Oak Flat road that turns off from 120 to go to Tamarack Creek campground is always closed unless the campground is open, and you cannot park by the gate. Certain areas in the parking lot at the Tuolumne Grove trailhead are marked for day use and park employees, but there are overnight spots and I do recall seeing both trash cans and bear lockers there.

I recommend you start at the trailhead off of the new Big Oak Flat Road near the Foresta turnoff. It is clearly marked for overnight parking and has room for parking several cars, and I've never seen it full during the summer. It did not have any bear lockers there the last time I went by it (several years ago). The trail takes you in a few miles to the old Big Oak Flat Road and Tamarack Creek after some modest climbing. I've camped there before, as it is a great source of water (and the last one till Ribbon Creek). Keep in mind that if you plan to follow the old Big Oak Flat road down to the valley floor, you may not get another good water source after Tamarack Creek. The old road is impossible to lose, as the road bed is distinctive, but there are no special markers along it. Many trees have fallen on it, which are cut only on the section that is an official trail. I'm not sure if you can make through to the valley floor easily, as there is one section of the old road more than halfway down to the valley floor that was taken out by a major rockslide a number of years ago. When I zoomed onto that area from the south rim of the valley, it looked like a large section (1/4 mile) of road was missing.

If you continue on the official trail to Ribbon Creek after it branches off the old road, you will get plenty of water there and more nice campsites, and a chance to visit the top of El Capitan nearby. You may run into some large patches of snow in the forested area before getting to Ribbon Creek, as I did the year I hiked it in early June. Losing the trail in the snow is easy, so make sure you have a good GPS unit with you to stay close to the trail and pick it up again after the snow is gone. My definition of "good" is one that is powerful enough to pick up the satellites while you are in a forest with tall trees.
avatar Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?
June 05, 2017 11:00AM
Thanks Guys.
Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?
June 13, 2017 07:11AM
Quote
rgliebe
I recommend you start at the trailhead off of the new Big Oak Flat Road near the Foresta turnoff.

Just beware that crossing Tamarack Creek at this time of year (especially this time of THIS year) could be tricky but I'm sure someone else can provide more current intel on that than I can.
Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?
June 17, 2017 10:08AM
There were bear boxes at the Old Big Oak Flat Rd trailhead in June 2016.
Re: Tioga Road Shortcut?
September 07, 2017 09:04AM
This Sierra News Online article about Big Oak Flat Road is probably ancient history here but a hiking buddy sent it and it seems appropriate:
http://sierranewsonline.com/hiking-along-the-old-big-flat-road/
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