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Re: Hetch Hetchy loop — Bear Valley

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Hetch Hetchy loop — Bear Valley
June 21, 2018 09:38PM
I posted this question on Highsierratopix and it was suggested that I try here:

I'm planning a Hetch Hetchy loop for two weeks from now. We’ll be going up past Lake Vernon to around Avonelle and Wilma Lakes, then taking a short stretch of the PCT East before heading South through what is labeled as Bear Valley on one map and past a lot of nameless lakes. This is parallel to and about four miles East of the trail that goes through Tiltill Valley. It then loops back west and intersects with the Tiltill Valley trail at Rancheria Falls.

I'm posting here because I can't find any reports of anyone hiking this route. And none of the map layers show names for any of the lakes, making it hard to search for. Does anyone have any experience with this trail? Any good campsites? There are some crossings with Breeze Creek and some small lakes that look like potential stopping spots around coordinates 37.9889, -119.5924.

avatar Re: Hetch Hetchy loop — Bear Valley
June 25, 2018 07:11AM
Stick n fedders did a TR of Bear Valley loop with Tiltill Mtn in 2016.
Unfortunately the pix links are ... ugh...

Anyzoo.. def. broken record... yeah, I've done that loop ... in both directions...
and variations a few times... Piute Mountain diversion was also stellar.
w/r to your camp spot selection... uh...

I've camped east of WL 8418 in the "open" area with views of the incredible
Loch Tablae Canyon. tongue sticking out smiley
Campsite was not that great but had views. It doesn't really rate very high.
Those lakes are sorta mud puddles... so not sure how much you would like...
here's one:

On the loop we did in 2016.. we ate just west of the first lake. It was pleasant.
It would make a decent spot to spend the night. But the Bear/Non-Bear Valley
lake was stellar and is where I'd go back to without question. (9154 WL Lake)
The lake just north of Bear Valley was nice-ish. but nothing to write home about imo.
I might be spoiled tho. A bit.

Bear Valley is not well travelled. I know when I solo'd it the fist time a number of
years ago I did it in Oct. and the ranger said I was about the 4th person that year.
I've found it quite astounding in many regards.

Anyway, ask more if you like.

Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Hetch Hetchy loop — Bear Valley
June 25, 2018 07:19AM
Re: Hetch Hetchy loop — Bear Valley
June 25, 2018 06:45PM
Thanks chick-on!

So let me describe our situation and get your thoughts. We’re doing 3 nights in the double-H starting July 4th out of Behhive Meadows. We did a quick 2-nighter a few years ago, with camps at Lake Vernon and Rancheria Falls. That was way off-season and Lake Vernon was empty but we had company at Rancheria falls. We always prefer to see as few people as possible, so I think let’s avoid the whole Tilltill/Rancheria area. Which led me to proposing this wider loop that I asked about. Alternatively, we could hike up Jack Main past Lake Vernon, stopping somewhere on Falls Creek (night 1, same as scenario A), head up to Tilden Lake (night 2), hook around the southeast corner of Tilden, down to maybe Avonelle or Falls Creek again (night 3), and out.
avatar Re: Hetch Hetchy loop — Bear Valley
June 25, 2018 09:31PM
Bear in mind (hahaha) that the PCT thru-hiker highway will be in full force...
So... I'd try to steer clear of camping along the PCT.
(OMG... I've never seen SOOOOOOOOOO many people in one spot
2 years ago at Benson Lake) (We went back in August the following year...
and we had the entire place to ourselves... timing timing timing!!!!)
Anyway, fwiw ... I did Rancheria Mountain - Jack Main Canyon - Moraine Ridge - Beehive
loop in 3 days in October the first time... so... smiling smiley it's doable.
Tilden is pretty nice. We ran into a guy 2 years ago heading there from Twin Lakes
(Bridgeport) (btw... there are MANY ways to Dorothy Lake) (hello bp'er magazine)
(and no, I don't think THAT is Dorothy) (I REALLY need convincing)
ok, yeah, I digress.
O.. yeah, I was saying... this older gentleman said that Tilden was THE NICEST
LAKE he had ever been to. He didn't yell... but he was pretty happy. He invited
us to his house. I can't remember where it was. Nice guy. But we had
bigger fish to fry... (and boat Tilden and Dorothy ... )
Anyway, yeah, Tilden is nice. Mary is really beautiful... and Tower.. is right there.
We absolutely LOVED Payday Hill but that's on the PCT ... and
Tiltill Mtn trail ... well... we had the time so we explored and ... we loved that too.
Thank you for saying Wilma. It's a pet peeve... ya ya it sez Wilmer on the signs
but ... but ... but...

So, yeah, Jack Main Canyon. YUM YUM YUM

Did I just confooz you?

Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Hetch Hetchy loop — Bear Valley
July 09, 2018 10:33PM
We just got back from a wonderful trip to Hetch Hetchy. We ended up changing up our plans a fair amount and did a 50 mile lollipop:
Moraine Ridge -> Jack Main Canyon (night 1)
-> Tilden Lake (night 2)
-> Tilden Canyon -> Avonelle/Branigan Lakes region -> Jack Main (night 3)
-> Moraine Ridge.

Falls Creek had little pools and waterfalls that we loved and we spent nights 1 and 3 there. We couldn't find a good spot right at Tilden Lake as it was pretty marshy and buggy, but we did find a good camping spot at the little lake just east of Tilden.

Overall mosquitos were moderate. The crossover trail between Tilden Creek Canyon and Jack Main Canyon (between Avonelle and Branigan Lakes) was a highlight with great views at the top and one spot with a gorgeous flowery glen at the bottom of a set of stone stairs.
avatar Re: Hetch Hetchy loop — Bear Valley
July 10, 2018 08:00AM
Thank you SO much for coming back and saying what you did.
We got back on Sunday after an(other) incredible trip w/great
weather, friends, scenery, flowers, food, fun, laughter... and solitude.
Wish was still out there. It far exceeded our expectations.
JKW actually commented how much she liked the section that
you said you loved. JMC is so nice. We didn't run into anyone
after the Moraine/Beehive Jct.... thought maybe we would run
into you (or vice-versa) smiling smiley . Tanks fur Sharon!
Here's one of ours from the trip with view of Jack Main:

Kindest Regards

Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Hetch Hetchy loop — Bear Valley
July 10, 2018 10:56AM
And found it... Vernon!
smiling smiley

From Moraine Ridge (off trail)

Chick-on is looking at you!
July 10, 2018 11:07AM
Lovely! Here's a photo I took hiking up Jack Main, along Falls Creek.

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