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Earliest Hiking to Glen Aulin

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Earliest Hiking to Glen Aulin
January 07, 2010 11:11PM
It is hard to plan ahead and reserve when we don't know when conditions will permit hiking. In general how long after Tioga Rd opens might reasonable conditions exist for a hike from Tuolumne Meadows to Water Wheel Falls and out by way of May Lake? I am thinking about putting in a reservation for 6-14 to 6-18. I would like to go as early as reasonable to get good flow in the river. I don't however want to wade my way there or need snow shoes. I can adjust my reservation if my timing is off. What indications can I use to help determine if the season is going to be early or late?
avatar Re: Earliest Hiking to Glen Aulin
January 08, 2010 06:58AM
Those dates should be just fine unless we get a late snow year.
(which would probably cause Tioga not to be open anyway)
07-09 woulda been just fine. 05-06... prob not. def. not for 06.
I'm sure some people are gonna say "we had to wade on such and such a date".
If it gets too much for you then just turn around. You should be able to
make it to White Cascade w/o too much issue.

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/nearbymap?staid=tum

I lost my link to the one in cdec that I usually look at. Lots o info there though.
Poke around.

Cue the lights for "hike on the west side of the river". (that has some issues too)
And you may have more issue getting to May than to Waterwheels.

Anyway, go for it.
avatar Re: Earliest Hiking to Glen Aulin
January 08, 2010 07:30AM
I agree. The last couple of miles toward May Lake are a steep northernish exposure and may keep snow well into July. If things are bad there though you can go down the Murphy Creek trail to 120 at Tenaya Lake.



Old Dude



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/2010 07:31AM by mrcondron.
avatar Re: Earliest Hiking to Glen Aulin
January 08, 2010 11:11AM
I did the Toulumne to Glen Aulin, down to Waterwheel and back on the weekend of 5/31/08...10 days after the road opened. That was a great trip it was no real problems, a bit of old snow on shaded portions of the trail which can be a little tricky on the steep parts, like just above Glen Aulin. In the flat valley bottoms between Glen Aulin and Waterwheel Falls the trail was covered in some places by up to a foot or two of water, creating some interesting detours and route finding, as we didn't have either hip waders or a desire to go barefoot for a half mile in the snowmelt.

Snow accumulation and snowmelt rate/stream flow will all come into play, but it should be generally doable at that time. Its a great time to see a lot of water going down the river and falls!

I can't comment on the route out to May Lake but as its a bit higher I would expect a bit more lingering snow to deal with.
avatar Re: Earliest Hiking to Glen Aulin
January 11, 2010 05:33AM
Quote
Bearproof
In the flat valley bottoms between Glen Aulin and Waterwheel Falls the trail was covered in some places by up to a foot or two of water, creating some interesting detours and route finding, as we didn't have either hip waders or a desire to go barefoot for a half mile in the snowmelt.


The western end of Glen Aulin is typically flooded during the spring melt since there is a seasonal watercourse that drains the area around Mattie Lake and works its way down to the Tuolumne River just to the east of Wildcat Point.
Re: Earliest Hiking to Glen Aulin
January 08, 2010 12:39PM
Some things cannot be known and one is how much snow is going to pile up during the rest of this winter since most is still to come. Thus you will just have to wait. The last significant storms usually occur by mid April so that would be the better time to check on conditions and then make plans. Usually mid June would be ok for a trip down the river after an average winter.
Re: Earliest Hiking to Glen Aulin
January 08, 2010 05:08PM
Yes I plan to check later on. I can change my reservation if the weather forces me to. I am partly wondering what clues will help me decide how early or late the season is going. Tioga road opening is somewhat of a yardstick. How long after that the trail becomes reasonable might be consistent.
avatar Re: Earliest Hiking to Glen Aulin
January 08, 2010 05:39PM
You can check the river stage here: http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/queryF?tum
Re: Earliest Hiking to Glen Aulin
January 08, 2010 10:08PM
I shouldn't side track my own topic but, where do we camp the night before the trip when the Tuolumne Meadows Backpackers Campground isn't open yet?
avatar Re: Earliest Hiking to Glen Aulin
January 08, 2010 11:12PM
Quote
traildad
I shouldn't side track my own topic but, where do we camp the night before the trip when the Tuolumne Meadows Backpackers Campground isn't open yet?

There are campgrounds along Lee Vining Creek that should be open. You can also camp east of 395 in the Mammoth Lakes area.
Re: Earliest Hiking to Glen Aulin
February 07, 2010 07:07AM
I may go early also, but I usually turn "right" at Glen Aulin HSP and go up Cold Canyon, which jasn't presented any odd early season probems.
Re: Earliest Hiking to Glen Aulin
February 10, 2010 03:28PM
Mosquito repellent or you will suffer through the meadows. Learned the hard way last year. The meadows were really saturated with water as well so be prepared for some inventive muddy waterlogged crossings but otherwise beautiful as always.
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