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Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)

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Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 09, 2010 09:26PM
HELP! We have wilderness permits for June 18-20 for this trailhead.
I heard the other day that water is over the bridges (two crossings of Tuolomne river?) and is impassable.
Any ideas from the experienced backpackers/hikers if the conditions will be passable in JUST another week? We also do not want to be miserable hiking through slushy snow, mud or foot-2 foot deep water. We're not wimps but don't want to have a rotten time.
Option of changing permit dates to near mid-July.
Oh, we were planning on camping just past Glen Aulin high Sierra Camp..... and then day hike to Waterwheel falls. Heard this area/meadow will be flooded.
Is this a doomed trip?
Oh, our kids are 9 and 10.5 years old. This will be their 5th year backpacking. We usually take 3 trips a year.
Thanks in advance for your advice.
Oh, and will their be a million bajillion mosquitoes already?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2010 09:31PM by wrecksduke.
avatar Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 09, 2010 10:32PM
Only a gazillion per cubic meter.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 10, 2010 02:43AM
Bill-e-g is scheduled to do a hike down past Glen Aulin this weekend. I'm sure he will give you a report Sunday or Monday.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 10, 2010 03:20AM
Bill-e-g (and Chick-on) were planning on going to Waterwheel this week, so I expect that we will get reliable information on the conditions when he returns. (I will be there next week, but won't return before Saturday.)

I'm not really sure what your sources were referring to regarding "water over the bridges" unless they meant the single crossing at Twin Bridges right before one starts the descent down toward Glen Aulin. I can't really visualize water lapping over the deck of the bridge crossing the Toulumne River down at the bottom near the White Cascade since the river clearance there is very high. The river flow should be dropping somewhat since the heat wave that hit the area last week has subsided over the last couple of days.

That having been said, the "crux moves" along the standard trail from Tuolumne Meadows down to Glen Aulin would be the two creek crossings at Delaney and Dingley Creeks. The Delaney crossing would be the worst. (Dingley is sort of a delta as the creek branches into three shallow channels over about 0.1 mile, although I suspect that the flow is submerging the entire delta right now.) A better place to cross Delaney during high flow conditions is roughly 100 yards upstream from the trail crossing intersection - the creek is much wider there as it flows across granite slabs.

The west end of Glen Aulin is in the drainage from the Mattie Lake area and usually is flooded to a depth of 1-2 feet during the spring melt.

You might encounter an occassional patch of snow along the trail in sheltered areas and north-facing slopes, but it should almost all be gone along that route by the 18th.

With a pair of 10-year olds along, though, my recommendation would be that you hold off until July as long as you have the option of delaying the trip.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/2010 03:27AM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 10, 2010 04:56AM
Afterthought on doing Waterwheel with the kids and still starting on the 18th:
an alternative route that you can use to get to Glen Aulin is to start out at Tenaya Lake and approach along the Murphy Creek trail. (Checked on the NPS website and the reserved quota for that trailhead has not been met for 18 June. A non-reserved, walk-up permit for that date is practically assured.)

This route is much more forested than the Toulumne Meadows trailhead route, so you would probably encounter a bit more snow coverage. Also, about a mile longer.

I'm not certain how challenging the creek crossings along that route are at this time of year. (I think that you cross both Murphy and Cathedral once.)
Anyone have any input on those crossings?

You will still have to negotiate the flooded area at the west end of Glen Aulin, but this is a slow flow/essentially still water situation.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/2010 05:50AM by szalkowski.
Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 10, 2010 08:58AM
Thanks everyone! I just changed it to July 8-11. The reservationist, Lissy, did not recommend sticking wtih my dates of June 18-20. Aaaaah. I hope I'm not making a bad decision by giving up my June dates. Its a gamble. If I wait until the weekend to get the trip report, then the July dates could be gone. July should/could still be good right :-| ? Whatcha folks think?
avatar Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 10, 2010 11:18AM
wrecksdude,

I think overall you made the right decision, especially considering the children. This should be a much more enjoyable trip in mid July and you will be able to stick to the Glen Aulin trail. By then Delaney Creek will be an easy log crossing (provided the tree has not washed away) and Dingley Creek will be one of those, "Is this all there is to it?" crossings.
Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 10, 2010 12:43PM
Thanks for the advice everyone! Time to move on and make plans for my now free weekend in June. Maybe a day hike to the top of Mt. Baldy - after a possible overnight at the Sierra Hut. Something close, challenging for the kids and a rewarding goal.
Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 11, 2010 11:32AM
This thread interested me since I'll be passing through that area when I hike the grand canyon of the tuolumne river, though my trip is scheduled to begin on June 26 and I'll begin at White Wolf (are the crossing on this side of the hike near Pate any worse than delaney and dingley?). I expect to encounter plenty of water then, but I'll be ready for it.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/11/2010 11:33AM by diesel.
avatar Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 12, 2010 05:25AM
Quote
diesel
This thread interested me since I'll be passing through that area when I hike the grand canyon of the tuolumne river, though my trip is scheduled to begin on June 26 and I'll begin at White Wolf (are the crossing on this side of the hike near Pate any worse than delaney and dingley?). I expect to encounter plenty of water then, but I'll be ready for it.


I've done the GCT a few times but never during the spring melt, and it's also been around 10 years since the last time, so take this post with a kilogram of salt.
(Hopefully, someone who has done it more recently will weigh in.)

My recollection of the route between Waterwheel and White Wolf is that you will probably find the Register Creek crossing quite challenging. I seem to remember a small fall/cascade into a pool where the trail intersects the creek and not a hell of a lot of options of where to cross since it is on a hillside leading down toward the W end of Muir Gorge.

Snake Pate Valley should still be a swamp when you go thrashing through there. Even when it is dry, the trail there tends to be not overly obvious.
(Don't you just love alliteration? Those two sentences were constructed especially with Frank Furter, who has been unusually quiet lately, in mind.)

There are footbridges across the Tuolumne at Pate and across Return Creek (this one had washed out about 15-20 years ago, making that a real fun crossing at the time). Nothing about any of the other creek crossings has ever left an impression that they might be a problem, even in the spring.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/12/2010 05:27AM by szalkowski.
Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 14, 2010 02:58PM
Thanks, Szalkowski. Thrashing through a swampy valley sounds... interesting, though I'm having a hard time imagining it. (I've seen pictures of pate valley, but mostly recall seeing dry forested areas).
avatar Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 14, 2010 02:59PM
Quote
diesel
(I've seen pictures of pate valley, but mostly recall seeing dry forested areas).

I mostly recall the amazing number of rattlesnakes I saw in Pate Valley.
avatar Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 14, 2010 04:44PM
Quote
eeek
I mostly recall the amazing number of rattlesnakes I saw in Pate Valley.




avatar Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 14, 2010 04:49PM
Much more reality base than:


Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 14, 2010 07:10PM
hah, well with all the reminders here, i'll definitely be watching where i'm stepping
avatar Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 14, 2010 07:40PM
Why is it I no see dem? Once again... no rattlers...
All da way from Glen Aulin down to Register Creeky and back.
Not a single rattler.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 14, 2010 07:46PM
Quote
chick-on
Why is it I no see dem? Once again... no rattlers...

They know birds eat snakes?

Quote

All da way from Glen Aulin down to Register Creeky and back.
Not a single rattler.

But plenty of H2O?
avatar Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 14, 2010 10:14PM
I would just go. Morrison Creek may be an issue. But... if you can't or don't want to cross it...
It's not a complete loss. There's some fine views of Hetch Hetchy and down to Pate and
there is a nice campsite right there. Enjoy it. HH will be full then.
Then just hike back out and try to come in from Glen Aulin.
Marmot Man already mentioned Register. From the east the monster log above
the falls is easily accessed... not sure about from the west as I got out voted to
explore. If you want a picture of the log or of the crossing on June 12th lemme know.
Since there is so much snow still it may remain dicey for a while yet.
Or it could get much worse if it heats up.
Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 15, 2010 12:06AM
Thanks Bill- Good to hear you had an enjoyable trip out there this week. And yeah, It'd be great to see your photos of the log and crossing at register (or any of the others actually).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/2010 12:07AM by diesel.
avatar Re: Tuolumne past Glen Aulin (Water wheel)
June 15, 2010 07:05AM
Here's the log over Register.




Other photos here:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26056
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