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Re: Circumambulating the Valley

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Circumambulating the Valley
May 25, 2011 03:00PM
A friend and I are considering hiking from Tenaya Lake along the north and then south rims and back this summer. Does anyone have an idea of mileage, or any "surprises" that might be encountered?

Thanks...

Jeff.
avatar Re: Circumambulating the Valley
May 25, 2011 03:58PM
Lots of ups and downs.

About 70 miles.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Circumambulating the Valley
May 25, 2011 06:43PM
hey chick-on,

saw some your pictures on web -- one of which showed satelite tracking of your journey across the rockslides section, west of el cap. was the switchback route shown on the map where you followed marked trail, old road route or how you searched for the trail on the other end of that slide area?
avatar Re: Circumambulating the Valley
May 25, 2011 07:12PM
Sir,
Like we haven't given you enough other links to look at.
Check this out (complete even more links) regarding Old Big Oak Flat rd.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26668,26668#msg-26668

And maybe this set:
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/Rockslides

I'll read what you wrote later. Good luck investigating..

(btw.. with that loop you have many start pt. options... no need to have to start at Tenaya)



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Circumambulating the Valley
May 25, 2011 06:12PM
chick-on could speak to details far better than I but unless you're planning on later this summer, I would think you might hit some tricky stream crossings and some generally soggy conditions depending on exactly what route you take. How far west do you intend to go along the north rim before crossing the Valley to the south rim?
Re: Circumambulating the Valley
May 25, 2011 06:22PM
The intent is to drop down from the west traversing east just below fireplace bluffs and above rainbow view. The trail apparently drops down to the valley floor just west of El Cap Meadow. Then cross at Pohono Bridge and back east to where the trail heads back west right under Cathedral Rocks. Then past Artist Point and up the Pohono Trail to Dewey Point and beyond. We'll be doing this in late July. I'm most interested in any tricky stream crossings and tread showing up as trails on the topo in 1992 that have been abandoned. Such is the initial plan.

Jeff...



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2011 06:28PM by jjolson58.
Re: Circumambulating the Valley
May 25, 2011 07:00PM
So, if I'm following you, you'll be coming down what the topo calls "Pack Trail" and picking up the Old Big Oak Flat Road (also called a Pack Trail on most topos) a little below where it crosses over Cascade Creek? If that's the case, there's a fair bit of scrambling on that stretch of the OBOFR and one significant bit where the old "ZigZag" was buried under a massive slide in the 1940's (in fact, the trail map I have in my GPS just shows a gap of a couple hundred feet in the road there). There are a number of other threads on this board (including some very detailed pictures and annotated maps thanks to chick-on and others) which detail how to find your way through that area. I love that old road, though...you'll likely to see very few people on it, even on very busy weekends. If I'm correct that that's the route you're describing, make sure you take some time to admire the beautiful rock work propping up many parts of the old road. It's almost 150 years old, used no mortar and is still largely intact.

I'm a little confused about your route over to the south rim, though. If you're going "past Artist Point," I assume you're going up the Old Wawona Road to where it intersects the Pohono Trail but you wouldn't go "under Cathedral Rocks" (except in a very general sense)...shortly after you crossed over Pohono Bridge, you'd be turning up the current Wawona Road and then, a short ways after the Bridalveil parking area, the Old Wawona Road forks off to the left. That's before you get directly under Cathedral Rocks (or maybe I'm just being too literal-minded about this). At any rate, I don't see any problems over there except that, again, depending on how early in the summer you're going, the Pohono Trail could still have a fair amount of snow and water (chick-on was just up there last week and said it's under a lot of snow right now).

--David
Re: Circumambulating the Valley
May 25, 2011 08:55PM
We're starting from Tenaya because I'm picking my partner up at the Reno airport and it's the closest/shortest drive. David's explanation of that confusing transition from one side of the valley to the other helps. I was going to reconnoiter that section, but maybe now I don't need to!!! Thanks for all the information...

Jeff.
avatar Re: Circumambulating the Valley
May 25, 2011 09:06PM
It's a wash. Either way works. Nearly the same mileage. (Pohono Bridge vs. El Cap crossover)

I would go past El Cap Meadow and take the El Cap crossover to Southside Drive.
You can cut a bit off by xcountry just a bit (it's trivial xcountry) SW once you cross the
Merced. Keep heading to Cathedral Rocks and you will run into the trail.
Follow it west and you can zig up to the Bridalveil Lookout before jumping on
41 for a bit and hooking up with the Old Wawona Road.
Looking up at El Cap and then Cathedral Rocks is pretty cool. You'll have
already had nice views of Bridalveil on Old Big Oak Flat Rd.
This way is far better than going Pohono Bridge imo.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Circumambulating the Valley
May 26, 2011 10:18PM
Quote
chick-on
Follow it west and you can zig up to the Bridalveil Lookout before jumping on
41 for a bit and hooking up with the Old Wawona Road.

Couldn't one avoid more of Hwy 41(new Wawona Road) by taking the Old Wawona Road from its starting point on the Valley floor? Then one would only need to travel on Hwy 41 on the small portion of it that intersects with the old road.
avatar Re: Circumambulating the Valley
May 26, 2011 10:28PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
chick-on
Follow it west and you can zig up to the Bridalveil Lookout before jumping on
41 for a bit and hooking up with the Old Wawona Road.

Couldn't one avoid more of Hwy 41(new Wawona Road) by taking the Old Wawona Road from its starting point on the Valley floor? Then one would only need to travel on Hwy 41 on the small portion of it that intersects with the old road.

Not sure what what you said because you just said what I said.

I'll say it again perhaps...
It (Old Wawona) doesn't start right at the valley floor. You have to walk up 41 a bit.
About 1/4 mile. They put some deadfall to obscure it a bit ... but if you go too far
the rock work will jump out at you. The turn is right at the "No Passing - Next 26 Miles Sign":





Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Circumambulating the Valley
May 26, 2011 11:50PM
Actually, the Old Wawona Road does start on the Valley floor. Your photo shows where it crosses the new Wawona Road (Hwy 41), but if you travel just a tad further downhill on Hwy 41 (to where the road pullout on southbound Wawona Road is located) you should see below to your left where the Old Wawona Road continues down (at a slightly steeper grade than the new road) to the Valley floor until it intersects with Southside Drive.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/27/2011 12:00AM by plawrence.
avatar Re: Circumambulating the Valley
May 27, 2011 06:49AM
Quote
plawrence
Actually, the Old Wawona Road does start on the Valley floor. Your photo shows where it crosses the new Wawona Road (Hwy 41), but if you travel just a tad further downhill on Hwy 41 (to where the road pullout on southbound Wawona Road is located) you should see below to your left where the Old Wawona Road continues down (at a slightly steeper grade than the new road) to the Valley floor until it intersects with Southside Drive.
Hmm... really? crap. I just assumed they "reused" Old Wawona and never even looked.
If coming from Cathedral it may be longer to go the way you said... depends where it ends at Southside.
I'll check it out next time I'm in the valley.

Dang, just looked at 1922 map. What a bozo for me never looking on the other side of the road. Doh!

Thanks!



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Circumambulating the Valley
June 12, 2011 08:32PM
Quote
plawrence
Actually, the Old Wawona Road does start on the Valley floor. Your photo shows where it crosses the new Wawona Road (Hwy 41), but if you travel just a tad further downhill on Hwy 41 (to where the road pullout on southbound Wawona Road is located) you should see below to your left where the Old Wawona Road continues down (at a slightly steeper grade than the new road) to the Valley floor until it intersects with Southside Drive.

Checked this out. Yup. There it is. Hiked it down. Kinda a mess if you try to follow it to Southside.
However, there is trail that zigs right to the Bridalveil entrance. If heading up just go out the
entrance, cross the road (Wawona) and you should see a trail to the Old Wawona Rd.
There is a big rock of interest that peeps use for bouldering.

Anyway, thanks for the heads up on Old Wawona. No more frogger on the New road. Very nice.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Circumambulating the Valley
June 13, 2011 02:21PM
Wow...that's news to me, too. I've been so busy trying to trace the route beyond Inspiration Point that it never occurred to me either that the bottom of the new road wasn't the bottom of the old road! One more thing to check out on my next visit!
Re: Circumambulating the Valley
June 30, 2011 11:28AM
The following is the "planned" route my friend and I are taking. Any suggestions as to special spots or places to camp are welcome. If you don't feel like spamming the list, email me offline at jjolson@sonic.net

Thanks... Jeff

1. Tenaya Lake Trailhead to Tenaya Lake and Tuolomne Meadows Trail 6.0 6.0
2. TL & TM junction to North Dome 2.9 8.9
3. North Dome to junction at 7000' 1.8 10.7
4. 7000' junction to Yosemite Creek Trail 2.9 13.6
5. YCT to Cascade Creek Trail .6 14.2
6. CCT to top of El Capitan 2.3 16.5
7. Top of El Capitan to Cascade Creek 6.0 22.5
8. Cascade Creek to Northside Road 6.0 28.5
9. Northside Road to El Cap Bridge and Back to Inspiration Point + or - 6.0 34.5
10. Inspiration Point to Pohono Trail Junction 6780' 7.1 41.6
11. PHTJ to Glacier Point 5.7 47.3
12. Glacier Point to Nevada Falls 5.3 52.6
13. Nevada Falls to Junction on JMT at 8000' 5.6 58.2
14. Junction at 8000' to Tenaya Lake Trailhead 7.1 65.3
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