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Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?

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Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 24, 2011 09:28AM
Putting together a list of day hikes for me and my GF for next month. She's recovering from 3 months in the hospital last year, but doing pretty good. She was able to do the mist trail all the way to Nevada and down the JMT last week. I had hoped to do WW Falls as a day hike, but I don't think she can make it, or it would take us like 9-10 hours.

I guess I'm looking for 5-8 mile RT, maybe 10. I've been to North Dome, not sure we need to do that. Looking for something new. Suggestions? Give me a list of your favs.
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 24, 2011 10:03AM
You do not need to go all the way down to Waterwheel to make it a great hike. Le Conte is just as spectacular and you don't even need to go that far to make it a great hike. Hiking up the Lyell fork is a great hike that is about as serene as you get. Cathedral lakes is great and just hiking around the meadows and up Lembert Dome is fun.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 24, 2011 10:50AM
I really liked the Mono Pass Trail. It's about 8 miles with 1,000 foot elevation gain. Great views, old mine, old cabins, and very isolated. If you continue to Sardine Lake, you get a great view of Mono Lake. I grew up camping along the 395 so I might be a bit biased with this hike smiling smiley
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 24, 2011 01:35PM
Oh, forgot to mention that the only time I've seen pika in the park (or ever really) was along this trail! There was a huge rock pile on the right side (maybe 3/4 of the way on the trail) and that is where we saw them. Not ready with the camera though, so no pictures.
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 24, 2011 08:26PM
Thanks for the suggestions, keep em comin! I did the 20 lakes basin hike about 10 years ago, hadn't thought about it, but will definitely give it some thought.
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 26, 2011 10:47PM
Ditto ditto ditto re Mono Pass hike. Spectacular. Especially with the snow caps. Keep going a little bit beyond Mono Pass to get the best views....

Though 20 Lakes hike out of Saddlebag is also a favorite, if easier and shorter (5 miles).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/26/2011 10:51PM by Akichow.
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 24, 2011 06:22PM
Quote
telfair ave
Cathedral lakes is great and just hiking around the meadows and up Lembert Dome is fun.

I am going to have to agree here. Cathedral is a pretty cool spot. lakes are awesome and going up Cathedral peak can provide some really great views
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 24, 2011 06:23PM
We went along the west side of the river from Pothole Dome, and saw the Little Devil's Postpile, on the July 4th weekend last year. It was nice to get out off the truly beaten path and we hardly encountered anyone out there. I don't know what the conditions will be like when you're there, but we didn't have too much trouble finding a path. The biggest concern was avoiding the "lake" in the meadow (and the mosquitoes), but we stayed along the western side and it was fine.

We came back along the east side, using the backpackers trail. It was kinda boring after the first part of our hike.


I also love going down to the Dana Fork/JMT trail and then just heading out into the trees alongside the river. It's pretty commonly used with people, so there's little chance of getting lost, and the views of the river are lovely. It's pretty flat, so we make that our picnic day.

And I enjoyed hiking north up from the ranger station at the pass, and seeing how the rocks go from granite to volcanic toward the Gaylor Lakes. I don't know how much snow will still be up there this year.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 24, 2011 06:42PM
Quote
itchbay
I also love going down to the Dana Fork/JMT trail and then just heading out into the trees alongside the river.

It's really nice there right now:









avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 24, 2011 07:17PM
And when you're the way back, keep a look out for my smiley rock. His eyes will probably be on the ground, but it only takes a minute or two to put them back for him. smiling smiley
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
July 27, 2011 08:32AM
I love the smiley face rock. I always take a photo of the kids there.smiling smiley
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 24, 2011 12:45PM
Mono Pass is a great hike. It reminds me of a guy that hiked with us up there and refused to eat lunch with us 9even though he had some of our food). I will have to share a couple of Tuolumne stories (nightmare campmates etc.) someday.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/2011 12:46PM by telfair ave.
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 24, 2011 01:30PM
Mono Pass looks like a great one! Thanks. You are right about the GA trail, I have gone as far as GA and there are sights galore along the way. We were supposed to make it to WW that trip, but my companion wasn't in the best of shape. Someday I will get there.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 24, 2011 02:06PM
I love everything in the area between Tenaya & Elizabeth Lakes, there are lots of cool loops if you are up for some class 2 - easy 3.

Fun approaches include:
- Heading over/around the ridge and up the back of Tenaya Peak
- Fisherman's trail to Lower Cathedral Lake
- Climber's trail to the back of Fairview Dome
- Budd Creek
- standard Cathedral & Elizabeth Lakes trails are kinda boring but make for an easy descent.

Once you get up there, a ton of peaks, features and lakes await.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 24, 2011 03:19PM
Just outside the park, 20 Lakes Basin. Take the water ferry across Saddlebag Lake and hike the loop around the lakes. It's beautiful back in there.

Bennetville Ghost Town (really short easy hike)

Gaylor Lakes

Gardisky Lakes and Tioga Peak
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 24, 2011 06:27PM
We always talk about our trip to the Saddlebag Lake. We just drove up there and went into the little store there. Walking back to our car, we both had to stop and rest and catch our breath. And this was when we were both in our triathlon-training best. 10,000 altitude will take its toll.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 25, 2011 10:50AM
Quote
itchbay
We always talk about our trip to the Saddlebag Lake. We just drove up there and went into the little store there. Walking back to our car, we both had to stop and rest and catch our breath. And this was when we were both in our triathlon-training best. 10,000 altitude will take its toll.

Saddlebag Lake is a terrific place for day hiking once you have been in the area a couple days and aclimated to altitude. The north end of the lake is riddled with smaller lakes and catch basins with great views of North Peak, etc. The more ambitious types can also go off trail and climb the pass to view the McCabe Lakes to the west. If you get tired you can always try to get onto the Saddlebag shuttle boat for the return trip to the south end.
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 25, 2011 10:32AM
My favorite hike in the high country is Clouds Rest, hands down. For my money, it has the best view in Yosemite, far superior to Half Dome.

My second favorite is Youngs Lakes, that's 13 miles and beautiful.

Third place is Ten Lakes. This is usually seen as a backpack, but I hike 12 miles in and turn around. Ten Lakes is the lake where I most often see bears. Last year I saw three bears in one day there, all solo bears in different places on the trail. A gorgeous meadow too!
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 25, 2011 12:59PM
In addition to all the great recommendations already given, there are a few good hikes in the May Lake area. The hike to the lake itself, and especially the views from the rocks to the east of the High Sierra Camp, are spectacular. Mt. Hoffman apparently now has an official use trail to the summit, although it invovles more climbing. Finally, a the loop between the May Lake and Murphy Creek trailheads is a nice walk, although a car shuttle might be needed. (Or... since the Tuolumne shuttle bus stops at the Old Tioga Road/New Tioga Road crossing that is just to the west of the Sunrise trailhead, and the bus will stop at the picnic area near Murphy Creek if you ask the driver, the shuttle could be used...)

Another fun hike in this area is an out-and-back to the tarns north of Tuolumne Peak--there are great views from the spur just before the trail drops to the lower tarn. Murphy Creek is the best trailhead for this, although those used to cross-country travel could get there from May Lake via the "May Lake Mystery Trail" (an abandoned but in excellent shape trail that heads north from the current trail north of May Lake just before it drops to the Raisin Lake area) and a traverse of Tuolumne Peak, which has similar views to Hoffman, without the crowds or repeater...

Also, following the Sunrise/Clouds Rest trail to the Sunrise Lakes junction, then heading west on an obvious use trail, leads to a great viewpoint of Tenaya Canyon and much of the northern Yosemite high country. The views from Clouds Rest are better, but if that hike is too ambitious, this viewpoint is a good destination on its own.

Oh, one more: from the Sawmill walk-in camground area near Saddlebag Lake, there's a nice use trail, with good views and an alpine setting, that follows a creek westward, past a research station, towards Mount Conness. Continuing past the head of this valley, requires moderate off-trail scrambling.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2011 01:28PM by basilbop.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 26, 2011 09:12AM
Quote
basilbop
In addition to all the great recommendations already given, there are a few good hikes in the May Lake area. The hike to the lake itself, and especially the views from the rocks to the east of the High Sierra Camp, are spectacular. Mt. Hoffman apparently now has an official use trail to the summit, although it invovles more climbing. Finally, a the loop between the May Lake and Murphy Creek trailheads is a nice walk, although a car shuttle might be needed. (Or... since the Tuolumne shuttle bus stops at the Old Tioga Road/New Tioga Road crossing that is just to the west of the Sunrise trailhead, and the bus will stop at the picnic area near Murphy Creek if you ask the driver, the shuttle could be used...)

Another fun hike in this area is an out-and-back to the tarns north of Tuolumne Peak--there are great views from the spur just before the trail drops to the lower tarn. Murphy Creek is the best trailhead for this, although those used to cross-country travel could get there from May Lake via the "May Lake Mystery Trail" (an abandoned but in excellent shape trail that heads north from the current trail north of May Lake just before it drops to the Raisin Lake area) and a traverse of Tuolumne Peak, which has similar views to Hoffman, without the crowds or repeater...

Also, following the Sunrise/Clouds Rest trail to the Sunrise Lakes junction, then heading west on an obvious use trail, leads to a great viewpoint of Tenaya Canyon and much of the northern Yosemite high country. The views from Clouds Rest are better, but if that hike is too ambitious, this viewpoint is a good destination on its own.

Oh, one more: from the Sawmill walk-in camground area near Saddlebag Lake, there's a nice use trail, with good views and an alpine setting, that follows a creek westward, past a research station, towards Mount Conness. Continuing past the head of this valley, requires moderate off-trail scrambling.

Thanks for pointing out the May Lake Mystery Trail. I was not aware of that one. Sounds interesting. Got to check that out next time I'm picking day hikes. Can you tell me exactly where north of Tuolumne Peak it connects to the trail from Ten Lakes?
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 26, 2011 02:38PM
I just watched a video of the hike to Upper Cathedral Lakes. They stayed for sunset, looked great. Putting it on my list.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 26, 2011 03:27PM
The old trail from May Lake towards Tuolumne Peak is real fun and has great views; they put a lot of work into it back in the day.

To find the connection: If you are hiking on the trail heading north from May Lake, you pass the lake, head through a level area and the main trail takes a turn to the right, contouring a ridge, your first nice wide open view. Right before that turn, there's a standard Yosemite trail sign sticking up in the middle of nowhere, most folks must think WTF is this doing here? It actually marks the start of the abandoned trail. Head north and start following the little drainage, after 50 - 100 yards a very discernable trail should appear.

The trail jumps back and forth across the creek a bit (probably either snowed over or a river this year), switchbacks up the ridge to your right (some nice old rock work there), passes a cool waterfall and finally peters out when you don't really need a trail anymore. It drops you into a little basin SE of Tuolumne peak, there are a lot of easy use trails to the summit from there.

Some photos here: http://www.qitnl.com/v/070609
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 26, 2011 04:07PM
Kewl QITNL and basilbop...
Last time thru there I skipped the trail entirely from Raisin to May... making my own wink
Will have to check out this Mystery Trail sometime... (looks like it's just a different route towards McGee
from looking at old topo).
Lots of great stuff in this area (like all areas)... but some very interesting geology all around Hoffman
but especially west and n-west of it where all the unnamed lakes are.



Chick-on is looking at you!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/27/2011 06:42AM by chick-on.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 26, 2011 06:09PM
The trail I followed seemed more like a spur trail. I got the feeling perhaps there once was some kind of structure or camp up there. I looked on old maps and couldn't find anything. It didn't really seem to lead to McGee.

One area that intrigues me is North/Northwest of Mt. Hoffmann. Quite rugged back there. I was speaking with one fellow a couple years ago, a younger YMS guide, he was talking about some "crystal caves" or something of that sort in that area. Quite hush-hush, he said. I don't think he was pulling my leg, but I've never heard anything else about that anywhere.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/26/2011 06:11PM by QITNL.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 26, 2011 06:16PM
Yeah, could be just a spur... they started it and never finished it... so it never showed up on a map.

Take a look at this set:
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/TuolumnePeak
Not annotated... and not in order... but...
It has some stuff from N and NW of Hoffman and some of the geology I'm alluding to.
The route I hiked is there... it's one of a thousand that I want to do again and explore more...
and hike over into the SF of Cathedral...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 27, 2011 02:48AM
Thanks for that link, great shots. That part of the park is real close to the roads but few folks get over there. Could be real fun to tool around in with all of this season's snow.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 27, 2011 06:53AM
The only issue is that there are a lot of boulders... so it can get dicey when too much snow melts.
It's one of those things where sooner is sometimes better than later...

My original post said e and ne... argh... of course I meant west and nw... east is may lake.

No real need to answer the original question anymore.... it seems almost every trail has been
mentioned... all are spectacular... all are worthy...



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 27, 2011 08:32AM
I'm not sure it was a spur--there is another pair of "WTF are they doing here" signs on the Ten Lakes trail in the meadow maybe 1/4 mile north of the junction with the Glen Aulin-May Lake trail. I suspect that this is where this "mystery" trail's northern terminus was, and that it was the original trail from Glen Aulin to May Lake, before they blasted out the current route that goes by Raisin Lake. But, I have never found a map with this trail on it, nor was I able to locate any signs of it near the Ten Lakes trail.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 27, 2011 12:08PM
Take a look at this map (use the Zoom tool):
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/YoseMaps#5560699859438035074

Crystal Cave... written down... will go exploring in Sept. perhaps... have some ideas of where they are...
If I should find them I'll let you guys know exactly where...



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 27, 2011 02:00PM
Thanks for the pointer to the historical map! That does looks more like the "mystery" route, alhtough I think it's actually more to the west of where it's indicated on that map (no surprise, those old maps didn't have very accurate trail placement--or topography for that matter). The "mystery" trail could have been based on an earlier calvary route, which would have been more likely to follow the tree-lined gully the mystery trail does (easier on horses and easier to blaze), vs. traverse an open granite slope like the current trail does.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 27, 2011 03:34PM
Thanks for all the additional info. Nice to hear someone else has heard of these caves!

Looking at my GPS track to Tuolumne Peak, my path went practically due north from May Lake, just a hint to the east to stay on that side of the ridge. The historical map (and all others that I've seen) indicate the trail swings much further to the east . Perhaps the trails do meet up, I probably wasn't looking for the connection, I had my eyes on the Peak.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 28, 2011 07:44AM
Quote
chick-on
Take a look at this map (use the Zoom tool):
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/YoseMaps#5560699859438035074

Crystal Cave... written down... will go exploring in Sept. perhaps... have some ideas of where they are...
If I should find them I'll let you guys know exactly where...

Going to hold you to that.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 29, 2011 10:53AM
Quote
tomdisco
Quote
chick-on
Take a look at this map (use the Zoom tool):
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/YoseMaps#5560699859438035074

Crystal Cave... written down... will go exploring in Sept. perhaps... have some ideas of where they are...
If I should find them I'll let you guys know exactly where...

Going to hold you to that.

Well... we are holding you to beautiful Loch Tablae...

I'm thinking I'll find Crystal Caves before you touch the calming waters of my beloved.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 29, 2011 08:14PM
Quote
bill-e-g
Quote
tomdisco
Quote
chick-on
Take a look at this map (use the Zoom tool):
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/YoseMaps#5560699859438035074

Crystal Cave... written down... will go exploring in Sept. perhaps... have some ideas of where they are...
If I should find them I'll let you guys know exactly where...

Going to hold you to that.

Well... we are holding you to beautiful Loch Tablae...

I'm thinking I'll find Crystal Caves before you touch the calming waters of my beloved.

Yeah, August is still aways off. Looking forward to Table Lake.
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 27, 2011 08:40AM
I've heard of these caves--in fact, a Yosemite ranger once asked me if I knew about them. I have a friend who was guided to them by someone on the May Lake staff, so I'm fairly sure they exist.
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 27, 2011 10:09PM
Here are some more pictures taken from the May Lake "Mystery Trail":

May Lake Mystery Trail

BTW, giving credit where credit is due, this is the Usenet posting where I first read about this route: Usenet Posting
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 28, 2011 07:25AM
Many thanks, will definitely check this out...
The usenet guy also mentions something else that has been on my list for a couple of years now...

I'm ALWAYS looking around for routes and fun stuff to explore... was looking at that tree line when
was up at May/Hoffman... here's another little one you may want to check out some time...
(I haven't done it but spied it from my campsite... going "ok, that looks really nice!" )

https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/Misc#5623275250582218642

It will be winter again before we know it... so off we goes...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 28, 2011 06:03PM
Just wondering if the May Lake "mystery trail" could be a VERY OLD alignment of Tioga Road. IIRC, the Tioga Road had a number of realignments, especially in the early years (pre-1920's) besides the major and last realignment that occurred back in the 1960's.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 28, 2011 06:13PM
Quote
plawrence
Just wondering if the May Lake "mystery trail" could be a VERY OLD alignment of Tioga Road. IIRC, the Tioga Road had a number of realignments, especially in the early years (pre-1920's) besides the major and last realignment that occurred back in the 1960's.


Pre-Great Sierra Wagon Road?
http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/tioga_road/map.html
(The Great Paiute Pre-Road Road?)
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 28, 2011 07:30PM
Quote
szalkowski
Quote
plawrence
Just wondering if the May Lake "mystery trail" could be a VERY OLD alignment of Tioga Road. IIRC, the Tioga Road had a number of realignments, especially in the early years (pre-1920's) besides the major and last realignment that occurred back in the 1960's.


Pre-Great Sierra Wagon Road?
http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/tioga_road/map.html
(The Great Paiute Pre-Road Road?)

I'll try to locate the source (I read it online somewhere), but I thought I read somewhere that Tioga Road did have a number of realignments in its early years due to rockslides and such prior to being purchased by Stephen T. Mather in 1915.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 28, 2011 07:56PM
Quote
plawrence
Just wondering if the May Lake "mystery trail" could be a VERY OLD alignment of Tioga Road. IIRC, the Tioga Road had a number of realignments, especially in the early years (pre-1920's) besides the major and last realignment that occurred back in the 1960's.
I very highly doubt it. From what was said so far... it is a trail... nothing like a road. Especially where it goes thru.
Here is where the Old Tioga Rd. is and where the mystery trail is from what was said:

Blue=Old Tioga (now May Lake Rd. & trail from May Lake TH parking down toward Tenaya Lake/Sunrise TH)
Dotted Line=Mystery Trail best guess by me...
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/MorePoo#5623469134945946434



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 28, 2011 09:05PM
Thanks for the map outlining the general location of the mystery trail So according to your drawing, the mystery trail is more or less a ridge top trail? Is that a correct assumption? If so, then that probably wouldn't have been any sort of wagon road.

But for some reason, I thought one of the early wagon roads (early editions of the Great Sierra Wagon Road) bypassed Tenaya Lake and entered Tuolumne Meadows from the northwest. I'm now trying to figure out where I got that notion in my head.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 28, 2011 09:48PM
Quote
plawrence
But for some reason, I thought one of the early wagon roads (early editions of the Great Sierra Wagon Road) bypassed Tenaya Lake and entered Tuolumne Meadows from the northwest. I'm now trying to figure out where I got that notion in my head.

If you take a close look at the map that I linked to above (from the Tioga Road book) or a decent topo map, you will see that the route of the Great Sierra Wagon Road went along the north side of TM, past what is now Parson's Memorial Lodge and Soda Springs, past Lembert Dome, and then south of the current Tioga Road alignment past the Ranger Station and the Dog Lake trailhead parking area. The present-day, unnamed, access road (paved and unpaved) in the area follows that alignment.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 28, 2011 10:47PM
Yep, that dotted line is pretty much it, at least approaching from the south. That will get you started. Head up the drainage from the WTF? trail sign. There's a section of switchbacks when you leave the drainage and gain the ridge, then you skirt past a waterfall. Great views.

It's definitely a trail, not a wagon road, and is in surprisingly good shape for something which has been abandoned for so long.

I had Tuolumne Peak as a target so I have no idea where the trail ends, if it meets up with the official trail to the NE. It seemed to terminate up there. There are a couple different paths towards the Peak, but due to the terrain, they aren't much more than use trails. I certainly didn't see anything to pull me to the NE, but I wasn't interested in losing all that altitude anyway.

I have some GPS data but I'd have make some sense out of it before it would be worth posting. Besides, this is a mystery trail.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
July 27, 2011 07:32AM
We hiked the May Lake Mystery Trail last weekend.

Here is the trail taken directly from my GPS w/o any massaging:


The trail on both sides of the saddle is in INCREDIBLY great condition.
The north side of the saddle for the first couple hundred feet (heading north) is
the spot where we could not find the trail under 100% snow cover.
It's very steep right there so perhaps it is no more... but by 9600 ft. we were able
to easily find the trail... and follow it right down to the two
signs on the Ten Lakes trail. We had a blast doing this trail and
a huge huge THANKS to basil for this GEM!

If anyone wants to see some pix... lemme know... took a lot...

Pretty funny that this "non-trail" has signs at both junctions yet the trail
from Murphy Creek to Sunrise TH has NONE at either end.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
July 27, 2011 08:16AM
Quote
chick-on
We hiked the May Lake Mystery Trail last weekend.

Here is the trail taken directly from my GPS w/o any massaging:


The trail on both sides of the saddle is in INCREDIBLY great condition.
The north side of the saddle for the first couple hundred feet (heading north) is
the spot where we could not find the trail under 100% snow cover.
It's very steep right there so perhaps it is no more... but by 9600 ft. we were able
to easily find the trail... and follow it right down to the two
signs on the Ten Lakes trail. We had a blast doing this trail and
a huge huge THANKS to basil for this GEM!

If anyone wants to see some pix... lemme know... took a lot...


Of course, I would love to see the photos. (Do you really need to ask?)


Quote
chick-on
Pretty funny that this "non-trail" has signs at both junctions yet the trail
from Murphy Creek to Sunrise TH has NONE at either end.

Since the trail doesn't appear to be a mystery to many people anymore, maybe a new name for it would be more appropriate. The May Lake Ridge Trail, perhaps? Any other suggestions?
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
July 27, 2011 10:28AM
I'm happy that you confirmed the existance of the northern portion of the Mystery Trail, even if it takes some of the mystery out of it... (It was almost certainly part of the original Glen Aulin - May Lake trail, and was probably abandoned due to the excessive elevation gain and potential for late-season snow creating difficulties for the horses/mules doing the HSC loop...) Oh, and don't thank me--thank the gentleman who wrote that Usenet posting that first turned me onto this trail.

As always, yes, want pictures, please!
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
July 27, 2011 01:55PM
Here's a bunch:
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/MayLakeMysteryTrail?authkey=Gv1sRgCMnXucbx5ID-owE

We did a number of other things on this trip. I'll post them in another thread. This set contains only
stuff right on the trail or very very close...

The trail is not on the ridge... so May Lake Ridge is really misleading. Old May Lake-Ten Lakes Trail.. ?

Anyone know what other trail other than Mattie is out there that horses are allowed to go "cross-country" on?
I heard once it was Harriet but I certainly saw no trail to Harriet when I visited it... so I don't believe that...



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
July 27, 2011 04:35PM
Thanks for the pictures, although I suppose I should feel bad that I couldn't locate the northern terminus from the Ten Lakes Trail despite knowing exactly where it should be... I'll blame the mosquitoes that were distracting me sad smiley

Although I can wait for your follow-up post, I'm curious if you did any exploring along Cathedral Creek--I believe the same usenet posting that referred to the Mystery Trail mentioned a soda spring along this creek, below the trail crossing.

And, even though it's no longer much of a mystery, I'd vote to keep it as the May Lake Mystery Trail...
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 28, 2011 11:48PM
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QITNL
The old trail from May Lake towards Tuolumne Peak is real fun and has great views; they put a lot of work into it back in the day.

To find the connection: If you are hiking on the trail heading north from May Lake, you pass the lake, head through a level area and the main trail takes a turn to the right, contouring a ridge, your first nice wide open view. Right before that turn, there's a standard Yosemite trail sign sticking up in the middle of nowhere, most folks must think WTF is this doing here? It actually marks the start of the abandoned trail. Head north and start following the little drainage, after 50 - 100 yards a very discernable trail should appear.

The trail jumps back and forth across the creek a bit (probably either snowed over or a river this year), switchbacks up the ridge to your right (some nice old rock work there), passes a cool waterfall and finally peters out when you don't really need a trail anymore. It drops you into a little basin SE of Tuolumne peak, there are a lot of easy use trails to the summit from there.

Some photos here: http://www.qitnl.com/v/070609

It is a great old trail. I discovered one day it while scouting a cross-country way down from the summit, and followed it down to the present trail that heads north from May Lake. Somewhere I have GPS coordinates for the thing (ask me if you want me to look), but your description is fine.

This was a really well-built trail in its day. It approaches Tuolumne Peak from the southeast, rather than from the north like the present spur to the summit does. I don't know why it was abandoned, but my guess is that they wanted people to use the new trail, which is more protected from thunderstorms and such. It was also a more substantial trail than the new one, and maybe was harder to maintain.
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 27, 2011 10:54PM
Why spend all that energy when the Lyell Fork is so freakin' beautiful! Just walk down the John Muir Trail to Twin Bridges, turn left at the river and saunter upstream, find a nice warm flat rock and lay there listening to the sound of the Tuolumne. Sunset Dome is a great place to watch the sunset; ask one of the crew at the Lodge how to get there. Vogelsang is not a day-hike; too bad. = PGD
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 27, 2011 10:57PM
And, on your way back, just barely north of the twin bridges, to the left of the trail, you'll see my smiley rock. Please take a minute and give him back his eyes that the snow most assuredly washed away. smiling smiley
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
June 28, 2011 08:53AM
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pgavin
Why spend all that energy when the Lyell Fork is so freakin' beautiful! Just walk down the John Muir Trail to Twin Bridges, turn left at the river and saunter upstream, find a nice warm flat rock and lay there listening to the sound of the Tuolumne. Sunset Dome is a great place to watch the sunset; ask one of the crew at the Lodge how to get there. Vogelsang is not a day-hike; too bad. = PGD

That is why I named my son Trent (English for rushing river) Lyell. My favorite place in the world.
Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
July 27, 2011 12:21PM
Gavin, why do you say Vogelsang is not a day hike? I've done it as a day hike many, many times. Not a favorite hike of mine, but many do this as a day hike.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
July 30, 2011 02:25PM
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Ulysses61
Gavin, why do you say Vogelsang is not a day hike? I've done it as a day hike many, many times. Not a favorite hike of mine, but many do this as a day hike.

Maybe he means it is not a day hike for the merely human?
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
July 30, 2011 02:36PM
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eeek
Quote
Ulysses61
Gavin, why do you say Vogelsang is not a day hike? I've done it as a day hike many, many times. Not a favorite hike of mine, but many do this as a day hike.

Maybe he means it is not a day hike for the merely human?


Maybe he means:
If the actual destination is the HSC, why would you want to do it?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/30/2011 03:01PM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Your favorite day hikes in Tuolumne area?
July 30, 2011 03:36PM
Quote
szalkowski

Maybe he means:
If the actual destination is the HSC, why would you want to do it?


To enjoy a hearty meal before the hike back?
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