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Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?

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Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
July 28, 2008 09:51AM
Greetings,

I was wondering if somebody could possibly help me. I was trying to write a series on Yosemite Valley exclusives and I have now completed 2 out of the 3. My first two (which you may have read on here) were Illilouette Gorge & Fall and Sierra Point. For the third hike, I was thinking about using the eastern route to Middle Yosemite Falls. Does anybody know anything about this route and how safe it is?

Basically, I'm looking for a third exclusive hike out of Yosemite Valley which very few people know about and is both fun & rewarding, but not too dangerous. Let me know if you have other ideas. Thank you.
Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
July 28, 2008 12:16PM
I have only down hiked the trail, here is my experiene:

Recently my husband and I climbed the Sunnyside Bench Regular Route, which is just east of Yosemite Falls. The climb tops out on a shelf with a trail. That trail continues on to the pool at middle of the Falls, but we went east as it was running late and family was waiting for us.

From the top of the climb, it is about 300 yards on a relatively level path until a talus field that we scrabbled down, ending up behind some stables, (not the riding stables, maybe the Rangers?).

While the trail was level along the bench, it was not wide, and there where a few exposed areas where a slip and fall would be fatal. I would not recommend it for the casual hiker. The talus field was steep but pretty stable.

You might check out Sunnyside Bench for more info on the east side of Yosemite Falls. Supertopo has a picture of Regular Route which shows part of the trail. http://www.supertopo.com/rockclimbing/route.html?r=yosuregu

Thanks for your series on little known hikes. We are looking forward to hiking up the Illilouette Gorge sometime, when it is not as smokey.

avatar Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
August 01, 2008 01:52PM
Indian Canyon

Rockslides to Rainbow View

Tenaya Canyon

For sure Rockslides to Rainbow View meets your criteria. The other two... that's up to you to decide.
Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
April 29, 2012 08:31PM
Oops edit



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/29/2012 09:01PM by SteveHall.
Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
April 29, 2012 08:48PM
Oops edit



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/29/2012 08:59PM by SteveHall.
Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
August 01, 2008 05:23PM
Thanks for you input, I really appreciate it. Do you know where I can find some more info about the Rockslides to Rainbow View hike? I couldn't find a lot about it on the internet, but it is mentioned a few times so I know the general location. But any help would be greatly appreciated.

I'd do the Ledge Trail before I did Tenaya Canyon... I don't have a death wish.. haha
avatar Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
August 01, 2008 08:44PM
Since I assume you want to hike it from the valley the trail starts up a
little east of El Cap. near Ribbon Creek. If you look on a USGS map
the only place which is iffy is around the 4800ft point where on the
USGS map the trail disappears. It is at this location that the old
big oak flat road made a couple of switchbacks which have been wiped out
by rock falls. Some of the rocks have red spray paint on them marking
the trail. You can also walk down the trail/old road from Tamarack Flat or
from the actual Old Big Oak Flat (Foresta) trailhead on Big Oak Flat Rd.
coming into the valley.

Here's Rainbow View:





Post Edited (08-02-08 17:47)



Everything I know I learned from Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
August 02, 2008 09:06AM
bill-e-g wrote:

> It is at this location that
> the old
> tioga road made a couple of switchbacks which have been wiped
> out
> by rock falls.


Don't know what it is, but all routes of the Tioga Road never went near that area. See, e.g., the map in the following reference:
http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/tioga_road/map.html
avatar Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
August 02, 2008 11:04AM
The old roadbed is actually Old Big Oak Flat Road that runs from the Big Oak Flat entrance through the Tuolumne Grove, past the Yosemite Institute where it leaves the present day 120 about 1/4 mile up from the YI, through the woods up to Gin Flat where it crosses 120 then goes down to Tamarack Flat. It continues past the Tamarack Flat campground all the way down to the valley floor. In the rockslide area things are as bill-e-g describes. This route is on some topos. This is the road that my parents remember driving when they were in their late teens about 70 years ago.





Old Dude
avatar Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
August 02, 2008 05:48PM
Sorry, I corrected the post. My brain farted and I wrote old tioga instead of old big oak flat. And Mike, what are you doing next to a computer? You are suppose to be in the mountains training.



Post Edited (08-02-08 17:51)



Everything I know I learned from Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
August 02, 2008 06:44PM
It's a laptop with a really good airport card. I'm going to Harden and Yosemite Creek Sunday. Maybe Gaylor Lakes too.



Post Edited (08-02-08 18:49)



Old Dude
Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
August 02, 2008 01:29AM
Wow, great picture and great view. And there's even an old railing there? You have definitely solved my crisis as far as finding a third Yosemite Valley exclusive. I only fear it is too late in the season because there's almost no water left at Bridalveil, at least there wasn't much when I was last in Yosemite 2 weeks ago. But I could always plan this hike for next April or May, I guess.

As far as scrambling over the rocks, that shouldn't be a problem. After all I did tons of scrambling in Illilouette Gorge-- more so than ever in my life. So I take it the trail is pretty obvious the entire way up, the only issue is getting over the boulders?

Thanks so much again for finding me a great exclusive, which I'm sharing with close friends and the Death Valley community.
avatar Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
August 02, 2008 07:45AM
The trail/road is obvious except in the location I pointed out... i.e. the
major rockslide area where the road switchbacked. It switchbacks
and then goes into a wooded area which is not obvious. Just look for
paint marks...

We did the trail May 20 a few years ago... kinda forgot about it.
It's a gem though. Great views of Sliver Strand Falls, Ribbon Falls, Bridalveil, El Cap...
And you get to look at the masses below at Tunnel View ... smiling smiley
If you go from the valley I'd recommend walking at least to Fireplace Ck.
to check out some of the old road and rock walls (of the road).

Another hike you want to do is The Diving Board.
You may want to heck out Muirs My First Summer in the Sierra.
He talks about hiking up Indian Canyon and Mt. Broderick.

I just remember a ranger awhile ago said "Tenaya Canyon is not that bad".
I just threw it out there. I know alot of climbers climb Watkins so that
far may not be too bad...

Anyway, here's the view from the old road nearing the valley floor (we got rained on this day):

Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
August 02, 2008 09:48PM
Thank you guys so much for taking the time to put together this info about the hiking route and sharing the photos. I really appreciate this and will try to check it out a week from Monday, if at all possible. You guys are awesome!
avatar Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
August 03, 2008 12:39PM
Here is a repeat of bill-e-g's post:

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?f=1&i=5185&t=5185

Has maps that show the old roads and the early trails. All of those old roadbeds are still doable but sometimes overgrown.





Old Dude
Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
August 03, 2008 06:55PM
Very nice old maps, thanks for passing those along.

So I assume this map below shows the target area I'm looking for. You mentioned regarding the starting point: "the trail starts up a little east of El Cap. near Ribbon Creek." Do you think I'll be able to spot it from my car driving slow through that area? And how long / far do you think the hike is to the lookout point or Fireplace Creek?





Post Edited (08-03-08 18:56)



Steve's Death Valley Adventures-
www.panamintcity.com
avatar Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
August 03, 2008 07:29PM
The old road actually runs into the current road on the north side of the valley floor. When we came through there last year there was some construction work going on around the end of the old road and there was two vehicles that had been smashed by at least one very large fallen tree. You can see on the old map where the old road runs into the valley floor road. I'm sure that spot will be marked with a "service vehicles only" sign or something.

The other option is to park on the valley floor road and hike towards the north wall until you will run into the trail that parallels the road. Go east on that trail and you will run into the old roadbed where you will then head west.





Old Dude
avatar Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
August 03, 2008 11:11PM
It is only around 2 miles to Rainbow View from the Valley Floor.
On the map you have above it is west of the switchbacks and between
the two V streams. The second stream to the left of the switchbacks
is Fireplace Creek.
If you have not checked out Google Earth you should ... I use it alot to
scope out xcountry routes for feasibility (or just dream).
You can plainly see the old rd. and get an idea of where the switchbacks are.

On the map above you can also see Ft. Monroe on the old rd to Wawona.
That rd is easily walkable... remarkable actually how little deadfall you have to climb over. Fort Monroe is anthing but a Fort though... there
was never even a structure there... it was just a stopping off point on
the way into the valley from Wawona.





Everything I know I learned from Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
August 08, 2008 01:24AM
Thanks for the updates guys.

I'm off to backpack tomorrow to Glen Aulin and PD Lakes for a few days. I'll see if I have time to give this a shot on Monday.
Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
August 09, 2008 07:11AM
Hi,

I think I may be able to help you find the start of the Old Big Oak Flat road in the valley. Me and my husband did a walk up here in early June this year (our third trip to Yosemite - from the UK).

You need to look for the valley road marker V9. This is a small post on the north side of the road probably a couple of feet high. It's about 0.5 mile after the El Capitan bridge. There is still some construction there but if you walk up into the trees on the service road then bear west you'll soon see that you're actually on the trackbed of the old road.
'Trails and Tales of Yosemite and the Central Sierra' by Sharon Giacomazzi has a description of this and also some of the history of the road.

Enjoy the walk
avatar Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
August 24, 2008 02:08AM
Couldn't help see some references to Tenaya Canyon. Other than officially recognized trails such as Mirror Lake and the Snow Creek Falls trail southwest of Mt. Watkins, National Geographic "Trails Illustrated Map" has a warning about Tenaya Canyon. It says, "Hiking in Tenaya Canyon is dangerous and strongly discouraged". On somebody's photos posted on another site I could see why. Halfway up the canyon is a choke point where they showed themselves rapelling down a small cliff inside a small waterfall because there was no other safer route!

Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
January 08, 2011 06:12PM
My wife and I have hiked half-way up Tenaya Canyon. This was late September, so Tenaya Creek was pretty much dried up--which is critical for this hike.

The trail is quite obvious once you get to the bridge across Tenaya Creek above Mirror Lake. The trail varies from a clear path to a few cairns here and there, but as long as you stay on the west side of the creek you should be OK most of the way up until you get well past Mt. Watkins.

In the spring, this would be impassible. But in fall, when the creek is low, its not that bad as a day hike up out of the valley. And while I understand the solid granite gorge can be hairy...if you are smart, and you don't force yourself to go where you don't feel safe, this is still a nice adventure. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
January 07, 2011 08:31AM
The V9 marker is actually exactly where the old BOFR hit the Valley. As you pull in to the little turn-out immediately past the V9 marker, you'll see a VERY beat-up road at the west end of the turn-out. Some trail books tell you to drive up this and park closer to the small logging area but I wouldn't take a chance (I've never had a problem leaving my car in the turn-out but have seen vehicles crushed by trees further back). This, however, is NOT the old BOFR...just a modern day service road. If you stand next to the V9 marker and look straight back (i.e., with the Northside Drive behind you and the marker directly on your right), you'll see a wide path with some rocks on either side and a good-sized log across the bottom. This is actually the end of the old road. Purist that I am, I prefer to walk this way when headed up the old road rather than take the (admittedly slightly easier to pick out) service road a couple of hundred feet to the west. Either will get you back to the old road though. Just look for a small switchback and the remnants of some asphalt and start climbing up. It's a wonderful hike (albeit with a bit of scrambling involved) and, as you can see from some of the pictures others have posted, has one of the most terrific views of El Cap anywhere in the Valley (plus, you're not jostling with ten thousand tourists to enjoy the view!).
--David
Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
April 29, 2012 08:57PM
Finally did the hike today and it was wonderful. 3 years of waiting paid off big time. Will write up a trip report upon returning home. Loved the views. We saw 2 other groups during the hike. Tomorrow we are gonna attempt Ribbon Falls. Spotted the trail today as we walked back down from Rainbow View.
Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
April 30, 2012 05:09PM
Just got back from Ribbon Falls. We made it all the way in to the back of the box canyon. Awesome hike. Report coming later with photos.
avatar Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
April 30, 2012 05:23PM
Cool. Some other stuff you may like which have been mentioned in this forum by various peeps:
- Tree Chute
- Taft Chute
- Cathedral Spires Gully to top of Upper Cath / Bridalveil
- Phantom Gully
- Base of Sentinel Falls

*** I can personally vouch for Tree, Cath Spires Gully and base of Sentinel

Pretty much wherever pointed most of these out...

Seems everyone and their brother is going to Ribbon... so I thought a few months ago that
wanted to get to base of Sentinel. Pretty fun.
Want to go to base of Silver Strand some day... someone else beat me to it.

Looking forward to your report. (btw... I found no need for a trail any time I went up or down from Ribbon)

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
May 01, 2012 02:46PM
Hopefully a mod can move this topic over to the Yosemite section. Not sure why I posted it under General 3 1/2 years ago.

chick-on thanks so much for those suggestions. I am going to research each one of them. I really appreciate all of your regular updates from interesting places throughout Yosemite.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/01/2012 02:56PM by SteveHall.
avatar Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
May 03, 2012 07:56AM
My buddie moved it for you.
eeeeeek added some other cats. when people complained about there being only 1, General Discussion.

btw... your site is amazing. kudos for putting all that time into an obvious passion
(pathetically I have never been to Death Valley)
(I don't have a death wish)
smiling smiley
*** this is a joke in response to your Tenaya Canyon comment above

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
May 03, 2012 10:05AM
Quote
chick-on

(pathetically I have never been to Death Valley)


You really ought to make plans to go there next winter season (from November thru March is the best time to visit Death Valley, IMHO). Now would be fine though if you only stuck to the high country, but the valley itself is already too hot for any sane backpacking trip.

Death Valley is spectacular in its own very unique way. Back in the day when my work schedule permitted it, one of my favorite things to do was to spend the last week of February in Yosemite and then the first week of March in Death Valley. A very uniquely and exquisitely sublime California experience.

.
Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
May 03, 2012 10:39AM
Death Valley is an amazing place. Spent 4 days there in April. I was also there when they had their 100 year bloom 6 or 7 years ago.
Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
May 05, 2012 09:55AM
I've never enjoyed Death Valley too much. What do you find amazing there hotrod?
avatar Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
May 05, 2012 07:44PM
Quote
lizzy79

I've never enjoyed Death Valley too much. What do you find amazing there hotrod?

Just curious, which months did you visit Death Valley? Was it in the Fall, Winter, Spring, or Summer?

.
Re: Eastern route to middle Yosemite Falls?
May 05, 2012 09:11PM
Quote
lizzy79
I've never enjoyed Death Valley too much. What do you find amazing there hotrod?

from what i hear they have some pretty good canyons if your into that
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