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The Moon is Waxing Gibbous (89% of Full)


High Country trails

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High Country trails
May 09, 2012 03:35PM
Anybody checked out the snow/mud/trail situation for the Tioga Rd/TM trailheads this year? I know normally things are pretty snowbound for a few weeks after the road first opens, but this year has obviously been different... I'm heading up on 5/19 and trying to put together my plan of action. Also bringing the kids (3.5 yrs and 20 mos) for the first time on our backs, so trying to avoid anything too tricky balance-wise. Backpacking got too easy, so I've upgraded to packs that spontaneously shift and jump around. winking smiley
avatar Re: High Country trails
May 09, 2012 04:14PM
Anybody checked out the snow/mud/trail situation for the Tioga Rd/TM trailheads this year?

I will this weekend. winking smiley
Re: High Country trails
May 09, 2012 06:53PM
I'm curious to hear what the first water crossing is like on the way to Clouds Rest. Last year in early July it was still above my knees!
Re: High Country trails
May 10, 2012 04:11PM
Here's a video that may be useful. It was apparently made by someone riding Tioga Road on a bicycle a week ago. Conditions are changing rapidly, of course.
Re: High Country trails
May 15, 2012 07:47PM
Appreciate some of the other posts w/ regard to snow at various elevations. I will be in Yosemite starting Sat. night for 4 days, but I only have arrangements for one "kid-free" hike, which is significant with kids as young as mine...

I am trying to decide what to do for that day since it's pretty much my only chance for a more strenuous hike. I pretty much have it down to the following options:

1. Panorama trail (with a lazy car shuttle). I've done the Mist/JMT many times but never from Glacier all the way down that way. Sounds nice but some repeating past hikes.

2. North Dome. I've been to Yosemite Point and loved the view of Half Dome; wanted to go up for a while but never found the time.

3. Hike to Glen Aulin/beyond to Waterwheel depending on how I feel. I'm fairly excited about this one but not sure of exactly how the conditions will be with regard to creek crossings, snow, mud, etc. Seems like the various falls might be going pretty good and I've never been there before.

I'm sure I'll have a great time no matter what, but I am interested to see what everyone's opinions are, and any insight into expected conditions impacting those options. Thanks!
Re: High Country trails
May 15, 2012 08:09PM
I'd do Glen Aulin, it will cover new ground for you and it is really the perfect hike for this time of year.
I was in Yosemite this past weekend and there is essentially no snow at all below 8500 feet. So Tuolomne to Glen Aulin should be snow free except for maybe a few patches under the trees.
The creek crossings are Delaney and Dingley, just walk across slow and steady and be prepared to get wet up to your knees.
The waterfalls will be at their peak and absolutely fabulous. The trail should be uncrowded as services and campground have yet to open in the area. Enjoy!
avatar Re: High Country trails
May 16, 2012 06:18AM
What She said. Hands down. As is typical... expect to get your flippers wet thru Glen Aulin proper.

Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: High Country trails
May 16, 2012 03:04PM
Ok I'm convinced.

Glen Aulin it is. Now to convince my wife to deal with the wet parts...

Re: High Country trails
May 16, 2012 03:50PM

So three of us are planning Hetch Hetchy to Rancheria Falls this Fri-Sun, contingent on acquiring permits day of. On Saturday we were going to do a leisure hike to Tiltill Valley. Originally thinking the Beehive/Vernon loop, but I don't think my mates were willing to do the 2000-3000 ft elevation climb on day one. Now that I see this post, a hike to Glen Aulin can be an option for us also. Considering the High Sierra Camps are still closed, does that mean we'd need to get the Glen Aulin (Water Wheel Falls Pass-Thru) Permit?

Two of us are debating whether on leaving Thursday and staying in the back packer's campground by Rancheria Falls. If we choose to head to TM, how are the conditions of the backpacker's camp ground now?

How are the skeeters right now?

How fast is Delaney and DIngley flowing? Are any parts of the trail muddy or swampy? Just trying to gauge how long it should take us to go 6-7.5 miles on Day 1. Unfortunately the third person in our group is arriving most likely around noon if we decide to go to TM.

Itinerary for Glen Aulin would be as follows:

Day 1 - Hike pass Glen Aulin
Night 1 - Camp near Glen Aulin
Day 2 - Leisure day hike to Water Wheel Falls
Nigh 2 - Back to Base Camp
Day 3 - Hike out

Any additional information is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Re: High Country trails
May 17, 2012 10:04AM
I don't think the campground in TM is open yet which means the backpackers part is also closed. This is because the campground will not yet have water, sewer, electricity or garbage pickup.
A wilderness permit to Glen Aulin is fine, no need to do a pass-thru one. The High Sierra camp in Glen Aulin is still closed, so there are no tent cabins or restaurant, but you can still camp there no problem. The reason this one is open and TM backpackers is not is because this is a backcountry campground so the only "services" is an outhouse and bearbox.
avatar Re: High Country trails
May 17, 2012 03:54PM
I think the mosquitoes will be in full swing. I was out last week and they were just starting to come out. I got a few bites...
Re: High Country trails
May 24, 2012 01:45PM
Just wanted to follow up on our trip to Glen Aulin/Waterwheel Falls last weekend:

Mosquitoes - Not so bad, except at Tuolumne Meadows near the Stables. Expect this to get bad fairly soon.
Delaney Creek - Fast, but can be safely crossed with logs
Dingley Creek - Ankle to calve deep. Upstream, you can rock hop and stay dry.
Glen Aulin Campground - At most only 9 or 10 people last weekend.
Wild Flowers - not much right now pass the Glen Aulin beach area
Trail Flooded - Right before California Falls, a cascade is flooding the trail for about a 1/4 of a mile. Some areas calf deep, some as much as knee deep. You can go around by hopping logs and getting poked by pine needles. I took off my socks and inserts and went in with my boots.
Water Falls - Roaring and beautiful grinning smiley
Re: High Country trails
May 30, 2012 04:41PM
any snow on trail between TMeadows and glen aulin camp?
avatar Re: High Country trails
May 30, 2012 07:53PM
Didn't get on that particular trail (went south from Tuolumne the last few days) but I can't imagine that there is any snow down to Glen Aulin...perhaps an isolated patch in a shady spot under a tree somewhere.
Re: High Country trails
May 25, 2012 06:47PM
packenvy, you pretty much nailed it. Did it on 5/21. Stayed dry with gore tex trail runners on Delaney (log upstream) and Dingley (rocks) until just before California Falls. Tons of mosquitos around Dingley and Delaney for me but only if you stopped moving (like when your wife has to change shoes because she doesn't want to cross on the log...).

All waterfalls totally thundering! Awesome trip; super hot on the way back and on the open granite.

Regarding the flooded spot before California Falls - we attempted to circumnavigate this area on the maze of fallen logs in young pines on the way down. I do not recommend this, though. Took 30 minutes longer and still wound up changing shoes and diving in. It is a complete swamp between the granite wall and the river in that area. REALLY freakin' cold, too... I would say just plan on powering through the water like we did on the way back. Much faster, less poking from pine needles and worrying about stepping on snakes taking refuge on the same logs you are walking on...

We saw a total of 4 people all day (all backpacking/overnighters). Not bad for a day where the valley was completely swarmed.

Pics to follow; I have a ton to sort through b/c I used exposure bracketing to try some HDR's.
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