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Re: update to "Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley"

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update to "Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley"
June 21, 2012 12:49AM
Two years ago I started a thread called, “Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley”.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26491,26491#msg-26491

That thread eventually, if printed out, ran to 26 pages. During the last two years, there have been many trip reports and comments about the 32 hikes that I listed, that would run to hundreds more pages. There are also eight hikes that I would have added to the list, if I had known about them back then. The purpose of this note is to gather together a whole bunch of forum links to those routes, so that someone who has not followed the forum closely can find them. Especially since the regular search function on this forum seems to function poorly. The links shown below will get you started.

I would also like to point out a couple of related topics: Off-highway biking
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,28199,28199
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,28251,51325
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,28270,28270

and off-trail beginner hikes
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,34462
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,56329

One reason that I do these things, instead of just heading for the high country, is that old age and family preferences have pretty well ended my backpacking days. I stay in the Valley now, or at White Wolf, and do day hikes. Some of them are very easy, and some are very difficult. But they all get away from the crowds. Here is the rationale as stated in my original post:

It's June in Yosemite, and the Valley is crawling with people..… It's so nice to stay in the Valley, but how to avoid the crowds on the trail?

I've been doing it for years by hiking the abandoned trails, or by pleasant off-trail walks, or hiking some of the more interesting climbers' access trails. Or, in some cases, by doing ferocious bushwhacks. Following some recent requests, I sat down and made a list of the interesting ones that are in the Valley, or at least within an area bounded by Tioga Pass Road on the north and Glacier Point Road on the south.

To the north and east of the Valley there are limitless possibilities for off-trail hikes on the slick rock and in the high country. Therefore my list is limited to the stuff closer to the Valley, where wooded terrain and steep hillsides can make the route finding interesting, and where there is a lot of history to discover.


Here is my original hike list, with some new ones added. Parentheses indicate routes that are included for completeness, but which are not recommended (for reasons given below).

1 Foresta Road, from Foresta to El Portal via Foresta Falls ( or via old trail)
2 Old Coulterville Road from Foresta to the Cascade parking lot
3 Tamarack Campground to Foresta trail head via Devils Dance Floor
4 Old Big Oak Flat Road, from Tamarack Campground to El Cap Meadow in the Valley
4-1 The Old Big Oak Flat horse trail
4-2 Ribbon Falls Amphitheater
4-3 The Old Mono Trail from Tamarack Flat to Porcupine Flat
4-4 The Twin Falls on Cascade Creek
5 El Cap Ridge, from White Wolf to Ribbon Meadow...my favorite
5-1 Stuff southwest of White Wolf
5-2 Fireplace Bluff and the Falls of Fireplace Creek
6 (Three Brothers Gully, i.e. Eagle Creek)
7 [Eagle Tower Overlook]
7-1 Base of Upper Yosemite Falls when the Falls are dried up
7-2 Sunnyside Bench
8 Indian Canyon Trail
8-1 Old Tioga Pass Highway (abandoned) from Yosemite Creek Campground to Porcupine Flat
8-2 Porcupine Flat to Yosemite Point via the ridge
9 (North Dome Gully, climbers access to Washington Column summit)
9-1 Base of Arches Falls
10 Basket Dome to Snow Creek Trail
11 Rt 120 quarry to Mt Watkins and variations
12 Olmstead Pointt to Pywiack Falls base pool via airplane gully
13 Tenaya Canyon traverse
13-1 Abandoned trail to the base of Snow Creek Falls
13-2 Hidden Falls of Tenaya Creek
14 Quarter Domes from Half Dome Trail
15 (Half Dome Death Slabs climbers access trail)
16 (Traverse along base of Half Dome Face to the Diving Board)
17 Sierra Point Trail
18 Anderson Spur Trail off the Mist Trail
19 Diving Board from Emerald Pool
20 Liberty Cap west side bypass gully
21 Liberty Cap summit
22 (Ledge Trail, i.e. 1.5 mile trail, from Curry Village to Glacier Point)
23 Union Point to Sentinel Saddle via Glacier Point water works
23-1 Agazziz Column and Moran Point from Four Mile Trail
23-2 Illilouette Ridge and Ostrander Rocks
23-3 Sentinel Falls Base
24 Taft Chute
25 Tree Chute
26 Phantom Valley
27 Upper Cathedral Rock via climbers descent route, or lip of Bridalveil Falls via same
28 ridge-top walk from Glacier Point Road to Dewey Point along ski trail
28-1 Inspiration Ridge
29 Old Inspiration Point
29-1 Mount Beatitude , Ladies’ Point, and Hill’s Point
29-2 Old Wawona Road, from Bridalveil Falls base to new Wawona Highway
29-3 The old Mariposa Trail, from Moonlight Rock (aka Tunnel View parking lot) down to Fern Spring and the Pohono Bridge
30 Turtle Dome to Pohono Trail
31 (Hennessy Trail from Wawona Road to El Portal)
32 (Sunset Trail, from Wawona Road to the missing bridge at El Portal)

Here is the original map.



This link should take you to a higher resolution version of the map:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-r2hGHfeR-ck/T--X095ArgI/AAAAAAAABR8/NYkTjrMcB2w/s1600/Off_Trail%202010t001.jpg

http://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B9ZDeFswongBMzZhY2Y5Y2MtNTUyNi00NDM3LTg3ZTctOGNiNDc0ZWY1ZjEy&hl=en

So. What new has been posted about these hikes in the last couple of years? Here is a run-down by the numbers:

1 Foresta Road, from Foresta to El Portal via Foresta Falls ( or via old trail)
The McCauley Ranch was built on the west side of Yosemite, on what is now the Foresta Road, also known as Crane Creek Road. In use from around 1883, it would have been accessed from the Old Coulterville Road, but there was a mule or foot trail shown on the old maps down the east side of Crane Creek. That trail is lost, but the newer Foresta Road is a great hike or mountain bike ride. See link:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,28199,28199

2 Old Coulterville Road from Foresta to the Cascade parking lot. Abandoned road with a lot of history.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26509
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26509,60941#msg-60941

3 Tamarack Campground to Foresta trail head via Devils Dance Floor
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26547,26547

4 Old Big Oak Flat Road, from Tamarack Campground to El Cap Meadow. Another abandoned road, which was maintained as a trail for a long time. Now abandoned, but still a popular hike.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26668
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,46585

4-1 The Old Big Oak Flat horse trail
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,48394,48394#msg-48394
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,48394,60952#msg-60952

4-2 Ribbon Falls Amphitheater
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,48306
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,53965

4-3 The Old Mono Trail from Tamarack Flat to Porcupine Flat
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,58253,58253#msg-58253

4-4 The Twin Falls on Cascade Creek. Due east of Tamarack Flat Campground. Not easy to get to, but very nice.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,67296

5 El Cap Ridge, from White Wolf to Ribbon Meadow...my favorite
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26797,26797

5-1 Hikes to the southwest of White Wolf…a work in progress. Chick-on has done a bunch of stuff there.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,28730,28915#msg-28915

5-2 Fireplace Bluff and the Falls on Fireplace Creek
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,39010

6 (Three Brothers Gully, i.e. Eagle Creek) This gully is a climbers’ access route, but I haven’t done it. Too hot and sunny in the Summer, too wet in the Spring. Very steep. But I will do it some day.

7 [Eagle Tower Overlook] Too easy to drop things on the Yosemite Falls Trail.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26491,29203#msg-29203

7-1 Base of Upper Yosemite Falls when the Falls are dried up
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,60663,60793#msg-60793
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,60663,60915#msg-60915

7-2 Sunnyside Bench
The same difficulty as Sierra Point, but more certainly deadly if you fall off.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,64970

8 Indian Canyon Trail
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,29137,29151#msg-29151
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,49133

8-1 Old Tioga Pass Highway (abandoned) from Yosemite Creek Campground to Porcupine Flat
Some patches of paving still exist. Leaves the campground near site 68.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,48222

8-2 Porcupine Flat to Yosemite Point via the ridge between them. Then to the valley via Indian Canyon or the Yosemite Falls Trail.

9 (North Dome Gully, climbers access to Washington Column summit) Climbers only.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,56267

9-1 Base of Arches Falls. Added 6/22/12 at Chick-on's suggestion
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,64911,64968#msg-64968
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,56896,56956#msg-56956
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,53550,53580#msg-53580

10 Basket Dome to Snow Creek Trail
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,56267

11 Rt 120 quarry to Mt Watkins and variations. A favorite beginner bushwhack, without any bushes.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,57351
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,41767,41774#msg-41774

12 Olmstead Point to Pywiack Falls base pool via airplane gully. I don’t remember this as being too bad, depending on how the bushes survived the previous winter’s avalanches, but a recent post suggests that the boulders have moved, and it is now rather difficult in one spot.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,57381
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,31393,31411#msg-31411

13 Tenaya Canyon traverse
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,27226,29250#msg-29250
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,47282

13-1 Abandoned Trail to the base of Snow Creek Falls. Very short old trail.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,64970

13-2 Hidden Falls (of Tenaya Creek)
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,64970
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,64500,64523#msg-64523
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,63839,64687#msg-64687

14 Quarter Domes from Half Dome Trail
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,29842

15 (Half Dome Death Slabs climbers access trail from Mirror Lake) Don’t do it. Too easy to fall off. Climbers only.

16 (Traverse along base of Half Dome Face to the Diving Board)
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,44869,44955#msg-44955

17 Sierra Point Trail
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26668,34786#msg-34786
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?1,8448

18 Anderson Spur Trail off the Mist Trail
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26728

19 Diving Board from Emerald Pool. One of these days I will get around to posting the easiest route.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,54286
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?1,9251

20 Liberty Cap west side bypass gully
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,54286,54433#msg-54433

21 Liberty Cap summit. An easy bushwhack up a gully on the north side. One hands-on-rock spot.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26491,39415#msg-39415

22 (Ledge Trail, i.e. 1.5 mile trail, from Curry Village to Glacier Point)
Yes, I’ve done it, and yes it’s not too bad, but I’ve seen too many rockfalls cross it in recent years. As far as I’m concerned, it is currently a death trap, and will be until the rock face settles down again.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,25265

23 Union Point to Sentinel Saddle via Glacier Point water works
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,29318,47874
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,48306

23-1 Agassiz Column and Moran Point from Four Mile Trail
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,47695

23-2 Illilouette Ridge and Ostrander Rocks. A beginner’s bushwhack with great views.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,56329

23-3 Sentinel Falls Base
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,54029
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,56371

24 Taft Chute and
25 Tree Chute and
26 Phantom Valley
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,29318,29318#msg-29318

27 Upper Cathedral Rock via climbers’ descent route, or the lip of Bridalveil Falls via same
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,29312,29312#msg-29312

28 Ridge-top walk from Glacier Point Road to Dewey Point along the ski trail. An easy walk, except for a lot of fallen logs. See ski maps.

28-1 Inspiration Ridge. Great hike, much easier than the El Cap Ridge
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,30738,30738
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,39035,39070

29 Old Inspiration Point
29-1 Mount Beatitude , Ladies’ Point, and Hill’s Point. Lots of history here.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,48350

29-2 Old Wawona Road, from the base of Bridalveil Falls to the current Wawona Highway at Tunnel View. And beyond.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,34462
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,29707,29707#msg-29707
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,46622,46626#msg-46626

29-3 The old Mariposa Trail from Moonlight Rock (Tunnel View parking lot) down to Fern Spring and the Pohono Bridge.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,65416

30 Turtle Dome to the Pohono Trail. An easy bushwhack. If you want, you can follow the route of an old telephone trunk cable from Turtle Dome to as far as the abandoned Old Wawona Road, and follow that eastward to its junction with the Pohono Trail.

31 (Hennessy Trail from Wawona Road to El Portal), and
32 (Sunset Trail, from Wawona Road to missing bridge near El Portal)
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,49073,49073#msg-49073

A comment about difficulty. First, you can't get lost for days in this area, since you are in an area bounded by Tioga Pass Road and Glacier Point Road. But if you don't have route-finding skills, you can get into serious trouble with the terrain. Don't go up or down something that you can't get back down or up. Carry a map and a compass. A gps is very useful, but remember that below cliffs they can see satellites reflected in the rock face, and can give some really screwy readings for a while.

Some of these routes are physically very strenuous, and some take you through some god-awful brush. But many of them have almost no brush at all, if you keep your eyes open and don't just plunge into the nearest thicket. On the old roads, there is some brush, but there are well-worn use trails and you will stay on the old roadbed, so you know where to go. Here are some almost brushless routes that are highly recommended:

Easy: Tunnel View to the base of Bridalveil Falls on the old road.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,34462

Quarter Domes from the Half Dome Trail, or from the Clouds Rest Trail
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,29842

Illilouette Ridge near Sentinel Dome
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,56329

Moderate: Old Coulterville Road
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26509

Mt Watkins from Tioga Pass Road (Just hike back to the car. You don't need to hike down to the Valley.)
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,41767,41774#msg-41774

Strenuous: Old Big Oak Flat Road. The only route-finding problem is at the great switchback, which is well covered in the posts.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26668
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,46585

Inspiration Ridge
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,30738
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,39035,39070

El Cap Ridge
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26797



Edited 19 time(s). Last edit at 11/06/2014 08:14AM by wherever.
Wow what an awesome post and reference tool. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this.

As far as #12 goes, I am not convinced I wasn't on the wrong (i.e. more technical than needed) route and making it "harder" than it was supposed to be. We were in a hurry and I was with two much more experienced climbers. I would still love to hear Wickett's thoughts on the trip.

By the end of this summer, I hope to be able to make plans for a Tenaya completion next year.
avatar Re: update to "Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley"
June 21, 2012 07:04AM
A few comments:
a - key word for many of these hikes is BUSHwhack. If that's not your cup of tea... then ... prob. not for you
b - many of these are difficult at best
c - even if the title says trail.. all should be treated at routes as many of the old trails and roads MAY be
very difficult to follow in entirety. bring a GPS if you got one... map is useless for most imo
d - there are many many threads about a number of these hikes.. use the search to find them if interested
(I've posted about a large number of these)
e - this gives an idea of what is out there... now just expand this to the entirety of Yosemite...
all those ridges out there... candy to this birdy! Feed ME!
(again, I've post many ... some ... well... been coy about) tongue sticking out smiley
f - a few missing from the list above:
Ribbon Fall Amp
Base of Sentinel Falls
Base of Royal Arch Cascade
Base of Royal Arches
Base of Staircase Falls

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: update to "Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley"
June 21, 2012 02:22PM
Quote
chick-on
A few comments:
a - key word for many of these hikes is BUSHwhack. If that's not your cup of tea... then ... prob. not for you
b - many of these are difficult at best
c - even if the title says trail.. all should be treated at routes as many of the old trails and roads MAY be
very difficult to follow in entirety. bring a GPS if you got one... map is useless for most imo
d - there are many many threads about a number of these hikes.. use the search to find them if interested
(I've posted about a large number of these)
e - this gives an idea of what is out there... now just expand this to the entirety of Yosemite...
all those ridges out there... candy to this birdy! Feed ME!
(again, I've post many ... some ... well... been coy about) tongue sticking out smiley
f - a few missing from the list above:
Ribbon Fall Amp
Base of Sentinel Falls
Base of Royal Arch Cascade
Base of Royal Arches
Base of Staircase Falls

Have fun

OK. I meant to put in Ribbon Falls Amphitheater. Since it's still the same day, I'll just go back and add them to the original. Along with your trip to the base of Sentinel Falls.

Arches and Staircase Falls? I've been to the upper lip of each, and those are interesting. But as far as I can recall, the bases are just on the grounds of the Ahwahnee Hotel and of Curry Village. I'll wait until I see a report that makes them look like interesting hikes.

But you do bring up an interesting idea. Since I intend this thread to be a place to go to get links to trip reports, why not use the "edit" feature to add new stuff back near the top? I will do so, and in the future will put dates those revisions as they occur.

With respect to vicious, man-eating brush, I will also add a comment at the end of the first post with some recommendations about hikes that avoid such.

Finally, I think that Chick-on ought to start a thread that has links to reports of interesting abandoned trails and off-trail hikes in the rest of the park. Of course, once you get up near tree line they would be almost everywhere. But most people start with the trails in the guidebook, and have no idea where the other good stuff may be. We know that some truly great off-trail hikes can be had with almost no effort from the road or from a trail or from camp. Like the domes around Tuolumne Meadows...
avatar Re: update to "Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley"
June 22, 2012 08:06AM
Quote
wherever
Arches and Staircase Falls? I've been to the upper lip of each, and those are interesting. But as far as I can recall, the bases are just on the grounds of the Ahwahnee Hotel and of Curry Village. I'll wait until I see a report that makes them look like interesting hikes.
Base of Royal Arches. Very nice scramble. Can do a nice couple hour or so loop from
Ahwahnee.. go to Indian Caves... then rock scramble up there to base-ish of Wash Col.
Then head west along the base. Great views. Great big boulder scrambling.
Great open areas below Royal Arches. View of Half Dome. tongue sticking out smiley
What more can you ask for?
Put a number of photos in this set at the end:
https://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/IndianBasket
You be the judge.
Base of Staircase is a simple 10 minute trek. Worth doing when the falls are flowing.
Again, nice views in no time.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: update to "Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley"
June 21, 2012 09:49AM
Aaaah! You are adding new trails faster than I can get to the ones already on the list!

Awesome, thanks for doing this...I will catch up someday!
Re: update to "Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley"
June 21, 2012 11:44AM
Wondering if you've tried gunsight and why exactly you advise against the death slabs? ( seems like a silly question with a name like that) Exposure, tough route finding, rock falls ect.
I've been considering the slabs than going right to diving board
Re: update to "Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley"
June 21, 2012 12:50PM
Quote
ryanmj
Wondering if you've tried gunsight and why exactly you advise against the death slabs? ( seems like a silly question with a name like that) Exposure, tough route finding, rock falls ect.
I've been considering the slabs than going right to diving board

Yes, I've done the Gunsight. (I assume you mean the one by Lower Cathedral Rock.) In 1963 it was my first climb in Yosemite. I also remember a hilarious episode about fifteen years ago, when my daughter and a friend came back from college, where they had been climbing in a gym, and he wanted to try leader climbing. We went over to the Gunsight in the afternoon, with me as third, and I watched them build a spider's web of tangled ropes until they had to rappel off from near the top at sundown.

Anyway, it's a climb. Not a hike. This thread was about hikes.

I haven't done the Death Slabs, although I have been up to the base and have traversed across the top of it. Based on the guidebook, it is more exposed than the North Dome Gully, which I also don't recommend to hikers. If you are a climber, go ahead.
Re: update to "Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley"
June 21, 2012 02:36PM
Quote
wherever
Quote
ryanmj
Wondering if you've tried gunsight and why exactly you advise against the death slabs? ( seems like a silly question with a name like that) Exposure, tough route finding, rock falls ect.
I've been considering the slabs than going right to diving board

Yes, I've done the Gunsight. (I assume you mean the one by Lower Cathedral Rock.) In 1963 it was my first climb in Yosemite. I also remember a hilarious episode about fifteen years ago, when my daughter and a friend came back from college, where they had been climbing in a gym, and he wanted to try leader climbing. We went over to the Gunsight in the afternoon, with me as third, and I watched them build a spider's web of tangled ropes until they had to rappel off from near the top at sundown.

Anyway, it's a climb. Not a hike. This thread was about hikes.

I haven't done the Death Slabs, although I have been up to the base and have traversed across the top of it. Based on the guidebook, it is more exposed than the North Dome Gully, which I also don't recommend to hikers. If you are a climber, go ahead.

Got it. Most beta ive found on these routes had them both at class 3 with short sections of 4 but I have yet to talk to anyone that has personally done them
Re: update to "Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley"
June 21, 2012 12:51PM
Flippin' LOVE this thread, ever since it started.
Re: update to "Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley"
June 21, 2012 02:55PM
Agreed. Many items on the list is probably out of my league, but it's fun to read about other people's adventures.
Re: update to "Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley"
June 22, 2012 08:20AM
Quote
It's June in Yosemite, and the Valley is crawling with people..… It's so nice to stay in the Valley, but how to avoid the crowds on the trail?

The best way is to start very early. When I do the 4 Mile Trail to Sentinel Dome, I start at 5:00 am and am back to the car before most people even begin hiking the Four Mile Trail. The only people I see are are one or two non-hiking tourists at Glacier Point and sometimes I see no one.

When I start from Happy Isles and hike from there to my car at Cathdral Lakes trailhead, I start at 3:00 am with headlamps. The only people I have ever seen at 3:00 at Happy Isles is the occasional search & rescue group walking out a (presumed) injured hiker from an aborted Half Dome attempt.

I realize 3:00 am is extreme for most people and it's dark. But 5:00 am in the summer is light and you will see no one. I hate seeing a lot of people on hiking trails and always start around 5:00 am. It makes for a much pleasanter experience.
avatar Re: update to "Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley"
June 22, 2012 01:10PM
Wherever, thanks for taking the time to make this thread! I was just wondering about the white wolf route to el cap.

I did the yosemite creek campground trail down to the valley last weekend and it was nice, but I always prefer to go more cross country when possible. I'll have to add this to the list of trips I need to do this year.
Re: update to "Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley"
June 22, 2012 06:17PM
Quote
oakroscoe
Wherever, thanks for taking the time to make this thread! I was just wondering about the white wolf route to el cap.

I did the yosemite creek campground trail down to the valley last weekend and it was nice, but I always prefer to go more cross country when possible. I'll have to add this to the list of trips I need to do this year.

The El Cap Ridge is a great hike, but there is still a long way to go when you get on the trail at Ribbon Meadow. I find the hike from there over El Capitan and down the Yosemite Falls Trail to be be very tiring, as is a descent via the Old Big Oak Flat Road. I suggest that you try it the first time by arranging a car spotted at Tamarack Flat or Foresta trail head.

Chick-on has done a loop version around Boundary Peak that is shorter and easier, though there is still some looking needed to find the optimal route from the peak down to the Yosemite Creek Trail. I was going to do that last July, but White Wolf was still closed and we ended up in Tahoe instead.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,51799,51840#msg-51840
He has a GPS track somewhere, but I've lost track of it. His loop does miss one of the best parts, a grand open ridge leading down to Ribbon Meadow....
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