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Half Dome, Yosemite National Park

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Re: Mt. Watkins

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avatar Mt. Watkins
June 04, 2013 01:09PM
We went to Mt. Watkins last Friday and took some panoramic images.

http://panoramas.aa6g.org/MtWatkins/mtwatkins.html

Be sure to scroll down on Half Dome to see hikers on the cables and down on Pywiak Cascade for higher res images.

Our inspiration to try this hike was this post by wherever:

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,57351

I wanted to add a couple of things. We parked on the south side of Tioga Road and started down towards the equipment yard. We went up the old blocked off road to the quarry on the right. The trail continued to the left of the quarry. We did not go above the quarry. In about 15 minutes you reach the spot where the trail veers to the right and heads downhill. About 50' before this there is a use trail that branches to the left. Take this trail all the to where it intersects with the larger trail coming from Olmstead Point. This section of the use trail is very distinct and there are occasional metal makers in the trees along the way. Once past the trail intersection at the saddle and heading up hill the use trail becomes less distinct but by this time there's no chance of getting lost since you're on the north end of Mt. Watkins. On the way back we took the side trip over to the eastern spur of Mt. Watkins where the excellent views of Pywiak Cascade are. The place to leave the use trail for this detour is just up from the trail intersection on the Mt. Watkins side. You can see that's it's an easy walk through the open forest. The views are worth the extra time.

I'd recommend this hike for anyone wanting to get their first "off the main trail" hiking experience. This hike is much easier than going to North Dome.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/04/2013 06:28PM by Calaveras.
avatar Re: Mt. Watkins
June 04, 2013 01:47PM
The metal markers are ski trail makers. This is the normal route to May Lake in the winter.
This "trail" seems to have become popular enough that a "real" trail has developed the last 5 yrs or so.
The other ones I can think of that are similar is the "Ghost Forest" trail near Bridalveil...
and the trail from Summit Meadow to Dewey Pt.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Mt. Watkins
June 04, 2013 02:27PM
Quote
chick-on
The metal markers are ski trail makers. This is the normal route to May Lake in the winter.
This "trail" seems to have become popular enough that a "real" trail has developed the last 5 yrs or so.
The other ones I can think of that are similar is the "Ghost Forest" trail near Bridalveil...
and the trail from Summit Meadow to Dewey Pt.

It should have been made the main trail, once horses became scarce there. I believe that the official trail (that runs on the west flank of the ridge) takes that very dull route only to please the stockmen, who have their own ideas about water and browsing, etc. The ski trail is much superior.
avatar Re: Mt. Watkins
June 04, 2013 04:58PM
The trail that goes to May from Snow Creek bridge is actually pretty nice. You can make it nicer by
... well... heading out onto the granite for a bit and get some really nice views.
The trail that goes to Olmsted has almost no views other than woods until the Watkins saddle.
In winter I don't even follow the trail to the cabin since the views from just heading straight to the
cabin are superior. And the views from just south of the cabin are spectacular.
The trails are almost always the path of least resistance to get from pt. A to pt. B.
Views weren't high on the criteria it seems.

I think I have some nice/halfway decent pix taken from near SnowCrk->May Lake trail...



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Mt. Watkins
June 05, 2013 07:09AM
This is what I'm talking about:

View from Snow Creek - > May Lake Trail:


View from off the trail in granite nicety:

Great views of THE Dome there too...

The cliff there ... there are decent views of it from near the Snow Creek->Watkins Saddle/Olmsted Trail... but you have to go
off trail. The cliff has some really nice features... worth checking out... it would be a feature people would go to if it were
in many other places other than Yose.



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Mt. Watkins
June 04, 2013 05:37PM
Re: Mt. Watkins
June 04, 2013 07:43PM
All right, I'll give in. Since this is one of my favorite mountains, I'll post a few recent trip photos. I'll no longer be adding. Different shades of color are due to two cameras, one of which is currently beyond my meager capabilities (old Lumix FZ20).


With all the focus on Pywiack, rightfully so, I believe I've mentioned before that people shouldn't ignore Snow Creek on the other side:



Luke Skywalker's landspeeder, in granite (sort of):



Clouds Rest



Ants marching up the Half a Dummy (cables weren't up yet):



Clark and his buddies:



Francois's Crest



The good ol' Senator's



End with the classic shot:





Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 06/04/2013 08:51PM by Ohnivy-Drak.
avatar Re: Mt. Watkins
June 05, 2013 11:48AM
Bowing to his greatness

You have posted some really great photos! You ought to share more of them when you have the time.

It would be much appreciated by all!
Re: Mt. Watkins
June 05, 2013 08:46PM
More from Carleton

Probably better posting like this, to prevent slowing down this site/server?
Re: Mt. Watkins
June 05, 2013 11:57AM
interesting perspective in many of those shots
avatar Re: Mt. Watkins
June 05, 2013 01:09PM
Good looking stuff! I especially like the view of the people on Half Dome. Thanks for posting!
Re: Mt. Watkins
June 05, 2013 01:47PM
Quote
JasonS
Good looking stuff! I especially like the view of the people on Half Dome. Thanks for posting!

Thanks for all the kind comments. Watkins is a special place, out of this world really. Of course, the same thing can be said for every sq meter of the Park. But it's especially great for those that enjoy Tenaya Canyon & when the Cascade is going. That Clouds Rest ("Dr. Zaius"winking smiley wall never fails to impress.

I wanted to get some shots directly down into the canyon from the Yasoo/Eastern Buttress ("landspeeder" is close to the edge), but I always chicken out. The drop-offs are just too severe, and what happened at Vernal with that poor elderly gentleman was fresh on my mind. Too much loose gravel: one slip and it could be all over.
avatar Re: Mt. Watkins
June 05, 2013 01:59PM
Dragons don't have wings?




Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Mt. Watkins
June 05, 2013 02:03PM
Posted it before. More here:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,51546,51546#msg-51546

And seriously Ive said it a zillion times ... you want photos on this site... then post them.
Not sure how many ways I have to say it.

Peace



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Mt. Watkins
June 05, 2013 03:05PM
Was this taken from main mountain or side buttress?
avatar Re: Mt. Watkins
June 06, 2013 07:30AM
Same place you took the faux toes of Pywiack. (east dome)
It has a name... trying to remember...

Need to get that down looking photo in 3D.... Watch this space...
smiling smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Mt. Watkins
June 05, 2013 04:59PM
Best view of Clouds Rest slopes. Although Half Dome is close much like from North Dome, the face on view doesn't appeal to me as much as further west like from Eagle Peak. Need to carry in water if planning to camp there and would not want to be there if breezy. Most efficient route from highway starts where you noted on a trail, but for anyone with topo map skills before too long just making a direct crosscountry route along the rim provides easy rambling and interesting views.



http://www.davidsenesac.com



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/05/2013 05:00PM by DavidSenesac.
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