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Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)

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Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
June 10, 2013 11:33AM
Some of you may recall several mentions of the memorable Y-shaped Twin Falls on upper Cascade Creek.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,57245,57272#msg-57272
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,65293

Here is a photo from Chick-on's report:



We had snagged someone's cancellation at the lodge for three nights starting on Wednesday. This was a family room with an extra bed, so we could enlarge our usual hiking team. Ha! A few weeks ago I did a Grand Canyon hike with a lady friend. She is so enamored of her "Rim-to-Rim-in-Day" T shirt that we figured she needed a "I got to the top of Half Dome" T shirt, too. The plan was to successively enter the daily Half Dome lottery for Thursday, Friday, or Saturday (You know the results of one before you have to enter the next). We would do the Diving Board if all of those failed.

As it turned out, we won the lottery for Friday. That left Wednesday afternoon and Thursday to get warmed up. We sent our lady friend up the Four Mile Trail on Wednesday (she hadn't hiked in the Valley before) while we bushwhacked up the old Mariposa Trail to Moonlight Rock. But we now had the perfect opportunity to go to the twin falls, which we had been itching to do since passing it by while hiking the old Mono Trail nearby.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,58253,58275#msg-58275

The timing was good, because on the following day they were going to close the trail head for 12 days, in order to give Tamarack Flat over to a private Indian pow-wow. Not that you could find this out from the park's trails status report. You had to guess it from a comment under "campgrounds". They were going to close the automobile entry all the way up at Tioga Road....


In order to make an all day trip of it (11 miles, 2500 vertical), we elected to start up the west side of Coyote Creek, looking for the elusive Split Rock, then around the top of that drainage and come down Cascade Creek to the falls. Below the falls, the creek is a rocky cascade all the way down to the new highway. But above the falls is a quarter mile of open granite pools and smaller falls:









This was the high point of the hike. We were only two miles as the crow flies from a busy campground, and yet we could see no evidence that anyone ever comes here. Even though there is a prime flat spot at the top of the falls, there is no use trail, no litter, no tent footprint, no fire ring (Let's keep it that way), not even any chicken tracks. Perfect.

Of course, you do have to pay your dues to get there. Here is our track:



The track starts at Tamarack Flat trail head, next to the Devils Dance Floor. We went up the old Mono Trail to the ridge west of Coyote Creek, then along the slick rock of that ridge, looking at the many weird rocks. There were numerous toadstool rocks:



Amorous rocks:



Rocks to climb, with tough initial moves:



And, of course, we saw not a single soul all day. In June. Quite a contrast to Half Dome the next day....
avatar Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
June 10, 2013 12:21PM
Wow! Lots of cool stuff to see on that loop. I didn't realized how large that pool was until I saw the photo with someone in it. Thanks for the report and photos.
Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
June 10, 2013 04:42PM
photos and write up are appreciated, i'm considering a day hike from Tamarack flats across the ridge and down the Yosemite falls trail in a few weeks. Though about trying to make it to these falls while i'm at it. How far up from the trail are the falls?
Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
June 10, 2013 05:37PM
Quote
ryanmj
photos and write up are appreciated, i'm considering a day hike from Tamarack flats across the ridge and down the Yosemite falls trail in a few weeks. Thought about trying to make it to these falls while i'm at it. How far up from the trail are the falls?

I did it only in the downhill direction, which is much easier than up. It is almost a mile, and about 900 vertical feet, from the trail bridge over Cascade Creek up to the falls. The pools and slick rock go on up for a long way beyond that.

Stay on the west bank. The problems are all vegetative, except for one spur of rock that forced us down almost to the creek, just before we got to the trail. Above that point, all of your effort will be in route finding in order to minimize the effort of passing through some bands of brush. Going downhill, it is easier to see a route through them, so it might be tough. It depends on your skill and experience at this sort of thing.

Since you will have a long way to go, I would suggest that you look around at the bridge and just downhill from it. You may find pools to play in that will more than satisfy you, without losing the several hours that a side trip to the falls would entail...

Have fun on your hike!
avatar Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
June 11, 2013 07:23AM
Quote
ryanmj
photos and write up are appreciated, i'm considering a day hike from Tamarack flats across the ridge and down the Yosemite falls trail in a few weeks. Though about trying to make it to these falls while i'm at it. How far up from the trail are the falls?

Honestly I wouldn't recommend it with all you are doing. Your time is best served checking out El Cap Gully area,
Eagle Peak, Eagle Tower, and top of Yosemite Falls. By mid-July the Twins will be a trickle. I went there
last year in mid July and it really wasn't much to write home about. Well... I thought it was incredible... but
you have to explore the area above both falls a bit too. And also you should be checking out the area
above both arms... although with just a trickle... it may not impress those not easily impressed.
(I'm easily impressed) Seriously... the rock features wherever has shown give a very small glimpse what is there.

Have fun



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
June 11, 2013 12:49PM
One of the things that I intended to do that day, but we ran out of time, was to check out last year's fire. You can see how close we came to it on our hike:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=468298379888850&set=a.187586527960038.61760.124632964255395&type=1&theater



That's Coyote Creek on the left. The fire straddles the two east branches of Cascade Creek and just touches the west branch. The Twin Waterfall is at the X at lower creek junction.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/13/2013 04:21PM by wherever.
Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
July 28, 2019 06:24PM
Sigh. This is the first time that I have posted photos since Picasa was changed to Google Photos. All my links work fine on my computer and laptop, but apparently on no one else's. I will fix it soon, I hope.


Update about the best route from Tamarack Flat Campground to the Twin Falls. See the beginning of this thread to understand what we are talking about.

We were in Yosemite for the Ides of July, but the creeks were all flowing like it was still early June. I was with my grandson, who had never done any of this stuff. We had done Half Dome via cables one day, Up Four Mile Trail and down via Panorama Cliffs and the John Muir Trail another day, and the very easy bushwhack to Mt Watkins (see link) on a third. Now it was time for a real bushwhack. The Twin Falls are only a couple of miles from the campground as the crow flies, but our previous routes had been much longer. The route I will describe is about four miles each way. On the way in we spent some time looking for the elusive Split Rock (see Mono Trail link below), so I will show only our return route, which I think is the best.

Basically the route follows the abandoned Mono Trail (link) by going up the first ridge after turning off the existing trail (the Old Big Oak Flat Road) at the point where the Mono Trail headed up. There is no particular route-finding difficulty going up a ridge, since all variations converge while going up. At some point the trail then leaves that ridge, crosses Coyote Creek, ascends between some outcrops to a saddle on the next ridge, and easily down to Cascade Creek. You then follow the creek (with all of its wonderful pools and cascades) until you get down to the pool at the base of the twin falls.



In this map, 1 denotes the turnoff from the old road, just after the first stream crossing. 2 is where you leave the first ridge. 3 is where you attain the next ridge, which you follow east a short distance to a saddle and then down an easy slope to Cascade Creek. The only difficulties are bushes. On most of this route, you can look ahead and just go around or between them. There are two places where extra-careful route-finding is warranted. The first is the crossing of Coyote Creek between points 2 and 3. You will notice that I have redrawn that crossing higher than a straight line between points 2 and 3. I had chosen to follow my previous (Mono Trail) straight line route there, but a pine thicket that has grown up since the last fire is now more than head high, and very difficult to push through. Also, the creek bank has eroded into a difficult crossing. My buddy went farther upstream, as drawn, and says that he missed that thicket.

1: N37.7507 W119.7282 ... 2: N37.763 W119.714 ... 3: N37.763 W119.7066

Following down Cascade Creek, it is easiest to cross over to the east bank, where there is open rock, until the creek begins to steepen. Then cross back to the west side and proceed along it. There is a large flat place and overlook below a long cascade and just above the falls. From there, traverse high along the west bank until you can see your way down to the pool. If you do it right, and look ahead, there is no more than ten feet or so of serious brush to get through. On the return, you will be tempted to continue down from the falls to the old road. Don't. It is a much tougher bushwhack, and it places you much farther downhill on the old road.

After re-crossing the creek:



Pretty soon pools and cascades appear:





Finally, after a nice overlook, the twin waterfalls and pool appear:



As seen from Google Earth:



Since this is the return gps trace, it does not go to the overlook at the top of the falls, and stays high on the bank:





Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 07/30/2019 10:22PM by wherever.
Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
July 28, 2019 06:41PM
May be a permission problem with your image links...not only do they not show up in the post, I can't go directly to them either.
Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
July 28, 2019 11:49PM
Right. A login screen is intercepting the links. Doesn't happen on my computers or cell phone.

Google photos has changed the rules. I hope to figure it out by tomorrow.
Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
July 29, 2019 11:28AM
The photo links are fixed. I think.
Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
August 01, 2019 02:50PM
Thank you! A fascinating read!
Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
July 30, 2019 04:19PM
Not the first three...
Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
July 30, 2019 10:24PM
Bah! Humbug. Those links worked last night. Apparently you can get temporary links from Google Photos. See if they work now....
Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
July 31, 2019 10:07AM
Works now, thanks.
Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
June 10, 2013 05:49PM
Any sign of Split Rock?
Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
June 10, 2013 07:06PM
Quote
Rob65
Any sign of Split Rock?

There are lots of split rocks up there, but nothing that matches the description, i.e. looks almost purposeful. It may be in the same category as mermaids and dragons. The author didn't actually claim to have seen it herself, and who knows what tales the greenhorns were told in the tavern at Tamarack Flat?

Still, it gives one an excuse to keep looking. I was pleased to find a much more mule-friendly spot to leave the road for the start of the Mono Trail this time, and am confident that we have nailed down the entire route from Tamarack Flat to Porcupine Flat. It is up a slight draw just after the creek crossing before the Coyote Creek crossing.
Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
June 10, 2013 07:11PM
Bowing to his greatness

Great stuff. Was this your second journey out there? Second photo from the bottom looks like a granite whale shark diving out of the "water."
avatar Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
June 10, 2013 08:34PM
Quote
wherever
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,65293

Here is a photo from Chick-on's report:

This was the high point of the hike. We were only two miles as the crow flies from a busy campground, and yet we could see no evidence that anyone ever comes here. Even though there is a prime flat spot at the top of the falls, there is no use trail, no litter, no tent footprint, no fire ring (Let's keep it that way), not even any chicken tracks.

Credit for that trip report goes to Z Perret, basilbop, not me.

Color me impressed you got up on the big "Battleship". I walked around it and said... hmm...

You'd have to look close to find any chicken tracks... I tread lightly.... camped right next to the
tree at top of the Twin Falls in March. Nice and pristine. Hope to heck it stays that way.



Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Twin Falls of Cascade Creek (long)
June 10, 2013 08:51PM
Quite right. My apologies to Basilbop. I saw that pink critter when I was stealing the photo link, and didn't look closely at the header....

I couldn't have gotten up on that rock. My hiking buddy (who is much better than I am) got up there after some struggling, but there was a lot more grumbling on the way back down.

This was my fourth time on that ridge, but we had been searching for the Mono Trail during the first three times, and hadn't actually made it to the falls. I'd been hoping to get over there ever since I crossed Cascade Creek in its slick rock section and saw how nice it is.

Quote
chick-on
Quote
wherever
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,65293

Here is a photo from Chick-on's report:

This was the high point of the hike. We were only two miles as the crow flies from a busy campground, and yet we could see no evidence that anyone ever comes here. Even though there is a prime flat spot at the top of the falls, there is no use trail, no litter, no tent footprint, no fire ring (Let's keep it that way), not even any chicken tracks.

Credit for that trip report goes to Z Perret, basilbop, not me.

Color me impressed you got up on the big "Battleship". I walked around it and said... hmm...

You'd have to look close to find any chicken tracks... I tread lightly.... camped right next to the
tree at top of the Twin Falls in March. Nice and pristine. Hope to heck it stays that way.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/2013 08:51PM by wherever.
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