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Re: Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley...2nd revision (long)

All posts are those of the individual authors and the owner of this site does not endorse them. Content should be considered opinion and not fact until verified independently.

Four years ago I started a thread called, “Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley” which got very long. It would have been 26 pages, if printed out. It contained links to a lot of off-trail hikes around Yosemite Valley.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26491

Two years ago I did an update, which I kept adding to until it eventually accumulated 18 additions and revisions.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,56896

It's time to update it once again. Let me know if I've overlooked your favorite link....

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

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, including the Smoky Jack ridge
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 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

So. 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
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,58435
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-l9oPP_0i8zc/UBLrQZrx1aI/AAAAAAAABXE/LbISwCKZ1Sw/s1400/Mono%252520Trail%2525202001.jpg

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
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,81614,81636#msg-81636

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.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,71025

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?3,72638
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26728

19 Diving Board from Emerald Pool.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,72681
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,54286
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?1,9251

20 Route up between Liberty Cap and Mt. Broderick
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,54286,54433#msg-54433
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,77002,77082#msg-77082

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?3,74966
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?3,74966
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,39035,39070

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



Edited 10 time(s). Last edit at 09/16/2015 07:32PM by wherever.
Wow, thank you so much for doing this. While my long hiking days are past, my son and husband will enjoy doing some of these.
Best, most useful thread EVAH!
One of the first pages on hikes I found. Great info. I do not have any suggestions for new hikes, but if you could pls group the hikes, little or no bush, lots of bush, etc, that would help me out greatly.


Thx much & keep up the great work!
Quote
W7SG
... if you could pls group the hikes, little or no bush, lots of bush, etc, that would help me out greatly....

Well, that's not so easy to say. What I can do is list some of them where the bushwhacking is easy and likely to remain so. I'll do so at the bottom of this post. But first let me explain why it's hard to rate the difficult ones.

It can change drastically. I think that there have been several threads on "the worst brush I ever saw". I know exactly where mine was...on the ridge running down from the Devils Dance Floor to the Foresta trail head. On the map it looked like the obvious route. I had my daughter and her fiance along, and all was fine until we hiked off the west edge of the slick rock of the dance floor and onto the ridge. This had once been pristine sugar pine forest. Then the Arch Rock fire of 1990 burned the whole area, including most of the houses in Foresta. It was a terrible crown fire that killed every tree on the ridge. In many places it killed the pine cones that are supposed to respond to fire, and so only brushy brush grew up there. In other places firs and pines seedlings did spring up, about a foot apart or less. Finally, the standing trunks of the dead trees came down like a pile of pickup sticks.

Ten or fifteen years later, from the Devils Dance Floor, it looked like the stuff was knee high. It started out that way, but quickly became more than head high. It was impossible to move forward at all at ground level, and you soon found yourself proceeding about three feet off the ground while standing on the brush and/or on the fallen logs. After an hour, we had proceed a few hundred yards. Finally, by heading at right angles to the ridge and east to the drainage under the granite outcrop of the dance floor, we got to an east-facing slope where the stuff hadn't grown up as much and we could proceed. Awful. Yet, when we hiked off the east side of the Dance Floor a few years later, we were in unburned forest and could easily follow game trails down to the main park service trail. No problem.

Then the ridge burned again in 2009, when a "controlled burn" near Foresta got out of control. In 2010 I did the ridge hike without touching a single bush.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,26547,26547
It's starting to grow back, and it will soon be a thicket again. So how should I rate it? If the sugar pines grow back, in about 150 years it will be a fine forest hike again.

On the other hand, there are plenty of hikes where the soil and rock don't permit thick brush to grow. Mostly. But there will be clumps and bands of it, with easy pathways in between. Recently I hiked Illilouette Ridge, which I consider to be a prime no-brush hike. But there was a band of grown firs about thirty feet thick near the road at Sentinel Dome which was full of dead branches at face level....unless you kept your eyes open and shifted a hundred feet or so to the left or right. At the far end of the ridge there were numerous clumps of shin-high brush. Sometimes they were fifty or a hundred feet wide, but you could just walk through the gaps in between. I never had to use my hands, but in a couple of places I was glad to be wearing long pants. In general, I always wear long pants off trail, even in the summer. However, a person in shorts could do that particular hike just fine, if they detoured around the bush in a couple of spots.

So. It does require some route-finding ability. Look ahead, and wander back and forth as you proceed. Among the easy-brush hikes that are likely to stay that way independent of recent fires or not:

The Devils Dance Floor from the campground (not going any further)...No brush at all
Tunnel View to the base of Bridalveil Falls via the Pohono Trail and the abandoned Old Wawona Road...No brush at all
Illiouette Ridge
Quarter Domes from the Half Dome Trail
Mt Watkins from the Tioga Road
Inspiration Ridge
The El Cap Ridge
The ridge just west of the abandoned Smoky Jack campground
Tenaya Canyon from Tenaya Lake down to the Lone Boulder and back No farther.
Upper Cathedral Rock via the climbers descent trail. Not much brush, if you stay on the trail, but lots of talus
Basket Dome to Snow Creek Trail (not too bushy, but a tough descent due to fallen branches and fallen tree piles)
Since first reading about it on this site, I've been obsessed with the Ledge Trail. And,
some of the heavyweights who frequent this forum have offered written and visual
proof that it does exist and can be done. Wouldn't it be an ego boost to hike this deadly
trail and join in the unofficial club of Ledge Trail conquerors? Or would it?

The trail is supposed to be closed, and has a body count that bests any other trail in the Park.
Is hiking the Ledge Trail simply illegal, overly dangerous and possibly even less than
intelligent? Is it any different than swimming above a waterfall?

I do hope that those with first hand experience will offer some sage advise to one who quests
for it: Do I hike the Ledge Trail this fall or not?

I bow to your wisdom.

68 days and counting.
Quote
AnotherDave
Since first reading about it on this site, I've been obsessed with the Ledge Trail. And,
some of the heavyweights who frequent this forum have offered written and visual
proof that it does exist and can be done. Wouldn't it be an ego boost to hike this deadly
trail and join in the unofficial club of Ledge Trail conquerors? Or would it?

The trail is supposed to be closed, and has a body count that bests any other trail in the Park.
Is hiking the Ledge Trail simply illegal, overly dangerous and possibly even less than
intelligent? Is it any different than swimming above a waterfall?

I do hope that those with first hand experience will offer some sage advise to one who quests
for it: Do I hike the Ledge Trail this fall or not?

I bow to your wisdom.

68 days and counting.

Here's my two cents worth. I haven't done it for twenty years. The last time was with my teenage daughters, and now my grandson is 12....

I had intended to do it during two Yosemite trips since then. Both times, while I was otherwise engaged in Curry Village I saw and heard large rockfalls cross the ledge. Big clouds of granite dust. Surely fatal had anyone been on the ledge at that time. I decided that Mother Nature was talking to me.

It's not illegal to go up there, as far as I know. It's a climbers access route. Of course, some of them have been killed by falling rocks near Glacier Point in recent years, though not on the trail.

I don't imagine that it has changed much in twenty years. The sensible thing is to do it for the first time in the uphill direction, since one of the problems is a sandy, sloping granite place, and those are easier in the uphill direction.

There is no really difficult place on the trail, but there is that spot partway up the ledge where the granite slopes outward and is sometimes coated with loose sand. It could be bad if it started to rain. When the trail was in use there was a chain bolted to the wall there to steady you, which made that spot easy easy.

The bottom half of the trail is the granite ledge sloping up to the top of Staircase Falls. There you step over the water (not good in the Spring flood) and turn left up the avalanche gully that forms the top half of the route. It's straight as an arrow, and will have more or less brush in it depending on the snow avalanches of recent years. You will see traces of a few switchbacks, but basically you are walking up on dirt and talus. Here is what caused most of the early deaths on this trail, and why it was eventually closed. If you knock a rock loose, it will bounce the whole way down. Do not let your party get vertically separated.

Otherwise, there is not much to it. it's historic. The most famous death was that of Flo Hutchings in 1881. She was one of the first children raised in the valley, and was guiding a party on the Ledge Trail when someone dislodged a rock... The guy who made the fire fall used to race up there from Curry Village every day. It saw a lot of use, but it finally killed too many people and they shut it down.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/2013 08:32PM by wherever.
That to-do list just keeps getting longer and longer. Thanks!
Fantastic compilation. Thanks for the time and effort!
Thank you so much for putting this together. I've been able to use this a couple times and even got to contribute a little bit. Very helpful.
Wherever- Thanks for sharing your trips on these off-the-beaten path excursions. I'm glad to know there are many others who appreciate and enjoy the paths less traveled.
Re: Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley...2nd revision (long)
January 20, 2014 05:42PM
Quote
Explorer10K
Wherever- Thanks for sharing your trips on these off-the-beaten path excursions. I'm glad to know there are many others who appreciate and enjoy the paths less traveled.

As Robert Frost wrote:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I can't wait until I get time to do some of those.
Quote
Sierra Miguel
Any beta on this trail from Horizon Ridge to Mono Meadow?

I haven't tried it myself, but Chick-on has done some cross-country hikes in this area. He might know.
avatar Re: Abandoned trails and off-trail hikes near Yosemite Valley...2nd revision (long)
May 05, 2015 07:26AM
The whole area where the trail was has been burned and is littered with deadfall,
thornbush, and other deliciousness. You are far better off staying to the ridge
and following Horizion Ridge in it's entirety ... and getting on open granite ridges
as soon as you can. Even the ridge itself has a lot of shrub and deadfall to
contend with. I can dig up more photos if desired... but here are two reports
in the area. Personally I've gone up Horizon from Mono Mdw TH twice and
unless you have a good shrub tolerance... you prolly won't like it...

Mono Mdw to Horizon Ridge to Hart, etc.
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,38691,38691#msg-38691

Mono Mdw heading to Mt. Starr the fun way:
http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,68467,68467#msg-68467



Chick-on is looking at you!
The recommended winter route to Ostrander largely follows Horizon Ridge as you suggest, starting from the west side of the bend in the road before the Mono Meadow trailhead, going onto the ridge, then following the inside of the ridge's west-to-south curve.

Of course, the normal idea is that the deadfall and shrubs are covered in snow, but when I went to Ostrander Hut a couple years ago there wasn't a lot of snow in that section. Definitely some deadfall and shrubs then, but not too bad.
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