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Hetch Hetchy Tilden Lake Loop

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Hetch Hetchy Tilden Lake Loop

Postby sri » Tue May 12, 2015 11:05 am

Hi,

My first post in HST. Hope I posted it in the right section.

Am planning to do the Hetch Hetchy Tilden Lake Loop during memorial day weekend and am wondering if anyone is aware about the trail conditions there. I called the Yosemite Wilderness Office and they have no reports so far from anyone who has gone that far.

http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip ... Id=1261708

I noticed from the topo that I will need to cross Falls Creek near Tilden Lake. Am concerned if the water levels would be too high (Hope not, since its a dry year).

I do understand that I may see patches of snow, but am definitely not planning to carry snow shoes :)

Any other concerns doing this route during memorial day ? Do people think its too early in the season to attempt this ? In this case, I can stick to the standard Hetch - Hetchy Lake Vernon Loop.

Thanks,
Sri



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Re: Hetch Hetchy Tilden Lake Loop

Postby sparky » Tue May 12, 2015 12:19 pm

there is honestly no way to tell. You will just have to see. We were turned back from that loop I think mid june? not because of crossing falls creek, but because of mahan lake flooding. I ended up crossing falls creek close to the snow sensor in a meadow in the mahan lake area. I then had to cross back because no one else wanted anything to do with it.

Our trip was an out and back and it was spectacular despite turning back so I say go for it! And by go for it, I mean the trip, not the crossing :whistle:
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Re: Hetch Hetchy Tilden Lake Loop

Postby AlmostThere » Tue May 12, 2015 1:06 pm

Too early maybe if there were lots of snow. The only thing I'd worry about would be 1) mosquitoes or 2) long exposed hot sections along the trail from Beehive, due to the recent fires (last 10 years).

The bears around the heavily impacted sites at Rancheria are pretty bad. The last time I was there it was obvious why - people doing stupid things like bear bagging with the bag hanging just a couple feet above the roof of their tent. Idiots.
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Re: Hetch Hetchy Tilden Lake Loop

Postby maverick » Tue May 12, 2015 2:06 pm

Hi Sri,

Welcome to HST! Please read: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4205

Here is a earlier TR to the area: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12614#p94762

If you get the time, we would appreciate an intro :) : viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9329
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Re: Hetch Hetchy Tilden Lake Loop

Postby kpeter » Tue May 12, 2015 9:39 pm

I would suggest you take a careful look at the bridge at Vernon along the way. In very high runoff the bridge at the outlet of Vernon is surrounded and there are some accidents with hikers being swept downstream just trying to get to the bridge. If the approach to the bridge at the outlet of Vernon is dry on both sides then you are not at peak runoff and one could anticipate crossings upstream to be more manageable. If you have a hop-skip-and a jump to get to the bridge then you are probably in that in-between phase when the water is relatively high.

IMGP1235.jpg
The bridge at Vernon; see the water on the far side approach. Perfectly safe crossing here, but the water is relatively high.


Keep in mind that runoff during melt changes a lot during the day. I have seen people wait until morning to cross the bridge at Vernon when the runoff was six inches lower. Whatever is true for the Vernon bridge is probably true to some degree for other crossings upstream, although the time of day might be different.

IMGP1236.jpg
A nondescript shot, but see that the lake level has fallen 6-8 inches on the tree trunk overnight. That is a lot to fit through the outlet considering the size of Vernon!


I see you are climbing from the snow cabin at the inlet end of Vernon up Falls Creek to get to Jack Main canyon. I poked around up there but ultimately went the long way around to the junction with the Morraine trail with my backpack. It is a spectacular place to play and look at racing water.

IMGP1274.jpg
Falls Creek coming into Vernon

IMGP1299.jpg
Falls Creek sluicing through the granite above Vernon
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Re: Hetch Hetchy Tilden Lake Loop

Postby sparky » Wed May 13, 2015 4:06 pm

There is a (relatively) easy slab descent down to vernon west of falls creek in your photo kpeter.
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Re: Hetch Hetchy Tilden Lake Loop

Postby kpeter » Wed May 13, 2015 9:49 pm

sparky wrote:There is a (relatively) easy slab descent down to vernon west of falls creek in your photo kpeter.

Thanks, sparky, I did know that people did that, but the year I was there I just did not seriously look for the route. I was out ambling for fun and photos. My guess is that the optimal route does not stay too close to Falls Creek, since as I followed the Creek on my dayhikes it got very steep. Further west?

By the way, this thread contains a picture from Doyle that shows the water flowing around the north side of the bridge. If you find this at the Vernon outlet, I would conclude that stream crossings upriver would be very challenging:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6009&p=40377&hilit=kpeter+vernon#p40377
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Re: Hetch Hetchy Tilden Lake Loop

Postby sparky » Thu May 14, 2015 7:46 pm

yes, west of the creek a ways. You can see the dark cliffs left (west) of the creek and it is left of that. Its pretty fun, going down at least :wink:
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Re: Hetch Hetchy Tilden Lake Loop

Postby oldranger » Wed May 20, 2015 6:53 am

Sri

Check out old and slow's pics from trip last weekend. From the looks of the Falls into Hetch Hetchy Falls creek is running pretty high right now.

Mike
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