TR Hetch Hetchy May 16-17 | High Sierra Topix  

TR Hetch Hetchy May 16-17

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TR Hetch Hetchy May 16-17

Postby old and slow » Tue May 19, 2015 1:46 pm

After a disappointing 2014 with no Sierra trips, I jumped at my daughter's request for an early season, one night backpack trip. My daughter wanted her best friend to come along (which would be her friend's first ever BP trip). Wanting something scenic but not too challenging, we decided on Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite. Added bonus: this would also be my first ever trip to this part of Yosemite. We drove up Saturday May 16, secured a walk-up permit for Rancheria Falls, and were on the trail a little after 10am.

What a great weekend it turned out to be! Even given the continuing controversy over the damming of Hetch Hetchy, it is nevertheless IMO a magnificent sight. The scenery was gorgeous. The weather was excellent, perfect temps with cooling breezes and light drizzle coming just when needed. Taking our time and snacking on baby carrots and a trail mix of almonds, craisins, and dried apricots, we took in all the sights -- Kolana Rock, the looming Hetch Hetchy Dome, Wapama Falls (gushing), Tiltill Creek, and brilliant wildflowers of every color in full bloom all along the way.

We arrived at Rancheria Falls around 2:30pm and found a relatively peaceful campsite (there are quite a few backpack campers here!) After filtering water at Rancheria Creek (icy cold and wonderfully delicious), we explored a bit, rested, had dinner, told stories, and just soaked up all the beauty. Again, taking our time the next morning, and even though this is an out and back trail, we all noticed and enjoyed how things don't necessarily look the same from a different angle/direction or with even a slight change in weather or cloud formations.

Fantastic weekend -- my daughter's friend had a great time and already excited for another trip!
Attachments
Hetch Hetchy - start.jpg
just starting out
Hetch Hetchy - looking back.jpg
looking back at the dam
flowers-1.jpg
on the trail.jpg
on the trail
HH scenery.jpg
scenery along the way
Rancheria Falls.jpg
Rancheria Falls
Rancheria Creek.jpg
Rancheria Creek
HH looking back .jpg



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Re: TR Hetch Hetchy May 16-17

Postby gary c. » Tue May 19, 2015 3:37 pm

Nice report and pictures. Thanks for posting.
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Re: TR Hetch Hetchy May 16-17

Postby ERIC » Wed May 20, 2015 10:03 am

Thank you very much for the trip report. Nice that you were able to get out with family while at the same time introduce someone new to the enjoyment of Sierra exploration.
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Re: TR Hetch Hetchy May 16-17

Postby Cross Country » Thu May 21, 2015 11:15 am

Mike, Jim (my 2 sons - 7 and 12 yo) and I passed by here on a loop trip to Wilma (or Wilmer) lake. I though the the place you were was really nice. It cercaintly is rewarding backpacking with your family. We did their first cross country (to Avonelle and really easy).
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Re: TR Hetch Hetchy May 16-17

Postby maverick » Thu May 21, 2015 12:14 pm

Thank you for the TR and wonderful pictures. Were their a lot of people at Rancheria? How was the crossing on the bridge at the Falls? How deep and fast was the water flow over the bridge?
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Re: TR Hetch Hetchy May 16-17

Postby SSSdave » Thu May 21, 2015 12:29 pm

Your images make me want to get on the trail too. Thanks for the report. Was near that area a couple weeks ago closer to Mather and indeed lots of wildflowers were out. And yes saw lots of live forever, dudleya cymosa, in the bedrock too. Not as dry as people might think because at least the Tuolumne River basin has enjoyed some May thunderstorms. Congratulations on successfully introducing another young person to the Sierra!
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Re: TR Hetch Hetchy May 16-17

Postby gabe&mel » Fri May 22, 2015 1:38 pm

Thanks for the trail report and awesome photos.


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Re: TR Hetch Hetchy May 16-17

Postby old and slow » Sat May 23, 2015 12:20 pm

Thanks for the kind comments everyone! Mav, lot of water flowing, not sure how much though...it didnt overflow onto any of the bridges we crossed. As for people, there was an REI group of 14 plus a few smaller groups of campers, maybe 25-30 total in the area. More than I like but it worked fine for this trip.

Dave, beautiful flowers. I need to take a botany class so i know what I'm seeing!
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Re: TR Hetch Hetchy May 16-17

Postby ndwoods » Sat May 23, 2015 11:15 pm

Nice TR! Love that area. Glad you had a good time!

I've had interesting weather twice there on that same exact weekend in previous years. One year I took a friend for her first backpack. We had a lovely time but on the way back it started hailing like I have never seen it hail. In the parking lot the hail was about 12-15 inches deep! Cars were high centered everywhere and all over the road. I always carried chains and was able to get out.

And another year I had a massive storm hit me when I solo'd that weekend. Here is a TR of that trip. Don't worry, not spamming or trolling or whatever you call it...no ads or anything like that....this is just my personal website I write stories on and the link is to a trip in Hetch Hetchy I wrote about. http://ndeewoods.com/sample-page/test/
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