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Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne 6/11-6/14

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Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne 6/11-6/14

Postby jmyers » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:10 pm

For my birthday trip this year 4 of us embarked on the ~30 mile journey from White Wolf Campground to Tuolumne Meadows. For my brother and I this would be our second time, for the girls it was there first. We drove up to Tuolumne Meadows Wednesday night, with a short stop at the Iron Door Saloon for pre hike burgers and beer, with the plan to stay overnight at the backpackers camp to acclimatize for a night before the start of our adventure. It was stormy all day, but seemed to clear up right ahead of us. A good sign of things to come.

The first day our plan was to make the decent from White Wolf to just before Pate Valley. There are a few clearings between the river and trail with a nice bed of pine needles for a cushy sleep. I thought I remembered how much downhill there was, but there was more. White Wolf elevation is 8000 feet, while Pate Valley below rests at ~4300 feet. Through the shaky legs the view was awesome. We started the hike at around 11:00 and had camp set up by 4:30 or so. Plenty of time left for swimming, fishing and hammock time.

Day 2 our plan was to get across Muir Gorge to a spot prior to Waterwheel Falls. The hike through Pate Valley and up to the Gorge was stunning. The trail in many places is right at the river and if the river had been running another foot higher we would have been walking in it a few places. There are a fair amount of snakes in this area as well. On that day we saw 4, 2 in which darted in front of me just to give me a heart attack. The trek up and over the Gorge is a difficult one, but we all charged. The hardest part of this area is finding a spot to camp for the night that meets the 100 yard requirements. We saw one that was taken, and one that was less then desirable, so we gambled and hit the jackpot. A spot right below Cathedral Creek. From our spot we could see the river as well as the creeks waterfalls cascading down the cliff. We set up camp, grabbed poles, and went to town. I caught 5 Trout that night, one nice 13" and a 10" that went in our bellies. The rest got to swim on for another day. My brother cooked up backcountry pizza while my lovely better half cooked up the fish. Couldn't think of a better birthday dinner.

Day 3 was waterfall day. Waterwheels, LeConte, and California. along with the beauty of the falls we climbed up into the white high sierra granite that I love so much. At the pools above the falls we would snack and wet the line. A lot of small brookies, but they had the fight of a steelhead! Our finish line for the day was Glen Aulin. To get there we did get to hike through what they called a flooded trail. It was more of a knee high running creek at some points, but really added to the fun of it all. The valley below Glen Aulin is really a gorgeous stretch of river. If we had had another day I would have camped there and fished that stretch all day long, but we didn't so we didn't. Once we got to Glen Aulin we set up camp and found a nice park bench by the pool set up for the rich campers (not us). we snacked is sipped off the rum bladder for couple hours. At sunset we ran up to the top of the neighboring rock to finish off our booze and admire the beauty of the valley below as well as Matterhorn Valley to the north of us. There is not a better way to start our last night.

Day 4 back to Tuolumne Meadows. It as a race to the finish. We knew breakfast was served till 10:55 and I had a craving for a breakfast sandwich and a beer! we treked through the beautiful cascades and meadows and were back to the truck by 10. We ordered breakfast and sat in the back of the truck staring at the meadow for another hour or so. It was truly and amazing hike. The weather was perfect the scenery stunning and the company even better.



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Re: Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne 6/11-6/14

Postby rlown » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:15 pm

A very nice report. Now.. where are the pictures?
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Re: Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne 6/11-6/14

Postby jmyers » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:26 pm

working on it, file was too big first attempt
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Re: Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne 6/11-6/14

Postby rlown » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:29 pm

300k per pic if uploading to HST. max of about 9 per post. if you have an external host, then the sky is the limit.
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Re: Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne 6/11-6/14

Postby jmyers » Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:07 pm

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Re: Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne 6/11-6/14

Postby ERIC » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:51 am

rlown wrote:300k per pic if uploading to HST. max of about 9 per post.


?? It's 2MB per file and 12 max per post. The max per post is to limit the number of photos that have to load on a page.
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Re: Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne 6/11-6/14

Postby maverick » Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:25 pm

Thank you for adding the photo link, great photo's, and fun TR. No mention of Morisson Creek crossing on the way down to Pate, guessing it was quite low this year, usually in the early season it can be a thrill to cross. No bears in Pate, surprising, they are usually pretty active.
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Re: Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne 6/11-6/14

Postby jmyers » Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:03 pm

Morrison Creek crossing was pretty low, but still enough to cool the feet. And no bears, a little bitter sweet. Always fun to see, but nice to not have issues
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Re: Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne 6/11-6/14

Postby alc101ma » Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:02 am

Awesome report, sounds like a great trip! I've been thinking about adding this trip to the list but potentially in the opposite direction. Have you always done it starting from White Wolf?
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Re: Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne 6/11-6/14

Postby jmyers » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:16 pm

A lot of people end at White Wolf because is is lower then Tuolumne, but that last day in my mind would really suck. The climb would be brutal as it is about 3500 ft and most of it in 5-6 mile stretch. For me the whole hike is great but going from White Wolf to Tuolumne the scenery just gets better and better every day and there is cold beer at the finish line.
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Re: Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne 6/11-6/14

Postby maverick » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:30 pm

The rewards of the scenery going from WW to TM only gets better and better, especially from the Gorge on, and as mentioned, the climb out is not easy for many, additionally it definitely lacks the views, and the many outstanding features of the upper part of TMC, like Waterwheel, LeConte, Tuolumne, and California Falls to name a few.
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Re: Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne 6/11-6/14

Postby alc101ma » Mon Jun 29, 2015 4:15 pm

Thanks for the insight. Cold beer... I'm sold :drinkers:
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