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Trip Report - Grand Canyon Tuolumne

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Trip Report - Grand Canyon Tuolumne

Postby Notch » Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:06 pm

First TR here - hiked into the GCT a few weeks ago and had excellent weather and trail conditions. The first day we arrived late but were still able to get our permit at Hetch Hetchy entrance station (they stay open unil 9pm compared to 5pm at Big Oak Flat). We stated hiking from While Wolf at 10pm and set up camp just before the descent into the canyon.

Day 2 we got an early start and beat the heat hiking the 3,000ft+ down to the Tuolumne. Once we made it to the river the swimming and fishing was amazing. I've done this hike a few times and can't remember when the water has been so low and warm. We continued up the trail some and ran into a few bears chasing each other in Patte Valley. After watching them for a while one got pissed and chased the other into a tree - at which point we decided it was time to keep hiking. We hiked another couple miles and found a sweet spot off the trail by some perfect swimming holes and excellent trout water.

Day 3 we hiked from above Patte Valley to almost Glen Aulin. This was a long, hot, dusty day with some serious climbing towards the end but was a good challenge for my backpacking noob girlfriend. I think we covered 13 miles and had amazing scenery the entire way of Muir Gorge, steep canyon walls throughout and excellent swimming and fishing holes the entire way.

Day 4 we hiked out of the canyon and made it to Tuolumne Meadows at 11am. We just missed the hiker shuttle which leaves at 10am and takes you back to White Wolf. Instead we caught the free shuttle which goes as far as Olmstead Point and hitch hiked the rest of the way (which only took about 5min.)

Great trip all in all - only saw a few people until the end (including a wilderness ranger) and ran into 5 rattle snakes and two bears. Thinking about doing it again this fall but hiking downstream off trail to get within reach of the big ol brown trout coming from Hetch Hetchy...
Attachments
brown.jpg
waterfall.jpg
mules.jpg
rattler.jpg
burned_trees.jpg
muir_gorge.jpg
tent.jpg
britt_fishing.jpg
bear.jpg
Britt.jpg
hetch_hetchy.jpg



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Re: Trip Report - Grand Canyon Tuolumne

Postby rlown » Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:14 pm

River looks so low. Sad.

Snake looks so big. Not a fan of them, but a nice pic!

Thanks for the report and welcome aboard!
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Re: Trip Report - Grand Canyon Tuolumne

Postby TahoeJeff » Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:24 pm

Yes, that rattler looks TOO big. And yes, great report!
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Re: Trip Report - Grand Canyon Tuolumne

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:09 pm

I also did a late season trip with my daughter, years ago. Although the falls are less spectacular, the swimming is great! We ended up taking 4 days to get up the canyon by the time we stopped at every swimming hole! Our trip was a part of a much longer loop from Twin Lakes.
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Re: Trip Report - Grand Canyon Tuolumne

Postby hurricaniac » Fri Aug 07, 2015 7:27 pm

Yeah, those remote low elevation valleys get lots of serpents hanging out next to the water. A good sign of healthy ecosystem.
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Re: Trip Report - Grand Canyon Tuolumne

Postby maverick » Fri Aug 07, 2015 7:36 pm

Thanks Jeremy for posting your first report, which is a fine one at that! Someone post at trip thru Pate valley earlier this season, but they did not run into the local bears, have seen bear there every time I have been thru there. Where did you see the wilderness ranger, had to be up towards GA.? Where there a lot of people at GA?
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Re: Trip Report - Grand Canyon Tuolumne

Postby Notch » Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:18 am

Most of the people were in the 5 miles between GA and Tuolumne Meadows. Saw the ranger about half way down the trail, and was glad we picked up our permits since we were going to risk it if we didn't make the 9pm deadline on thursday. Anyone know how much a ticket is for backpacking with no wilderness permit?
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Re: Trip Report - Grand Canyon Tuolumne

Postby MountainMinstrel » Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:07 pm

Thanks for the TR. We did a loop on that trail coming back to White Wolf via Ten Lakes back in early August '08. it is amazing how much lower the water is now. Thanks for taking me back.
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Re: Trip Report - Grand Canyon Tuolumne

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Aug 08, 2015 10:43 pm

Nice report and photos, especially the big rattler and the bear-up-the-tree. I am one of the many who has daydreamed about heading downstream to HH in the fall, but I haven't done it. I seem to recall a post in this forum on an actual trip there several years ago, though.
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Re: Trip Report - Grand Canyon Tuolumne

Postby Mcskills » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:35 am

Great report. I'll be heading there 1st week in September. What was the weather temps like during the day/night?
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Re: Trip Report - Grand Canyon Tuolumne

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:40 am

The ticket is only $75, but then you get escorted out of the wilderness also.

I remember the rattlesnakes - they love canyons with waterways, plenty of food for them there. We had to convince a four foot fellow to get off the trail in Muir Gorge. No way to go around him. Fortunate there are no diamondbacks here.
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Re: Trip Report - Grand Canyon Tuolumne

Postby sierrawild » Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:40 am

Thanks for the update and the great photos. diamondback is cool.I love these snakes (Ive got stories) anyway, wonderful. Loks like you had a helluva time. I've done the trail about three times-always from east-west. any particular reason you chose to go down to Pate first? Thanks again for the great photos and info.
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