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Trip Advice - Western Yosemite Park

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Re: Trip Advice - Western Yosemite Park

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:28 pm

Rancheria Falls is the trailhead for Hetch Hetchy. An alternate trailhead, permitted from the Groveland Forest Service office, would be Lake Eleanor. That would take you into the park from a higher elevation. There's no backpacker camp but there is a designated camping area at Lake Eleanor just inside the park boundary, free and with bear lockers.



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Re: Trip Advice - Western Yosemite Park

Postby maverick » Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:12 pm

Thanks Maverick! I appreciate this. Some more questions:
1. Should I just come back the way I came in rather than go to Tiltill and Rancheria Falls? Is that area interesting? I’m only hearing bad things about it (no water, crowded, steep).
2. Where are the good campsites at Lake Vernon?
3. I’m thinking of camping at Branigan Lake. Are there campsites there?
4. I asked about trailheads because this “full trailheads” site doesn’t mention Hetch Hetchy: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/u ... lheads.pdf It does list a Rancheria Falls trail head. I’m assuming this is the one I’m interested in (it seems to have a low use).
Sorry for bending your ear like this, but one doesn't get to drink at the font of wisdom very often.


1. My preference would be to see something new, not doing and out and back trip, so going down towards Tiltill would be the pick. Besides Lake Vernon, the power of Falls Creek, the flow of Rancheria Falls, Wampama Falls, and Branigan Falls are the highlights of the area (Beehive can spectacular wildflowers in Spring), but something all these places have in common is to go during run-off, when the water is flowing, otherwise none of these spectacular places really impress during the late season. Water will be scare heading up to Beehive, and everything is somewhat steep due to Hetchy being at 3796, and Lake Vernon at 6564.

2. There are campsites all along the shores of Vernon's western, and southern side. There are some good sites back towards the lakes east and northeastern part of the basin if the other two places is crowded, but highly doubt the will be in Sept.

3. If you decide to go up to Branigan, don't stay at the first lake, head past it, follow the inlet creek, head south to the last lake on the bench, not Lake 7496.

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Re: Trip Advice - Western Yosemite Park

Postby Pietro257 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:26 pm

Thanks Maverick. I think you've given me the makings of a beautiful backpacking trip. I'll be sure to provide a trip report in September.
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