Hetch Hetchy Loop | High Sierra Topix  

Hetch Hetchy Loop

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Hetch Hetchy Loop

Postby sheperd80 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:48 pm

Experience Level 2.5
Comfortable with class 3 minor crossings and some xcountry
Interested in scenery fishing phone-tography etc
Solo 3 days 2 nights

I'd like to get up to Hetchy Hetch area late spring or early summer if conditions allow, and was hoping for some advice. A Vernon > Eleanor loop sounds great but looks like a bit much, especially if planning to stay near these larger lakes or have any time to explore, fish, etc.

Any recommended routes, loops, or destinations in the area? Anything i should skip or avoid? HH>Vernon>Laurel looks more realistic. Ive never been to the area, Im really just looking for an enjoyable early season trip where i can grab a walk-up and hike for a couple days. Fishing is a lower priority as usual but its always an added bonus.

Thanks.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk



User avatar
sheperd80
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:17 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Hetch Hetchy Loop

Postby balzaccom » Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:21 pm

Here's a link to the photos I took on a trip in that area over Memorial Day Weekend a few years ago:

https://picasaweb.google.com/balzaccom/ ... TheBeehive

You might want to prepare for snow...
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
User avatar
balzaccom
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1292
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:22 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Hetch Hetchy Loop

Postby sheperd80 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:44 am

I imagine this spring will be comparable to what you saw in 2011. High water and plenty of snow. I'll keep alternate routes in mind if the higher country is innacessible.

I always enjoy your trip reports and photos balzaccom, this was very helpful. I'll have to see how things are looking in May but it seems that heading east towards Rancheria then up to Vernon may be a bad plan that time of year.





Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
User avatar
sheperd80
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:17 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Hetch Hetchy Loop

Postby maverick » Fri Mar 18, 2016 12:28 pm

Going HH > Vernon > Rancheria > HH is the best route, Vernon to Tiltill route upper portion will have snow in the forested parts, making you trip crosscountry unless some other people have already broken a trail in the snowy sections. Tiltill will be flooded, be prepared. Wapama Falls bridge crossing could be dangerous. Here is a previous recommendation in an earlier thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=13961
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8049
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Hetch Hetchy Loop

Postby sheperd80 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:11 pm

Thanks for the link Mav i like the sound of that loop. If i went that way i could stay at Laurel or Vernon night 1. Conditions allowing, explore Vernon basin/Branigan day 2 then head down some to camp. Staying up at Vernon night 2 would mean a longer hike out with some unkowns, so it may better to aim for Tiltill/Rancheria for night 2 and shorten my exit hike some. Water should be pretty high and i see a few crossings without bridges so extra time for that exit hike seems wise.

Also, if i hit too much snow on day 1 or 2 i can always head back down towards Miguel/Eleanor and probably still have a good weekend.

This is sounding like a safer plan with plenty of options.


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
User avatar
sheperd80
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:17 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Hetch Hetchy Loop

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Mar 19, 2016 9:08 am

I doubt this year will equal the 2011 snowpack. It is looking more like an average year, not a 200% year. I did Hetch Hetchy to Piute Creek in June 2-3 2006 at very high snowpack, and only hit snow on the top of Rancheria Mountain. Runoff was tremendous, so creek crossing without a bridge were not possible. See the chart at the link below. You can check on any past year and compare to this year at this point.
http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/snowap ... art.action
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2610
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Hetch Hetchy Loop

Postby sheperd80 » Sat Mar 19, 2016 11:50 am

Thx daisy, thats helpful. I wonder if May would be pushing it. The sooner the better! Ill just have to keep a watchful eye on the weather

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
User avatar
sheperd80
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:17 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Hetch Hetchy Loop

Postby emcd661 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:50 am

I did a hetch hetchy loop last year. Tilltill>Avonelle>Benson. Not nearly as much snow as this year and there was still plenty of water and portions of the trail were still snow covered. Till Till was indeed flooded so definitely be prepared for that. I attached my .kmz file just in case you wanted to check it out.
Attachments
Hetch Hetchy Loop.kmz
Google Earth file of the loop
(17.75 KiB) Downloaded 23 times
User avatar
emcd661
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:55 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Hetch Hetchy Loop

Postby sheperd80 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:35 am

That looks like a great trip emcd. A couple questions. What time of year did you go? And, when you say Tiltill was flooded, are we talking impassable or just really wet hiking? I can deal with the latter but if its potentially impassable i dont want to find out on the back end of my trip.

Thanks
User avatar
sheperd80
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:17 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Hetch Hetchy Loop

Postby longri » Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:44 am

I was also in the Hetch Hetchy area over Memorial Day weekend 2011. It snowed down to Yosemite Valley level that weekend. But it wasn't a typical year.

2011 was a very big snow year in the Yosemite backcountry. In late June 2011 I day hiked Yosemite Falls to Mirror Lake. From Indian Rock to about a mile before the Snow Creek bridge everything was completely buried in snow. There was a lot of snow over major Sierra passes well into August.

Last year there was essentially no snow. Complete opposite.

This year is somewhat below average for snowfall and it's been hotter than normal. I was up Snow Creek a couple of weeks ago and the snow line was nearly as high as it was in June 2011. It was melting fast too, frighteningly fast. My bet is that you'll be hard pressed to even find snow on a Vernon/Laurel loop in late May this year.

It's a personal thing, but I avoid Hetch Hetchy after May because it can get really hot there.
User avatar
longri
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 505
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 am
Experience: N/A


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 10 guests