GC Tuolumne, 5/31-6/3/18

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: GC Tuolumne, 5/31-6/3

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:22 pm

I also did the GCT in August years ago with my daughter as part of a big loop from Twin Lakes. We simply took it slowly and stopped at every pool and swam! We would cool off, walk half an hour, and cool off again. Late in the year the water is calm enough to swim in it safely. My daughter thought it was a wonderful trip and liked the heat and swimming. We dropped in from the north (Piute Creek) and went up valley to Glen Aulin, PCT to Matterhorn Canyon and back to Twin Lakes. Great trip. I am sorry you had a bad trip.

This year it would not surprise me if more bridges washed out. With all the snow it the river will be wild at peak flow! It may actually be the final blow to the Pate Valley Bridge which was partially out 2018. After the 1997-8 floods, the bridge over Return Creek was washed out. I started at Tuolumne and had to return due to the bridge out.

A word of warning- in a high water year, the entire length below Glen Aulin is flooded and you have to wade through water sometimes crotch deep. And the bridge near Glen Aulin submerges in afternoons so you have to plan that in the morning.








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Re: GC Tuolumne, 5/31-6/3

Post by hikerchick395 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:30 am

15. Arival at Waterwheel Falls 30 June.jpg

Waterwheel Falls continues to be on my list. Although this photo is labeled as Waterwheel, I believe that it is LeConte. (Late June 2006) We had permits for the same time period in 2017 to finally get to Waterwheel. Tioga Pass didn't open on time, though, and I ended up canceling. My neighbor went in a week before my permit dates (walking in the day that 120 opened to the entrance gate,) and didn't get past Glen Aulin HSC. He went in the day before the peak runoff day and what an experience with the high water. I can only imagine. He didn't have a camera! I went in on a dayhike to Glen Aulin proper a couple of weeks later and it was awesome.


edit: I took family in, dayhiking to Glen Aulin in 2007...the year after the above photo...in a drought year. What a difference in water flow.
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Re: GC Tuolumne, 5/31-6/3

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:27 am

I did the GCT in 6/6-6/8 2003, a 65% snow year, and we actually had higher water- much more serious wading below Glen Aulin. We could not wade across Register Creek so had to find a log crossing upstream. Did a loop from Lukens TH in 2012,6/5-9, and 43% snow year, and no wading was required. So the snowpack is not the only factor in high water. A sudden heat wave at the end of the melt can raise water levels a lot.

It is counter-intuitive, but Waterwheel Falls is not its best at the very highest flows. There is a lower flow that produces the best "wheel".

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Re: GC Tuolumne, 5/31-6/3

Post by hikerchick395 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:55 pm

2017-06 Tuolumne Falls.jpg

comparison of Tuolumne Falls
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Re: GC Tuolumne, 5/31-6/3

Post by MichaelRPetrick » Fri Jun 21, 2019 11:36 am

Thank you all for this useful thread.

My boyfriend and I are thinking of trying GCOT from Rancheria over July 4th. Tuolumne from White Wolf simply won't be doable by then - that would be a rafting trip. :eek:

I know there are variables related to temperature/time of day, but...

For those who've been there: what you you rate our odds of turning back at an overly high creek crossing - not to mention the flooded areas below Glen Aulin?

It's a long way to hike back to the car at Hetch Hetchy if we turn around at Glen Aulin!

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Re: GC Tuolumne, 5/31-6/3

Post by c9h13no3 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:42 pm

MichaelRPetrick wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 11:36 am
My boyfriend and I are thinking of trying GCOT from Rancheria over July 4th...

It's a long way to hike back to the car at Hetch Hetchy if we turn around at Glen Aulin!
Why not start in Tuolumne Meadows? Road's open, it's not too snowy. And the best waterfalls are closer to Tuolumne.

This satellite image is from the 20th. The trail to the Piute Creek junction is in red.
SatImage.PNG
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Re: GC Tuolumne, 5/31-6/3

Post by MichaelRPetrick » Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:58 pm

We're hoping to not have to fight July 4th permit-grabbers in Tuolumne.

Would like to finish with the best falls (I've done the hike from TM to Glen Aulin in the fall).

Additionally, finishing at Hetch Hetchy means driving back to Tuolumne for car shuttle purposes - 2 extra hours of driving back to San Francisco at the end of the trip... still it's a thought.

Did you list Piute Creek as a potential turnback point based on water?

Thanks!

MP

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Re: GC Tuolumne, 5/31-6/3

Post by c9h13no3 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:23 pm

MichaelRPetrick wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:58 pm
Did you list Piute Creek as a potential turnback point based on water?
I just randomly drew a line. I'd probably do it as an out & back, as the car shuttle would be gross and I'd expect to get turned around by a creek crossing or bridge out somewhere.

I hear you on not fighting the permit fight though. I don't backpack in Yosemite between July 4th & Labor day. Day trips only cuz permits suck.
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Re: GC Tuolumne, 5/31-6/3

Post by fourputt » Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:35 pm

>>I observed two distinct mushrooms; can anyone identify these?

First is in Gyromitra genus, either gigas (Snow Mushroom, Snowbank False Morel) or esculenta (False Morel, Brain Mushroom). Not edible, and how anyone mistakes them for Morels is a mystery.

Second is Calvatia sculpta (Sierran Puffball, Sculptured Puffball). Edible when immature, i.e., interior still firm and white, not green or powdery. They're tasty with a vaguely seafood aroma that makes good "chowder" mixed with cream of potato/leek soup.

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Re: GC Tuolumne, 5/31-6/3

Post by AlmostThere » Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:28 pm

MichaelRPetrick wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 11:36 am
Thank you all for this useful thread.

My boyfriend and I are thinking of trying GCOT from Rancheria over July 4th. Tuolumne from White Wolf simply won't be doable by then - that would be a rafting trip. :eek:

I know there are variables related to temperature/time of day, but...

For those who've been there: what you you rate our odds of turning back at an overly high creek crossing - not to mention the flooded areas below Glen Aulin?

It's a long way to hike back to the car at Hetch Hetchy if we turn around at Glen Aulin!
I count at least 3 creek crossings along the route. There is also a stretch of trail along the river that when I was there, in midsummer in a lower snow year, the water was mere feet below the trail - that section is definitely under water. I don't immediately recall that it was possible to walk up the granite slope above the trail.

Peak melt is close, but not here yet, and July 4 the melt will definitely not be over... whether you turn around depends on how determined you are, and a big gamble on successful creek crossings. You're assuming you will make it past Wapama Falls, too - it's been deadly already.

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