Hetch Hetchy loop through Bear Valley east of Tiltill

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genetastic
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Hetch Hetchy loop through Bear Valley east of Tiltill

Post by genetastic » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:02 pm

I'm planning out a Hetch Hetchy loop, going up past Lake Vernon to around Avonelle and Wilma Lakes, then taking a short stretch of the PCT East before heading South through what looks like Bear Valley past a lot of nameless lakes. This is the parallel trail to and about four miles East of the trail that goes through Tiltill Valley. It then loops back west and intersects with the Tiltill Valley trail at Rancheria Falls.

I'm posting here because I can't find any reports of anyone hiking this route. And none of the map layers show names for any of the lakes, making it hard to search for. Does anyone have any experience with this trail? Any good campsites? There are some crossings with Breeze Creek and some small lakes that look like potential stopping spots around coordinates 37.9889, -119.5924.

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balzaccom
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Re: Hetch Hetchy loop through Bear Valley east of Tiltill

Post by balzaccom » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:53 pm

Take that question to Yosemite News and Discussion--they have a couple of people there who have hiked that route more than once. And they have even taken an inflatable to float a couple of those lakes.
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Re: Hetch Hetchy loop through Bear Valley east of Tiltill

Post by Wandering Daisy » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:24 am

If you mean the trail shown on the map heading northeast out of Tiltill Valley, I have come down that from the PCT. It is unremarkable, woodsy, not very scenic and early season, full of mosquitoes. I ran into one bear per mile the day I descended that trail years ago. Not sure if that would still be the case. It was in good shape and a quick way to get to Tiltill.

Bear Valley is on the trail much farther south and east that goes via Rancheria Mountain to the Rancheria Creek established camp area, well below Tiltill Valley. I have been on part of this trail (Pleasant Valley to Rancheria Creek) and it is bone dry once you get up on Rancheria Mountain, no shade and hellishly hot.

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Re: Hetch Hetchy loop through Bear Valley east of Tiltill

Post by genetastic » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:43 pm

The USFS map calls this Bear Valley, but I don't see it labeled that way on any other map. It might be the trail that you're describing, Wandering Daisy. It cuts south from the PCT a bit west of Piute Peak, continues south on the west side of Rancheria Peak, before shooting west to hit Rancheria Falls.

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Re: Hetch Hetchy loop through Bear Valley east of Tiltill

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:55 am

The trail you refer to is the second one I mentioned. I have only been on the part of that trail from just south of Bear Valley to Rancheria Falls. I camped at the small lakes one mile west of Pleasant Valley.as my base to climb Piute Mountain. (early June 2006). These lakes were still frozen and it was solid snow up to Piute Mountain, so I hard to say what the trail was like. Rancheria Mountain was dry but part of the trail was overgrown, but I have heard that it has since been cleared once. Water sources are very seasonal and it is a hot trail. Early season there are stark contrasts between hot dry south facing areas and snow covered north facing areas. I think 2006 was a fairly high snow year. A bear rolled around my bear can on that trip. There are lots of bears in that entire region, and you can expect to see them.

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