GCT - Early June 2021

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Digforfire
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GCT - Early June 2021

Post by Digforfire » Wed Jan 27, 2021 2:21 pm

Im planning a trip along the GCT (White Wolf to Tuolumne Meadows) possibly in early June. Does anyone have any experience doing this route at that time of year? I understand that the water crossings could be pretty treacherous depending on snow pack but are there any bridges other than Pate Valley?

I had permits to do the same route last year on Sept 5th when the water was low but the Creek Fire had other plans and smoked me out!

Any help/advice would be much appreciated! Thank you in advance!








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c9h13no3
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Re: GCT - Early June 2021

Post by c9h13no3 » Wed Jan 27, 2021 2:56 pm

Your feet will be wet, it will be hazardous. I did the abbreviated GCT as an out and back run in late July of a high snow year, and the meadow from Glen Aulin HSC to California falls was flooded with ~4 inches of water for a short bit. If June is near peak melt (usually is), it will be really deep, likely will require XC detours.

There’s a thin use trail near pothole dome, but not as scenic as the PCT. It bypasses two creek fords, but those fords are easy anyways. I’d plan to do it as an out & back, makes turning around when sh!t gets dicey so much easier.

Be sure to venture off trail around Le Conte & Waterwheel. They’re amazing.
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Re: GCT - Early June 2021

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Jan 27, 2021 5:45 pm

You need to call the wilderness office in Yosemite just before you go to verify that the bridges are not damaged. They may not even know. Alternatively, do an "in-and-out" from Tuolumne; it really is not bad. I did this last trip and went down to just below Muir Gorge and returned. The bridge at Glen Aulin can also flood at daily high flows so time that at low water. One of the lower creeks (Rodgers?- Pate Valley side of Muir Gorge hill) also can be difficult. Can you wait until late June? Should be safer then. And Waterwheel Falls is actually better at just a bit under peak flow. If you go out on the rock slabs, be careful; they get slippery! Also lots of rattlesnakes Pate Valley and a few miles upstream. The valley below Glen Aulin floods but it is standing water, not dangerous, just sometimes have to wade in crotch deep very cold water, more commonly about mid-calf deep.

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Re: GCT - Early June 2021

Post by Enigmagic » Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:04 pm

Digforfire wrote:
Wed Jan 27, 2021 2:21 pm
are there any bridges other than Pate Valley?
I'm tentatively planning to do the same trip around the same time, with a backup if we end up getting decent snow pack.

OpenStreetMap has detailed bridge info (not always accurate tho) and it looks like there may be bridges at Roger's and Return Creeks though I haven't been on these sections of trail yet. We'll see.

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Re: GCT - Early June 2021

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:47 pm

Bridges and water problems: from Tuolumne Meadow down

1. Large bridge across Tuolumne, above Glen Aulin- high above water, no problem
2. Bridge at Glen Aulin - can be flooded at peak daily flows
3. Valley below Glen Aulin- floods as high as crotch-waist, standing water, muddy
3. Return Creek, rebuilt about 15 years ago when it washed out, high above water now, should be OK
4. A part of trail carved in rock next to river, below Cathedral Creek confluence - floods about ankle to mid-calf
5. Register Creek - wades below waterfall- can be swift and difficult
6. Small bridge across small side stream immediately west of Register Creek, high above, usually OK
7. Pate Valley Bridge- was breaking - it may be fixed now, river not crossable at high flow without the bridge

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Re: GCT - Early June 2021

Post by Enigmagic » Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:29 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:47 pm
7. Pate Valley Bridge- was breaking - it may be fixed now, river not crossable at high flow without the bridge
thanks! the Pate Valley Bridge was repaired last summer, saw a TR from August and it looks brand new.

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Re: GCT - Early June 2021

Post by Digforfire » Thu Feb 04, 2021 3:39 pm

Thanks for the feedback! After some more research I've decided to go early July. I'll post a trip report when I get back!

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Re: GCT - Early June 2021

Post by David_Caruso » Sat Feb 06, 2021 2:14 pm

Thanks from me too.

I'm got a permit for June 17th to 20th for the GCT...going to hang onto it.

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