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Hetch Hetchy to TM

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 10:59 pm
by MountainMinstrel
My sister, brother and I would like to do Waterwheel Falls this summer. The problem is that John's knees do not downhill well at all. If we come into the canyon from White Wolf we have a 4200ft. decent (not good). So I was wondering if we would eliminate extreem downs by starting at Hetch Hetchy. If so how many days do you think we might be looking at? I realize that it will be hot as blazes at HH but if we get a real early start we can probably miss the worst of it. What do think? Is this doable, or should we look at something else?

Thanks
Ken

Re: Hetch Hetchy to TM

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 11:19 pm
by MountainMinstrel
Well I answered part of my question when I found a post from DoyleWDonehoo's Sierra Trails. He states that there is a 4000 ft. decent if we go over Rancheria Mountain. Would going in at Smith Meadow trail from the Ranger Station to Harden Lake make it any better? I know I need to get topos for this area but...

Re: Hetch Hetchy to TM

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 6:21 am
by rayfound
Try using Google maps "Terrain" - not perfect as TOPO maps go, but worth a try.

Re: Hetch Hetchy to TM

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 11:12 am
by maverick
Why not from Tuolumne Meadows (8584 ft), which would be approx a 1780 foot descent
to Waterwheel Falls (6800 ft)?
Just remember if your going for the falls its best to visit soon after Tioga opens when
the run-off is at its best and the skeeterz are not abundant.

Re: Hetch Hetchy to TM

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 11:19 am
by maverick
Let me add that getting to the falls early may be difficult because of flooding but can be
by-passed somewhat by skirting around as close to the cliffs as possible above California Falls.
Going early will give you a dramatic water spray from the force/volume of the water hitting the
rocks which gives the impression of a waterwheel that is 12-15 feet high in early season
which is not nearly as dramatic later on.

Re: Hetch Hetchy to TM

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 5:38 pm
by hikerduane
I talked with a group that had come in from TM to Rancheria Falls and they had trouble following the trail the last day I believe it was. Take your time if that is true.