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Yosemite from Red's Meadow via Isberg Pass

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Yosemite from Red's Meadow via Isberg Pass

Postby kpherzog » Wed May 05, 2010 5:32 pm

I am planning a trip from Red's Meadow to Yosemite, entering the Park at Isberg Pass via Granite Stairway, Corral Meadow, Hemlock Crossing & Detachment Meadow. I would appreciate any advice or info from anyone who has been in the area in recent years. I am particularly interested in hearing about the general condition of the trails, and what Hemlock Crossing is like. (I am an experienced backpacker).

Thanks . . Kurt

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Kurt Herzog
Grants Pass, Oregon



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Re: Yosemite from Red's Meadow via Isberg Pass

Postby jimqpublic » Thu May 06, 2010 1:49 pm

Kurt,

It's a beautiful route- ranging from meadows and open granite benches to big tree forest.

Can't help you with recent info- I did it approx 30 years ago.
Jim
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Re: Yosemite from Red's Meadow via Isberg Pass

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri May 07, 2010 8:30 pm

There is a huge bridge at Hemlock Crossing (and a beautiful waterfall). The trail that climbs up west of Hemlock Crossing can be difficult to follow if it is covered with snow patches. I got a bit lost in here when I went in early in June two years ago. I do not know if this trail gets used enough to be easier to follow later in the season. I also ran into lots of fresh bear tracks in the snow at Hemlock Bridge. Most of the smaller creeks around Cora Lake are easy to cross. Sometimes you have to find crossings up or down from the trail in early season. I came in from the west, (through the "Notch") and crossed Hemlock bridge, and then went north to Twin Island Lake and Ritter Lakes. I have not been on the trail south of Hemlock crossing.

If you are an experienced off-trail hiker, have you considered Roper's High Route from Reds Meadow to Tuolumne Meadows? It is fantastic.
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Re: Yosemite from Red's Meadow via Isberg Pass

Postby LMBSGV » Sat May 08, 2010 5:36 pm

I hiked this as part of a longer trip in 1998 in early September. I saw no one between Reds Meadow until the morning of the next day above Hemlock Crossing. The trail from Reds Meadow to Hemlock Crossing is a lovely hike through miles of forest and small meadows. This part of the trail was not well maintained. Fallen trees covered the trail in several places and it took care to find the trail beyond the maze of trunks, limbs, and branches. As I remember the junction at Corral Meadow was not signed, but the way to go was obvious. There was a nice campsite at Iron Creek. As mentioned, there is a large steel bridge at the Hemlock Crossing, and, yes, the waterfall is gorgeous. There is a packer campsite complex on the other side of the bridge. The two times I’ve camped there (1995 and 1998), I bushwhacked around the big rock dome above the river and camped a couple of hundred yards upstream. In 1995, it was a pretty well-developed campsite. In 1998, it was pretty overgrown. It’s a short walk up the dome to a great view of the North Fork and Mt. Ritter.

The two times I’ve hiked up the North Fork trail, I’ve seen no one. My wife, son, and I spent four days up the canyon and didn’t see a single person. The trail is a little difficult to follow in places and quite clear in others. The wildflowers in Stevenson Meadow are the most abundant and beautiful I’ve ever seen anywhere. Unfortunately, the skeeters are also abundant. If you’re thinking of going that way and possibly to Bench Canyon, PM me and I can elaborate more.

Above Hemlock Crossing, the trail is much more heavily used. Isberg Lake is a great place to camp. If you go around to the other side, you get a lovely view looking down at Sadler and the distant peaks of the Minarets and to the south. As I’ve posted before, the section of Yosemite below Isberg Pass, is my favorite part of the park for backpacking. Where are you intending to go once you are over pass?
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Re: Yosemite from Red's Meadow via Isberg Pass - more info

Postby kpherzog » Sun May 09, 2010 10:10 am

Wandering Daisy asks "have you considered Roper's High Route from Reds Meadow to Tuolumne Meadows? "

Yup.. but I am travelling alone & at my age (69) I need to stick to the trails for the most part. It is tempting though...

LMBSGV asks "Where are you intending to go once you are over pass?" Down the western side of Triple Peak Fork past Washburn Lake, Merced Lake & exit at Happy Isles.

This is the third leg of a 24-day trip starting at Pine Creek with resupply at Vermillion & Red's Meadow.

Thanks to you all for the advice.. I really appreciate it!

. . . Kurt
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Re: Yosemite from Red's Meadow via Isberg Pass

Postby Matilda » Tue May 11, 2010 9:13 am

Hi Kurt--
This is a great trip, but know that trail conditions from Hemlock Crossing to Corral Meadow and Granite Staircase could be bad/unmaintained. In 2005, the section past Iron Creek to Naked Lady Meadow (awesome arborglyphs there) and Earthquake Meadow was littered with fallen trees, and closer to Corral is very hard to follow in a burn area. A friend did the trail in 2007 and reported worsened conditions. I think it would be hard to get really lost, but allow more time for route finding in this section.
The best source of info for this area is the Clover Meadow ranger station--not sure when it opens, but the volunteer rangers there know their way around and can give you a current conditions report.
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