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Porcupine Creek/Indian Rock questions

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Porcupine Creek/Indian Rock questions

Postby tim » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:03 pm

I'm planning to go on a couple of night backpacking trip over Memorial Day weekend with my youngest son to Indian Rock/North Dome out of the Porcupine Creek trailhead. He's almost 7 and he's been backpacking before so I don't think the hike would be a problem - it looks like it should be pretty snow free already (except possibly the first half mile) from the photos I've seen (https://picasaweb.google.com/1030895010 ... ianBasket#). We were planning to go in about 2-3 miles and then do a day hike on the middle day down to North Dome.

Does anyone have any advice about good camping spots, preferably with a view. It looks like places on the shoulder of Indian Rock (near the trail junction where you climb up to the rock itself) would be good, but I'm wondering about the water supply in those areas: is it easy to access the top of Royal Arch Creek, or is it better to be on the east side closer to the creek that flows down past Basket Dome. Both creeks seem to be pretty seasonal so I know there will be some uncertainty, but does anyone who has been to that area early season have any advice or (even better) photos?



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Re: Porcupine Creek/Indian Rock questions

Postby wildhiker » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:03 pm

Hi Tim,

I took my family backpacking in that area in mid-June 1991 (kids 7, 11, & 12). We hiked from Porcupine Flat trailhead on the trail directly southwest down Lehamite Creek to the jct with the rim trail, and then headed east on the trail towards North Dome about 1/4 mile up to the broad saddle about 7240 ft between Lehamite and Arch Creeks, and found a nice campsite on that ridge. I had a 2.5 gallon water bag that I filled up at Lehamite Creek, which was flowing well. It was an easy side hike from here over to North Dome. It might be a bit more of a return hike than you want. We did it as part of a longer loop hike, continuing to a campsite by Yosemite Creek at the Upper Falls, and then another halfway up the creek towards the Yosemite Creek campground. On the fourth day, while my wife waited with the kids at Yosemite Creek campground, I hiked back up the old road trail to Porcupine Flat and brought the car back to pick up the family.
2016 update: Did this again with 37 year old daughter and her husband. Old road from Yosemite Creek up to Porcupine Flat is now so overgrown that you can't follow it and have to bushwhack up the slope. Probably easier to continue up Yosemite Creek trail a couple more miles to where it intersects the Tioga Road and then hitchhike back to Porcupine Flat.

-Phil
Last edited by wildhiker on Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Porcupine Creek/Indian Rock questions

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Wed May 02, 2012 2:20 pm

I am planning an overnight soon up the Snowcreek trail, but not down sorta-Indian Canyon like the link in the first post. I will go down the Yosemite Falls Trail. I have been in the area before, and there are a number of camping opportunities (Like at Snow Creek and along Yosemite Creek), in particular early season (water available). It is a semi-historic area: John Muir camped near North Dome for several weeks with a buncha sheep in his First Summer in the Sierra (see the book) and sitting on North Dome, came up with his own Yosemite glaciation theory at odds with current thinking of his day. If you have any concerns, you can easily dayhike down to North Dome in advance of the trip and check it out. You really shouldn't have problems. Another idea is to pack from the Yosemite Creek CG down Yosemite Creek, camp along the creek, and do some day-hikes from there.
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Re: Porcupine Creek/Indian Rock questions

Postby Hikin Mike » Wed May 02, 2012 2:23 pm

You can check out my report (w/pictures) from October 2002....

North Dome
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Re: Porcupine Creek/Indian Rock questions

Postby tim » Wed May 02, 2012 5:12 pm

Hikin Mike wrote:You can check out my report (w/pictures) from October 2002....


Thanks Mike - very useful. Looking at your map, I think we will follow roughly the same route. From your TR it seems that late season Arch Creek was dry, but Lehamite Creek was flowing, and you didn't check out Basket Creek. Have I got that right? If Basket Creek is flowing then it seems a plausible choice might be to camp roughly where I put the X on your map. Thoughts?

north-dome-map.jpg
North Dome area
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Re: Porcupine Creek/Indian Rock questions

Postby Hikin Mike » Thu May 03, 2012 4:08 pm

I never went to Basket Dome. I would imagine there will be plenty of water at this time of the year.

I would continue on to North Dome. The views on top of ND is incredible, especially at night. :unibrow:
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Re: Porcupine Creek/Indian Rock questions

Postby maverick » Thu May 03, 2012 4:50 pm

Hiking Mike wrote:
I would continue on to North Dome. The views on top of ND is incredible, especially
at night. :unibrow:


The views from ND of HD are outstanding, especially if it turns orange during
sunset, makes for some great silhouette photo's, and night photography is good too.
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Re: Porcupine Creek/Indian Rock questions

Postby tim » Thu May 03, 2012 7:23 pm

Thanks for the suggestion. I'm not sure I want to camp with a 6 year old on top of a dome with a 3000ft drop right next to you. Too worrying when he gets up to pee in the night! Also, I think avoiding the extra 1.5 miles and 600ft of climbing with a pack on the way out is probably wise.
But it does sound like water shouldn't be a big problem, and watching the sunset from Indian Rock might be a good option.
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Re: Porcupine Creek/Indian Rock questions

Postby Hikin Mike » Thu May 03, 2012 7:47 pm

I understand your concerns, especially falling. You really won't be camping on top of the dome and most camp below ND...it's quite safe.
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