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TR: Loop from Tuolumne Meadows

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TR: Loop from Tuolumne Meadows

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:48 am

I did this loop last week. Fall is here-- yellows, oranges and deep blue skies dominate the colors. Day 1- into Townsley Lake, Day 2 x-country to Nelson Lake, Day 3 x-country-mix trail to Matthes Lake, Echo Lake and camp at Bubb Lake. It lightly froze every night.

Route Map
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Townsley Lake

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Evlyn Lake

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Fletcher Lake

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Boothe Lake

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Nelson Lake

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Matthes Lake

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Budd Lake

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Cathedral Peak



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Re: TR: Loop from Tuolumne Meadows

Postby balzaccom » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:29 pm

Beautiful! Thanks for posting.

Man, Nelson Lake looks low!
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Re: TR: Loop from Tuolumne Meadows

Postby sparky » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:55 pm

Wow, this is pretty much the same hike I intended to do this august but I didn't have enough time off work so I just day hiked. Only difference was a visit up florence creek!

Budd lake was a nice surprise for me.

Despite being so close to tioga road I didn't see anyone on my way out and the trail didn't look heavily used. I did a nice hike coming up past cathedral lakes over cathedral pass, then I got up on that shoulder between cathedral and echo peaks just south of the cliffs that was just south of your route. The views up there were nice.

Thanks for the photos. I still want to do that hike so any other thoughts you want to add I am all ears

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Re: TR: Loop from Tuolumne Meadows

Postby quentinc » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:23 pm

Sparky, did you rob a bank on your way up to Tuolumne?
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Re: TR: Loop from Tuolumne Meadows

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:27 am

I have been into Nelson Lake via Elizabeth Lake and the route I did this year going in via Raymond Lakes is a lot easier even if a bit longer. There are several places along the Rafferty Creek trail that you can go up drainages to get to the low angle valley that heads to a pass just north of Raymond Lake.

The key to getting from Nelson Lk to Matthes Lake is to NOT go down the branch of Echo Creek that comes in from the route via Elizabeth Lake. The route shown on the map was pretty open country - never got into any real bushwhaking.

Nelson Lake is low, but the photo is of the shallow end which makes it look worse than it is. Townsley Lake is not that low, since it still has snowfields melting. Two other fellows were at the inlet and they were fishing, and catching fish too. Budd Lake was a bit low, but nothing like Nelson Lake. Budd Creek was flowing all the way down.

Raffery Creek as the NPS website says, is bone dry.
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Re: TR: Loop from Tuolumne Meadows

Postby windknot » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:22 am

Great report, thanks for sharing! I too would also like to do this route someday.
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Re: TR: Loop from Tuolumne Meadows

Postby QITNL » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:53 pm

Camping is not permitted at Budd Lake, FYI.
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Re: TR: Loop from Tuolumne Meadows

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:36 pm

Well, the ranger who wrote me the permit, put Budd Lake on my permit! There were no signs saying otherwise either. Another group was camped on the adjacent ridge. I definitly pead ignorance for this one.
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Re: TR: Loop from Tuolumne Meadows

Postby FeetFirst » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:53 pm

QITNL wrote:Camping is not permitted at Budd Lake, FYI.


I'm curious as to why this is. Could you please point me to the rule on the NPS's website that applies? The reason I ask is because the way I understand the rules, it seems like Budd Lake would be legal and I want to make sure I fully understand the rules correctly.

Wilderness Regulations: [digg]http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildregs.htm[/digg]

-You must camp at least four trail miles from Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Hetch Hetchy, and Wawona, and at least one air mile from any road. Camping is prohibited in the Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River.


If one was to take the Cathedral Lakes trail from the Tuolumne Meadows TH and take a cross-country route east from upper Cathedral Lakes to Budd Lake, I'm pretty sure it would be just a tad over four miles.
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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Re: TR: Loop from Tuolumne Meadows

Postby sparky » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:36 pm

The no camping zone in that area goes to the cathedral crest. I am fairly sure the use trail that goes direct from Budd Lake to Tioga Road looks to only be 2.5 miles or so.
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Re: TR: Loop from Tuolumne Meadows

Postby John Dittli » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:52 pm

This from the NPS regs

You must camp at least four trail miles from Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Hetch Hetchy, and Wawona, and at least one air mile from any road. Camping is prohibited in the Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River.
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Re: TR: Loop from Tuolumne Meadows

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:35 pm

Rangers in the park do exhibit conflicting ideas on what the rules are. I've had to correct the permitting ranger before.
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