Tahoe to Mammoth Trail Opinions | High Sierra Topix  

Tahoe to Mammoth Trail Opinions

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Tahoe to Mammoth Trail Opinions

Postby cloudlesssky » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:32 pm

I'm starting to consider next year's long hike and would like some opinions. I'm looking at a Tahoe to Mammoth hike, probably in Aug or Sept '13. I've done just a little online research and it looks like I could go PCT all the way or a variant refered to as the Tahoe-to-Yosemite trail. I'm a trail hiker and I tend to do lots of miles each day (20+). I'm not a cross-country type. Any opinions on which is the better trail?



User avatar
cloudlesssky
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 4:19 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tahoe to Mammoth Trail Opinions

Postby sierraholic » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:34 pm

The trails are almost exactly the same except for a couple of stretches. The biggest difference is the stretch through Mokelumne Wilderness. The TYT goes bushwacking into the Mokelumne Canyon for several miles. Bring your Technu and shears! Search and you'll see how brutal it is. The PCT may be your better bet!
"Not all who wonder are lost!"
User avatar
sierraholic
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 12:28 pm
Location: Roseville, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tahoe to Mammoth Trail Opinions

Postby mokelumnekid » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:49 pm

Yeah the old TYT takes a more brutal route through the Mokelumne drainage, sending you down poorly maintained trails into the maw of the beast. The Mokelumne Canyon is one of the most remote places in the Sierra because a lot of it is a heinous bushwhack. It is a worthy goal for exploration for those interested in the novel, spectacular and difficult. But it is not a place for through-backpackers. Stick to the PCT and enjoy the wild flowers and pennyroyal (and maybe a lot of cattle depending on the time of year you pass through the Ebbetts-to-Sonora corridor). Most of the route through there will take you through the guts of an old volcanic chain, tens of millions of years old, much like our volcanic chain in the Cascades, except very eroded away.
User avatar
mokelumnekid
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 446
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:45 pm
Location: Seattle
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tahoe to Mammoth Trail Opinions

Postby Ikan Mas » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:14 am

Ditto what Sierraholic and MK are saying. The trails in the heart of Mokelumne Wilderness are rapidly fading into the brush, a great frustration to many of us. The PCT, on the other hand, is in good shape and can be pretty spectacular on this stretch. Here are a few photos of the stretch between Ebbetts Pass and Raymond Lake (just a mile off the PCT). They were taken the weekend after July 4, so things are nice and green. Lots of cool volcanic rocks to look at and nice panoramas. Enjoy
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
User avatar
Ikan Mas
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:43 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tahoe to Mammoth Trail Opinions

Postby paul » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:20 pm

I would stick closer to the PCT than the TYT, mostly due to the Mokelumne canyon bushwhacking – unless you like that sort of thing. You might want to get the TYT trail book (by Thomas Winnett) just to check it out.
You might want to consider variations on the PCT. One idea that I think is good is just south of Sonora Pass. At the head of Kennedy Canyon, instead of dropping down the canyon and going by way of the West Walker river, take the trail that goes over the top of pk 10825 (also known as Big Sam) and then go by way of High Emigrant Lake, off-trail ( extremely easy off-trail) to Grizzly Lake and the top of the ridge/plateau that overlooks Dorothy Lake. From the top you can either drop down towards Stella lake and pick up the PCT as it nears Dorothy Lake pass, or drop to Band Pass and catch the trail there that goes down into Jack Main Canyon to meet the PCT. I find that route much more scenic than the PCT in that stretch.

Further south, after you get over Donahue Pass the JMT route south from there is more interesting than the PCT, but peel off at Shadow lake and drop to the river trail to get to either Agnew Meadows or Reds.
User avatar
paul
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 444
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:35 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tahoe to Mammoth Trail Opinions

Postby Tom_H » Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:42 am

Where at Tahoe will you start? The PCT can be directly accessed at Donner Summit, Donner Pass, Squaw, Alpine, Barker Meadows, or Echo Summit. Also, you could take an auxiliary trail and hit the PCT from General Creek, Meeks Bay, Eagle Creek, Glen Alpine Spring, and a few other places as well.

My favorite place to begin is at Meeks Bay, passing by a whole string of lakes on the way over Phipps Pass, intersecting the PCT before reaching the Velmas. Detour from the PTC and take the trail that skirts Upper Velma and turn onto a lovely and easy cross country climb up the granite channel as the stream climbs to Fontanillis. This is one long beautiful cascading waterfall. It is mildly steep, but it is not rough in the least. When you reach Fontanillis, you will also rejoin the PCT. It is a very short, easy, and worthwhile detour that will give you more scenery than the main trail in that little section. It is also worth it to explore all the small lakes around the south end of Aloha.

Good Luck!!
Tom
User avatar
Tom_H
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 456
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:11 pm
Location: Wilton, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tahoe to Mammoth Trail Opinions

Postby cloudlesssky » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:59 am

Tom_H wrote:Where at Tahoe will you start? ...


I haven't gotten that specific in my planning yet. I got the Forest Service PCT map that covers that area and it looked like I could pick up the PCT to the east of Tahoe and then head south. Not a real specific plan though.

I appreciate the input, suggestions and pics! Keep 'em coming.

Also, does anyone have input on water sources (especially any typically long dry stretches that aren't apparent on the maps)?
User avatar
cloudlesssky
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 4:19 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tahoe to Mammoth Trail Opinions

Postby balzaccom » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:12 am

If you stick to the PCT, there'a aren't any really long dry stretches in this area. Maybe 3-4 miles max, but nothing worse.

I'll also put in a vote for explore the Emigrant Wilderness as you pass through it. nd the same is true of the northern section of Yosemite. This is wonderful country, and you shouldn't feel that you have to run through it to get to Mammoth. And way more fun to explore than Summit Creek and the bushwhack that others have already mentioned.
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
User avatar
balzaccom
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1291
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:22 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tahoe to Mammoth Trail Opinions

Postby East Side Hiker » Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:53 am

Bushwhacking sucks, but the trail into Mammoth is wonderful. Stick with the Yosemite border south of Sonora Pass because the scenery is better. You could even ascend Tower Pk. if you drop into the headwaters of the West Walker. Then back to the PCT. There's a particularly beautiful, ungrazed meadow - Horse Mdw - in the Emigrant Wilderness that's worth checking out. It exemplifies what meadows and creeks flowing through them should look like.
User avatar
East Side Hiker
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:10 am
Experience: N/A


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Broot, Google Adsense [Bot], sekihiker and 9 guests