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Bloody Canyon/Mono Pass

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Bloody Canyon/Mono Pass

Postby balzaccom » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:14 pm

We're back from a short trip in the Ansel Adams Wilderness east of Yosemite, where we started in sparkling clean air, and were quickly introduced to the smoke from the Rim Fire. This is a steep hike up out of Walker Lake...but there are some great views on the way up, and a nice creek to follow. We stopped at Lower Sardine Lake because we found a nice campsite on the West shore...and we weren't sure there were going to be any better ones at Upper Sardine. And it was lovely.

Here's a shot of what it looked like before the smoke arrived:

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And here is what it looked like a few hours later...when the smoke from the Rim Fire blew in on a westerly gale.

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The next day we decided to day hike up to Mono Pass, where we were tourists through the old mines...

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And then we headed home a bit early, thinking that it would be good to breathe some clean air...but the trip was still a wonderful adventure. Here is a link to the full photo set:

https://picasaweb.google.com/balzaccom/ ... dMonoPass#
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Re: Bloody Canyon/Mono Pass

Postby kpeter » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:36 pm

An interesting look in a nook I have never visited. The smoke looked unpleasant, and such a contrast to your clear start!
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Re: Bloody Canyon/Mono Pass

Postby wildhiker » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:57 pm

Thanks for reminding me of a favorite area - but I do it the easy way, from the Mono Pass trailhead in Yosemite. I like to camp at Upper Sardine Lake for the fantastic sunset view down the canyon and across Mono Lake.
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Re: Bloody Canyon/Mono Pass

Postby TehipiteTom » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:59 am

Nice! I've hiked to the pass (and slightly beyond, to where you can get the views to the east) from Dana Meadows, but haven't ever done the lower part.

I love Brewer's description of Bloody Canyon:
After crossing the pass, the way leads down Bloody Canyon—a terrible trail. You would all pronounce it utterly inaccessible to horses, yet pack trains come down, but the bones of several horses or mules and the stench of another told that all had not passed safely. The trail comes down three thousand feet in less than four miles, over rocks and loose stones, in narrow canyons and along by precipices. It was a bold man who first took a horse up there. The horses were so cut by sharp rocks that they named it “Bloody Canyon,” and it has held the name—and it is appropriate—part of the way the rocks in the trail are literally sprinkled with blood from the animals.
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Re: Bloody Canyon/Mono Pass

Postby balzaccom » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:38 am

Yep. And the first time they led horses down that trail they were chasing Chief Tenaya as he escaped the troops in Yosemite. His route led up Lehamite Creek (Indian Canyon, behind the Ahwanee) and then past Tenaya Lake, up to Tuolumne Meadows, and then down Bloody Canyon.

When the (volunteer) troops finally made it down to Mono Lake, the local Paiutes (many of whom were either related to or friends with Tenaya) said they had no idea where he was or could be.

So they went back over the trail and back to Yosemite Valley....
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