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Paul Spencer
(BendBackpacker) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Tahoe Yosemite Trail, 185mi, Aug '09 on 04/26/2009 13:25:38 MDT Print View

I am in the early planning stages of a hike on the 185 mile Tahoe to Yosemite Trail. My window is the first half of August 2009. I don't have a ton of time to be away from my family so would like to cover it in 20 miles per day - approx 9 days. I am getting the guidebook soon and will start my detailed planning then.

I have hiked the JMT in 12 days so know what I am getting into and am pretty confident I can hike this one in 9 days.

I am 41, male, married and live in Bend, Oregon. We have two, 21 month old boys. We moved up here 5 years ago from LA and love it. I am into cross country skiing, running, cycling and of course backpacking.

Please feel free to e-mail me any questions. I am excited to meet some new hiking buddies!

-Paul

Edited by BendBackpacker on 04/26/2009 15:30:45 MDT.

Amy Reid
(marmot8) - MLife

Locale: central Sierra
Tahoe Yosemite Route on 04/27/2009 14:41:27 MDT Print View

This route has interested me as I live and work near some of the country it crosses.

Keep in mind, that there is no Tahoe Yosemite Trail that is maintained. In some areas you'll be route-finding; such as across some of the portions through the Mokelumne Wilderness. (It's not like the JMT).

I do know people successfully make the trip . . . Good journey & enjoy!

Paul Spencer
(BendBackpacker) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
RE: route finding on 04/27/2009 15:09:04 MDT Print View

Thanks for the heads-up. Yes, I have heard that too. I actually like the challenge of route-finding. I am planning to consult the old TYT book and the Northern CA PCT guidebooks. If you know of any other resources I'd appreciate hearing about them. Thanks!

Edited by BendBackpacker on 04/27/2009 15:10:19 MDT.

Amy Reid
(marmot8) - MLife

Locale: central Sierra
Don't forget a trip report! on 04/27/2009 16:12:11 MDT Print View

I'll be interested in hearing how your trip goes! I'm doing the JMT from the north 2 south & have looked at the map more than once thinking of how it would be fun to start from 'home'!

Have a safe & fun journey!

Paul Spencer
(BendBackpacker) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
RE: JMT on 04/27/2009 16:19:41 MDT Print View

You'll love the JMT! I did it in 2004 and am hoping to do it again next summer (2010). I agree - it would be very cool to hike it from your house. Can you leave some cookies out for me as I hike by? ;-)

Amy Reid
(marmot8) - MLife

Locale: central Sierra
TYT on 04/28/2009 09:20:05 MDT Print View

I pulled out my Winnet guide to the TYT last night. I've been planning on using the Tahoe Rim Trail for training, but you've inspired me to integrate the Tahoe Yosemite Trail into the plan! Thanks! Good luck!

Paul Spencer
(BendBackpacker) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
RE: TYT planning on 04/28/2009 16:22:09 MDT Print View

I have seen a couple of trip reports on the TYT. If you know anyone personally who has done it I'd love to pick their brains.

Edited by BendBackpacker on 04/28/2009 18:29:42 MDT.

Zack Karas
(iwillchopyou@hotmail.com) - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
TYT info on 04/29/2009 17:59:57 MDT Print View

I can't really add anything too productive to this discussion. I live in Tahoe City and I've heard that the TYT isn't all that bad--lots of ultra runners here use it all the time. I'm thinking of hiking it this summer and was wondering where to start with the planning. I think I remember that there is one guide for it, but that it's quite old? Recommendations?

Paul Spencer
(BendBackpacker) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
RE:TYT info on 04/29/2009 22:57:07 MDT Print View

I'm just starting to learn about it myself. The only guidebook is "The Tahoe-Yosemite Trail" by Thomas Winnnett. Yep it's pretty old but I hear that it is still useful. There is also the Northern CA PCT guidebook which covers the parts of the TYT that overlap with the PCT.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
TYT on 04/29/2009 23:04:53 MDT Print View

There was a thread about it here a few weeks ago where a few people who had done it chimed in. The consensus was that certain portions of the TYT are barely navigable and require a great deal of bushwhacking. It is not longer really a "trail" but a cross-country route through difficult, over-grown terrain. Everyone who chimed in recommended skipping that portion and taking the PCT instead.

Trails.com has a full trailgude (published by Wilderness press). IF you don't have that, you can get a free membership there and get the info you need.

Amy Reid
(marmot8) - MLife

Locale: central Sierra
Re: TYT Planning on 04/30/2009 09:55:32 MDT Print View

I don't know anyone personally who has completed the whole route, but remember talking to people in passing who had either done it & wanted trail maintenance or who were on their way.

I looked at the guide last night and can tell you that all the trail mentioned from Meeks Bay to Fourth of July Lake should be good to go. From 4th of July Lake to Summit City it depends on when the maintenance was last done. The white thorn can overgrow the trail quickly. There is no maintained trail from Summit City to Camp Irene. The trail used to be maintained but hasn't been for years & years, so expect to bushwack. I don't have any info on Camp Irene south.

I may do a training shuttle trip from Carson Pass to Camp Irene and out to Silver Lake once the snow melts. I'll let you know what I find along the way if I make the trip.

Paul Spencer
(BendBackpacker) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
RE: TYT route on 04/30/2009 12:34:11 MDT Print View

I will have to look for that thread. I will need to know the location and length of the bushwhacking sections. Also the type of obstruction would be nice to know.

My thinking is if I can identify these problem sections I should be able to check with the nearest ranger station see what condition they are in this year.

Amy, would your training hike cover all of the questionable portions?

Does anyone else find it really annoying we can't view the thread we are reply to while we type a new one?

Paul Spencer
(BendBackpacker) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
RE: TYT bushwacking on 04/30/2009 12:41:19 MDT Print View

I found this old thread which has a lot of details on the bushwhacking. I pasted the link in here but not sure if it will post it.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=3229&startat=40

Amy Reid
(marmot8) - MLife

Locale: central Sierra
Re: TYT bushwhacking on 05/05/2009 14:15:12 MDT Print View

Sorry it took a while -- I wanted to pull out my maps before I answered. Based on what I read on that thread, the answer to your question about my training hike covering the questionable sections is "yes".

I can also tell you this now: The trail from 4th of July Lake to Summit City and then 2 1/4 miles past the junction with the Horse Thief Spring trail is still a part of the trail system but infrequently maintained. So how bad it is really depends on when it was last maintained. Any trail which may have connected from approximately 2 1/4 miles beyond the junction with the Horse Thief Spring trail to Camp Irene is not a National Forest System Trail (if it ever was, I don't know) . This means the route is not maintained, ever. Expect slower travel.

I knew this was true, but needed to look at the map to pinpoint the segments.

The good news is that from Camp Irene to Lake Alpine the trail is a maintained system trail. I haven't done this section, but I do understand that its steep and causes problems for stock, which won't affect your travel. You might consider checking with the ranger stations to find out the condition of this portion of trail. I think its maintained by the Stanislaus NF.

If you want to find out about the portion from 4th of July Lake to Summit City, you'll want to call the Amador Ranger District on the Eldorado NF. The trails from Meeks Bay to that point should all be in fairly good condition as they're either in high use areas or part of the PCT/Tahoe Rim Trail. I've been on most of them in the past, but not recently.

A word on infrequently vs. frequently maintained. Even the frequently maintained trails can go a while (seasons) without real maintenance or brushing these days because the workforce & budget just aren't there. They do what they can, but have to prioritize where they focus based use levels and on where the known problems are. The frequently maintained trails are assessed on a more frequent basis (with a regular schedule: certain percent of the system each year), so those trails tend to be in better shape. The assessment schedule for infrequently maintained is much longer, . . . you get it.

Paul Spencer
(BendBackpacker) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
RE: after 4th of July Lake on 05/05/2009 22:18:47 MDT Print View

Thanks for all of that!

So to sum up what I have learned, roughly the section from below 4th of July Lake to Camp Irene will be overgrown and difficult to follow? Doing a rough trace of this stretch with TOPO! shows it to be 8-9 miles.

Another person I have talked to thinks there is also difficulty from the Mokulemne River climbing up to Lake Alpine. It sounds like you know this section to be decent? I don't know if this bad report was because of the steepness of the trail or the condition of the trail. Again on TOPO! I traced this section and it is a 3400' climb over 4.3 miles from Camp Irene to the top of Mt. Reba. Not bad to me.

To me these difficult sections don't seem long enough to deter me. Personally I like the challenge of a difficult trail. It now seems like my biggest problem will be finding a hiking partner to do it with me. I don't want to hike it alone. To make this trip more marketable I might stay on the PCT entirely or join the masses and hike the JMT again. Except due to lack of permits I may have to start at Tuolumne Meadows. On that trail I'd shoot for 20+ mi/day.

Edited by BendBackpacker on 05/05/2009 22:23:06 MDT.

Amy Reid
(marmot8) - MLife

Locale: central Sierra
Camp Irene to Lake Alpine on 05/06/2009 07:51:34 MDT Print View

I wouldn't disagree with your other source about this segment of trail at all. I haven't hiked it but remember hearing that its nasty. All I know for sure is that its a system trail. I can ask around -- I have some colleagues who would know better, I just haven't seen them recently.

It seems to me that the Stanislaus NF takes a minimalist approach when it comes to wilderness trails. I do remember hearing something about a fairly new Mokelumne Wilderness volunteer group jointly cooperating with the Eldorado and Stanislaus to help accomplish trail work and such on system trails, so it may have improved.

If I hear anything, I'll let you know.

Also, I was thinking last night that I should have mentioned the Mokelumne Canyon could be a bit rugged, even for people who know it well.

Good luck!

Edited by marmot8 on 05/06/2009 07:52:30 MDT.

Paul Spencer
(BendBackpacker) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Alternate route - PCT only on 05/06/2009 14:08:02 MDT Print View

If anyone is avoiding this trip because of the questionable TYT sections I would consider making this a PCT-only hike from Tahoe to Yosemite.

Paul Spencer
(BendBackpacker) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Trip cancelled on 05/11/2009 20:23:13 MDT Print View

I decided to plan another trip. See my new post about doing the JMT in 11 days. It doesn't look like I'm going to find anyone to join me for this and I need to spend time planning my alternate route. I learned a lot about the TYT through this forum and was not deterred, it's just that I don't really want to do it alone (makes wife very nervous too). Who knows, maybe someone will see this thread over the next year, read it, and want to do it with me in 2010?

Thanks to everyone who contributed!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: RE: TYT route on 05/11/2009 21:03:24 MDT Print View

Hi Paul

> Does anyone else find it really annoying we can't view the thread we are reply to while we type a new one?

Of course you can. Instead of clicking on the Reply icon with the left button, use the right button and 'Open in new tab/window/whatever'.

Cheers

Paul Spencer
(BendBackpacker) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
RE: replying on 05/11/2009 21:49:51 MDT Print View

Yes, that is how I do it. I wasn't asking for a work-around. I was commenting that the forum software should show you what you are replying while you are composing a reply. Most people wont know to do what you suggested.

Edited by BendBackpacker on 05/11/2009 21:51:10 MDT.