Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Old Big Oak Flat Road in Yosemite Still Usable?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Mark Davis
(markadavis) - MLife

Locale: Upper Midwest
Old Big Oak Flat Road in Yosemite Still Usable? on 07/05/2013 13:41:16 MDT Print View

I am taking the North Rim trail in Yosemite East to West and I want to end up on the Yosemite
Valley floor, instead of at the Big Oak Flat trail head. On some maps that I have, there is shown a portion of the "Old" Big Oak Flat Road is shown as a trail that you can take all the way to Yosemite Valley floor. In other maps, this portion of the Old Big Oak Flat Road is not shown from a point with the North Rim trail turns sharply north just East of Cascade Creek. A guide book I have says there is a pile of logs at this point that blocks the Old Big Oak Flat Road. For my hike, at the point where this "pile of logs" is located, I'd like to take the Old Big Oak Flat Road down to the valley floor. I just can't tell if the road/trail is still passable. Does anyone know?

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
Re: Old Big Oak Flat Road in Yosemite Still Usable? on 07/05/2013 14:13:06 MDT Print View

it is my underststanding that the old italian grade downhru the rockfall has large washed out (with rocks) missing sections. google earth will show the lower section trending west,a nd then it's just gone. you will find traces (on google) of it higher up the rockslide. it rather Has to be there, as the terrain to the west is excessively steep cliff.
there are a few reports on the net , and sime pics, form folks trying to ascend from the bottom.
maybe it's like the north side trail down to mumford bar, ya just gott'a go and punt around for it, then intercept it womewhere, and loceate the ends from there.

there was long ago printed a book, and i think they called it The Old Sonora Road. not sure. book is deep in storage right now.

you can still see traces of the old hotel onthe rock slab if you know where it was supposed to be.

Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
BOF road on 07/05/2013 14:52:10 MDT Print View

People have hiked that route in the past couple of years, and they didn't have too much trouble following it.

You might find more info from some of the folks at the Yosemite News and Discussion a search there for the threads

Mark Davis
(markadavis) - MLife

Locale: Upper Midwest
Old Big Oak Flat Road in Yosemite Still Usable? on 07/05/2013 16:55:08 MDT Print View

Thanks guys. I will take a look online and on Google Earth.

Mary R
(pietimer) - MLife
Re: Old Big Oak Flat Road in Yosemite Still Usable? on 07/11/2013 07:58:20 MDT Print View

I did this exact route last year, which started at OBFRT trailhead. The trail was immensely easy to follow. I don't recall having to scramble around rock slides or log piles either.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Old Big Oak Flat Road in Yosemite Still Usable? on 07/11/2013 12:44:11 MDT Print View

(Going west to east) If you start from the (new) Big Oak Flat Road trailhead, it is slightly longer and has more hills. If you start from Tamarack Flat Campground, it is shorter and has less hills. You can follow the (old) Big Oak Flat Road, which is still paved much of the way, and it is now a fire road with a chain across it and several obstacles. That gets you down to the Cascade Creek Bridge. Then the pavement continues for another half mile. At this point, the trail turns from the pavement and becomes the El Capitan Trail, a.k.a. the North Rim Trail. From that last junction, the pavement continues to wind down toward Yosemite Valley. Alas, it peters out, becomes a hard-to-follow trail, and it has some major obstacles depending on the year. Many people have problems following it through the rock talus slope halfway down.


Mark Davis
(markadavis) - MLife

Locale: Upper Midwest
Final Comment on 07/16/2013 13:24:55 MDT Print View

I appreciate everyone's help. I just got back from my trip and ended up coming down Yosemite Falls trail to Camp 4 and then catching a ride back to the car. While I hate backtracking and my knees hate steep down hills, taking the Yosemite Falls Trail seemed the best way to ensure a ride to the car.

As background, we started at Tunnel View (Wawona Tunnel) and hiked the Phono Trail to the top of the South Rim, where we hit Crocker Point, Taft Point, Glacier Point, and then on to the junction of the Clark Fork with the Illilouette River for a Day 1 total of about 20 miles. Day 2 ended on the North side of Red Peak at one of the lakes for about a 16 mile day. Day 3 was down the Merced River, passed Merced Lake Camp, to a point about a mile down the JMT on the way to the junction of the trail to Half Dome/Clouds Rest for about 20 miles. Day 4 was up over Clouds Rest to Tenaya Lake, where we caught a ride to the North Dome trail head and hiked on to around Lehamite Creek for about 19 miles. Day 5 was along the North Rim Trail to El Cap and then back down the North Rim trail to the Yosemite Falls Trail to Camp 4, where we immediately got a ride to our car.

Given how badly my knees felt after the Yosemite Falls Trail, I was wishing we'd stuck without our initial route out, which started this tread.