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Tahoe - Yosemite Trail
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Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Tahoe - Yosemite Trail on 11/18/2013 17:37:19 MST Print View

I don't see a lot about the Tahoe - Yosemite Trail. I've hiked the JMT 3 times & have run around in the Desolation Wilderness. Was thinking the TYT might be nice. We'd probably be going late July / early August, which, being that the TYT is a bit lower than the JMT, could be hot, no? Bugs? Water issues? Scenery? Any general or specific thoughts about the TYT?

I have been poking around on, which has TONS of info.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Tahoe - Yosemite Trail on 11/18/2013 18:00:43 MST Print View

Late July/early august = buggy most years, so aiming for high elevations/breezy spots to camp is a good idea in that area. Scenery generally less grand than further south but very nice still. I wouldn't worry about heat - yeah, might be a little warmer than on the JMT but not much, and lots of lakes and streams for a cooling dip when needed.
Slight variation from the semi-official TYT or the PCT route:south of Sonora Pass, either scramble to the top of Leavitt Peak, or for an easier viewpoint, take the trail that goes right over the top of Big Sam (also known as Peak 10825). Nice views.

Bruce LaBelle
(blabelle) - F - MLife

Locale: Davis, CA or on an adventure
Tahoe -Yosemite Stage Run on 11/18/2013 20:26:30 MST Print View

Peter - There's an interesting alternative if you have some friends willing to help: It's possible to run from Tahoe to Yosemite as a four-day (or longer) stage run. I did it 34 years ago, and did major sections of it again a few years ago. Each day ends at a campground or trailhead. It doesn't always follow the true TYT, but makes for a nice adventure. The way we did it in 1979: First day - Emerald Bay to Blue Lakes. Second day - Blue Lakes to Sonora Pass. Third day - Sonora Pass to Twin Lakes. Fourth Day Twin Lakes to Yosemite Valley. For shorter runs it can be divided into additional sections such as Emerald Bay - Echo Lakes; Echo Lakes - Blue Lakes; Blue Lakes - Ebbetts Pass; Ebbetts Pass - Sonora Pass; Levitt Meadows - Twin Lakes; Twin Lakes - Tuolumne Meadows; Tuolumne Meadows - Yosemite Valley. Early August or later is a good time if you don't want any snow. Snow tends to linger on the climb to the high point on the north side of Sonora Pass.


Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
TYT - another Q on 11/21/2013 10:00:15 MST Print View

Thanks for the feedback. This route seems "flexible". I don't have the book, but anyway there seem to be many options. It does look better to avoid the long road walk to Kennedy Mdw & go via Sonora Pass instead. (Resupply at Lake Alpine only.)

So, here's another Q for Yosemite experts: Coming into Yosemite from the N the TYT follows the PCT. From Kerrick Canyon, it goes over Seavy and Benson Passes, and crosses Matterhorn, Spiller and Virginia Canyons (etc.) on the way to Glen Aulin. Another option would be to head south out of Kerrick Canyon, thru Bear Valley and down Piute Creek into the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, then up to Glen Aulin. The distances look similar. I've heard the GC of the T is not to be missed. ? Any comment on which route would be "better"?

Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
TYT on 11/21/2013 12:21:33 MST Print View

Depends on what time of year. GCT is something that is spectacular earlier in the season, when the waterfalls are booming. Less so later on.

I usually choose the high country over deep canyons, though. Matterhorn Canyon is one of my all time faves....but the upper end. Your trail doesn't get up the canyon that high.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: TYT - another Q on 11/22/2013 15:43:55 MST Print View

Do you want to stay on trails or are you up for some XC? If so there are great options to go from Sonora to Tuolumne that I'd prefer to the PCT route.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
TYT options on 11/22/2013 18:31:46 MST Print View

Happy to go off trail to find more interesting & scenic areas. I've done the Sierra High Rte so am familiar with off trail travel in the area. I'd be quite interested to learn about options! Thx.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: TYT options on 11/23/2013 22:23:26 MST Print View

First off, let's just agree that there is no way you can walk from Sonora Pass to Tuolumne and not have it be tremendously scenic. So any route you take will be gorgeous, it's just a matter of taste.
So, here's what I would do starting from Sonora Pass - not that i've done all this route, but I'd sure like to:
PCT from Sonora pass; drop pack and quick scramble to the top of Leavitt Peak as you pass by. At the saddle at teh head of Kennedy Canyon, leave the PCT and take the trail that goes south out of the saddle and takes you over the top of Big Sam (peak 10825)and down in the High Emigrant Lake. Head off-trail southeast to Grizzly Lake and from there up to the top of the plateau (point 10434). Nice views here; head back north just a bit and then drop down an easy chute towards Stella Lake, Ruth Lake and Lake Helen. Up and over a saddle to Tower Lake. Drop down the trail that follows the outlet just a little bit then leave the trail and work your way over towards point 9422 and head up the canyon between Hawksbeak and Ehrnbeck peaks to a saddle that takes you over to Thompson Canyon. Down the canyon to the south a little ways then east over a saddle that takes you to Kerrick Meadow/Rancheria Creek. Pick up the trail going south, follow it overRock Island Pass, past SNow Lake, down to a junction, left there up to Mule Pass and stay on the trail over Burro Pass. From here you can stay on trail down Matterhorn canyon to the PCT, or if you are up for a moderate scramble, go over Matterhorn Pass (and maybe tage MAtterhorn peak on the way, why not?)and into Spiller Canyon. Work your way to Spiller Lake, cross its outlet, then up to the top of the ridge and over to Soldier Lake, then REturn Lake and down to Return Creek where you pick up trail again, down the canyon and you'll reach teh PCT. But soon you head off on the trail to McCabe Lakes. From the lower McCabe Lakes contour west and southwest at first, then keep going around the corner and up to Roosevelt Lake, then to Young Lakes, where you'll pick up trail that will take you into Tuolumne.

That's what I'd do.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Re: TYT options on 12/02/2013 14:46:13 MST Print View

Finally got an opportunity to look into your off-trail suggestion in detail. Very cool - thanks! I have more route planning to do, but will give this serious consideration.