Apr 26, 2009 at 12:25 pm #1235896
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!
-PaulApr 27, 2009 at 1:41 pm #1497326
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!Apr 27, 2009 at 2:09 pm #1497333
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!Apr 27, 2009 at 3:12 pm #1497343
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!Apr 27, 2009 at 3:19 pm #1497344
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? ;-)Apr 28, 2009 at 8:20 am #1497505
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!Apr 28, 2009 at 3:22 pm #1497601
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.Apr 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm #1497903
Zack KarasBPL Member
@iwillchopyouhotmail-comLocale: Lake Tahoe
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?Apr 29, 2009 at 9:57 pm #1497963
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.Apr 29, 2009 at 10:04 pm #1497966
@rezniemLocale: San Francisco
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.Apr 30, 2009 at 8:55 am #1498034
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.Apr 30, 2009 at 11:34 am #1498074
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?Apr 30, 2009 at 11:41 am #1498075
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.May 5, 2009 at 1:15 pm #1499240
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.May 5, 2009 at 9:18 pm #1499314
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.May 6, 2009 at 6:51 am #1499390
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!May 6, 2009 at 1:08 pm #1499491
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.May 11, 2009 at 7:23 pm #1500646
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!May 11, 2009 at 8:03 pm #1500652
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> 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'.
CheersMay 11, 2009 at 8:49 pm #1500667
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.Jul 11, 2009 at 1:55 pm #1513286
I did Lake Tahoe to Alpine lake about ten years ago. This year I am planning on finishing the hike to Yosemite. I can tell you the the trail was then. The trial from fourth of july lake down the creek was fine. Now the trail gets nearly invisible once you get closer to Camp Irene due to the massively old growth forest. In fact I led my party astray right when you cross the creek heading towards camp Irene(didn't see the duck across the creek.). Luckily however we found a nice spot with a sandy beach smack dab in the middle of the oldest forest I have ever had the pleasure of walking thru. If we had continued we would have been lost in the forest with no water and no fire. Its funny too because when we resupplied at Carson pass I ditched the gps cause the trail had been fine and I wanted a lighter pack. :) Does anybody know where I could find a gpx file or track file for the trail? I would like to see it on google earth. Well thats it for now. My hike is gonna be last week of july into the first week of August.
The Dharma SeekerJul 23, 2009 at 10:36 pm #1516113
Hey Paul and Aron,
I am still set on doing the TYT(8/19/2009).Paul,I could not find any takers on joining me on the hike either. I modified my start point to Carson Pass (since I completed most of the northern 40 miles last summer while doing the Tahoe Rim Trail).I will probably turn southwest and follow the JMT into Happy Isles trail head after Tuolumne Meadows.
I am sorry to hear that no one could join you and that you have made alternate plans.
Aron,I wish you the best of luck and great weather for your TYT hike. Let me know how it went! At this point, it looks like I will be going solo.Still looking for a hiking partner(s) and I cant afford to make any mistakes!
Happy Trails to all, TomAug 15, 2009 at 11:05 am #1521105
So I did it! 101 miles from Lake Alpine into the meadows… It was a fantastic trip, the trail isn't too bad. Several trees to skirt around. Lots of rocks on some of the passes. My 63 yo father came with us and although slow, made it. I now have completed the whole TYT trail. Anyone know how to get a tyt trail marker or even a pct one? send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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