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Hite Cove Trail Work

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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Hite Cove Trail Work

Postby balzaccom » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:38 am

This Sunday I decided I had to get up into the mountains, and took advantage of an invitation to work on the Hite Cove trail with a group of local volunteers. For those of you who don't know, Hite Cove Trail runs along the South Fork of the Merced from Savage's Trading Post up to Hite Cove itself, where there are some relics of the gold mining era, and then continues as a rough route all the way up to Wawona.

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Savage's by the way, has an interesting role in the history of Yosemite. It was originally a trading post owned by Mr. Savage, who enjoyed a relatively comfortable relationship with the local native Americans. Then things got ugly, he got killed, they got attacked and confined....well, it wasn't the best part of our local California history. But it was important.

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The Hite Cove trail is most popular during the spring, when the wildflowers can be simply stunning. But this time of year, it has a very different character, particularly after the huge Ferguson Fire raced through this area. The hope is that the fire will open the door to a particularly large wildflower explosion this spring, and we'd like the trail in good condition when that happens.

At the same time, the fire opened up the tree cover so that there are more views along the canyon, and the geology in particular is more apparent.

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As has always been the case, I really enjoyed meeting the trail volunteers and working with them. They have a deep appreciation for the whole region and lots of stories to tell about their own experiences as well as those of others who've hiked here. It was a good day, and we got a lot done on the trail.

Here's one more photo, of what the poppies can look like in the springtime along the Hite Cove Trail:

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Here's the link to all the photos:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/C4qXV17mSzLSYQHx9
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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Re: Hite Cove Trail Work

Postby balzaccom » Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:18 pm

By the way, looks like we'll be doing some more work there in January--there is a lot to be done. If you are interested in helping, let me know!
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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Re: Hite Cove Trail Work

Postby balzaccom » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:51 pm

After last month's work day on the Hite Cove Trail, I spent Friday joining some of that same work crew on the Savage Lundy Trail, which also gives access to the South Fork of the Merced River below Yosemite. It was a beautiful day, bright and sunny, and we were able get a lot of the fire debris off the trail for the first couple of miles. The trail is currently closed to all traffic, and the fire damage was pretty comprehensive in this area.

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What was most impressive to me were the huge holes where large trees had not only burned to the ground, but also left myriad tunnels snaking underground where the roots burned up below the soil. Some of these were directly under the trail, and we had some fun filling them in to prevent future hikers from falling into the depths of hell...

Early the day some of the ground was frozen, so that added to the fun, as well. But we did get to see a part of the Merced that many people don't visit, and saw all kinds of refuse, some of it old enough to be classified as historic, along the now exposed trail.

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At the same time, it was nice to see a few shoots of green coming up out of the soil, often from the roots of manzanita bushes that had burnt totally down to the ground. Slowly the forest will come back..
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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