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Trip Report: Glacier Point Road Trails

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

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Trip Report: Glacier Point Road Trails

Postby MikeP » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:11 pm

Did a short overnight this weekend. Here's the trail report.

Saturday: Hiked from Glacier Point West down Sentinel Dome Trail/Pohono Trail. Patchy snow but smooth sailing for the first couple miles. Great views of Half Dome and Yosemite falls. Couple dodgy sections along the ridge leading towards Sentinel Dome when the snow pack had covered over the sloping trail. So you had to traverse the snow pack but if you slipped and could not arrest you could slide down the snow pack and off the edge. Once we got past Sentinel Dome area we started hitting more and more snow pack. Dense tree areas, especially northern aspects had heavy snow pack. Drifting snow mounds still several feet deep. Traction devices were a big help. Navigation was difficult with the snow, even if you could stay on the trail there were so many down trees it was like a maze at times. Climbing around or over trees, post-holing, backtracking, and difficulty navigating made for slow progress. Sometimes it would clear up but not usually for long. We planned to head to Dewey Point but moving was slow so we camped just West of the McGurk trail junction. Had a little drizzle of rain but other than that weather was okay Saturday with just some clouds. Temps were mild overnight. Sunday morning decided to hike out McGurk to Glacier Point Road instead of fighting all the way back through the trees and snow. Saw fresh bear tracks about 150 yards from our camp. McGurk also had some deep snow mounds but the trail is wider and easier to follow and less downed trees. The entire meadow section was clear and easy. More snow but just a few downed trees between the meadow and Glacier Point road. Weather turned nasty on Sunday afternoon, thunderstorm moved through and dropped heavy rain in some areas and thick sleet in others. We drove out GP road and sections were covered in ice/sleet. Water was washing out several areas. We made it down and through the tunnel but they had closed the road for upward traffic.

Not the easy June hike I expected when I made the wilderness reservation several months ago but still a great trip with incredible views. Tick up on the exp for snow travel and winter conditions. Back again in a few weeks.
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Re: Trip Report: Glacier Point Road Trails

Postby Phil » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:53 pm

You had to figure that conditions were about what they were. Appreciated report, but I think I'll wait a bit more before heading up. You know, while I never really paid attention to it up there because it wasn't a factor at the time, the trail system up there is a good candidate for likely having tree blazes for winter navigation since there are lots of people skiing and snowshoeing out of Badger Pass or whatever they call it now. The north rim is loaded with them. Postholing around downed trees is a really good way to drop in to a hollow and break an ankle.
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