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[Yosemite]

Snaffle Bit Trail

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

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Snaffle Bit Trail

Postby YosemiteBill# » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:23 pm

I am looking for anyone with information about the Snaffle Bit Trail, which is located near Wawona. I found out about the trail from a high school classmate who is related to early Wawona settlers. This trail begins at the end of the North Wawona Road. It travels up (east) the South Fork of the Merced River, and dead ends approx. five miles up river. I first hiked this trail in 1971, and have hiked it many times since. The trail is now difficult to follow because it has not been maintained in almost 30 years. There are many trees that have fallen over the trail, and vegetation has grown over the trail in many places. I have a good GPS record of the trail, so I no longer loose the trail. There is a blaze of a Snaffle Bit on a large tree near the end of the trail, and I have been told that there used to be a Snaffle Bit handing on a tree.

My goal is to restore this trail so it can be used by foot and horseback before it is lost forever.
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Re: Snaffle Bit Trail

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:15 pm

Are you going to talk to the park service about this plan? They might have something to say to someone just going out and blazing a trail in the park....
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Re: Snaffle Bit Trail

Postby bill-e-g » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:18 am

Mr. Bill. Send u a PM. Would love to see your GPS track of this trail.
May be part of Old Johnson Lake trail...
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Re: Snaffle Bit Trail

Postby YosemiteBill# » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:07 pm

Yes, the park service is aware of my plans. I have been working with one of the park archaeologists. The plan is to have him hike the trail with me, so he is familiar with the route. It will give him the opportunity record a GPS record for himself. I will then present a plan to the Superintendant to start the ball rolling. I have no intention of hacking my way through the wilderness. It will be done strictly by the book!

Yes, about half of the trail is the old Crescent Lake Trail, also known as the Archie Leonard Trail. This part of the trail was constructed in the latter part of the 1890's. A telephone line was constructed from Wawona to Buck Camp in the early 1900's. I am willing to share my GPS record of the entire trail, but we will need to find a way to get it to you without releasing it to the entire world.
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Re: Snaffle Bit Trail

Postby bill-e-g » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:45 am

No worries. I'll go find it. Shouldn't be too difficult. Been meaning to hike to Crescent that-a-way anyway.
Just too many other things taking my time in the park. Good luck trying to get ok to make it official
trail. There's loads of old roads and trails in the park that could put into that category.
Not to mention a few trails that are on the big park map and they completely neglect while at the
same time paving and moving huge boulders all around on others to make a yellow brick road it seems.
As I mentioned. If you post on other Yose forums which are more frequented you may get
some old timers to chime in. I guess I could poke a few of them for you.
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Re: Snaffle Bit Trail

Postby YosemiteBill# » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:49 pm

bill-e-g,

Unless you have hiked this trail within the last few years, you may find it very difficult to follow. Over the years a lot of vegetation has grown over the trail, not to mention downed trees and wildland fires. It is flagged (pink) to the end of the trail at the south fork of the Merced River. Have you ever seen the blaze of the snaffle bit on a large tree near the end of the trail? I have hiked this trail many times, having worked in Yosemite as a seasonal ranger from 1971-1977. The flaging begins approx. 200 yards north of swinging bridge. If you are interested, I will give you a phone number to call, and we can exchange information.
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Re: Snaffle Bit Trail

Postby bill-e-g » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:33 am

Thanks. Hiked part of the trail. Never had been to Swinging Bridge before so
hiked up river first and then up. Found the trail coming back down around 5K.
With the markers it was pretty simple to follow. Just awesome that there
is some old rock work and a couple of switchbacks.
Def. will be going back and doing the entire thing and then also hike up to
Crescent. Thanks so much! Love it.
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Re: Snaffle Bit Trail

Postby bill-e-g » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:46 am

Image
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Re: Snaffle Bit Trail

Postby ndwoods » Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:41 pm

Thanks for posting that pic! Curious how a snaffle bit would get embedded in the tree...someone must have nailed it tight to the tree...but why? Obviously a horseman...that snaffle bit design is still in use today btw...:)
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Re: Snaffle Bit Trail

Postby Ghiltbrand » Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:06 am

Looking for snaffle bit gps cords. I hiked it in 1974 and can’t remember the trail as I was only 14 y. At the time. My brother and I went 4/2020 to see if we could find it and after 13 miles of hiking around we never found the trail or tree.
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Re: Snaffle Bit Trail

Postby dan » Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:48 pm

There's some more information here:
Der Snafflebit Trail (2014):
https://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?17,71933,71933
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Re: Snaffle Bit Trail

Postby Ghiltbrand » Thu Apr 23, 2020 4:13 pm

Thanks, I still think someone must have gps of the snaffle bit tree. Anyone? Anyone?
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Re: Snaffle Bit Trail

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:07 pm

Don't look at me... after some years in SAR, my faith in gps is shot, so I use a good ol' map and compass.
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