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[Yosemite]

Tenaya Canyon

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

Moderators: Wickett, dan

Tenaya Canyon

Postby the doctor » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:58 pm

Hi... i was just wondering if anyone has done a hike/backpack from Olmstead or Tenaya Lake to the Valley via Tenaya Canyon... the funny thing is on some of the older visitor maps it says "Hiking in Tenaya Canyon is dangerous and and strongly discouraged" I know people have done it before... why did they print that then and not now? have you done it before? please share :)
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Postby balzaccom » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:13 am

I've done the bottom half of this trek---starting at Mirror Lake and just jeading up the canyon. It's a bushwack. There is a trail, but it is very poorly marked (I think it was initially created by rock climbers, and they are not noted trailmakeing specialists!) There's a fair amount of scramblinb...but my wife and I did it, and we do want to do it again, and get further up. We got above Mt. Watkins...so that we were looking back at the towers. Scenery is wonderful--there is not a lot of water this time of year. We did it in September and the creek was basically dry in most places.

I do understand that there are a couple of tricky spots further up...and it helps to read some of the trip reports to see exactly where those are, and how to get around them. Most of them involved leaving the bottom of the canyon and taking a route slighltly higher up...
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Postby ryanmj » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:53 pm

ive been looking into doing this for a few years, their are 3 rappel points but their are ways around them that seem pretty dangerous, ive also read that you need to do the hike in late summer/fall when the water level is low since a good part of the hike is in the creek bed of a narrow canyon. Ill PM you a few trail descriptions ive found
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Postby bill-e-g » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:57 pm

I've heard the same things. Why not just put the links here?
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Postby ryanmj » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:20 pm

ive looked around this site for info on this trail and a few others that are no longer maintained and found nothing on them so i figured the admins didnt want people posting information on them. Here you go.
http://www.summitpost.org/canyon/160152 ... anyon.html
http://www.dankat.com/swhikes/tenaya.htm
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Tenaya Canyon

Postby dan » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:23 pm

Here's some old articles about climbing Tenaya Canyon by Enid Michael. They are old, but the Canyon's still the same (except more vegetation!)
There's no trail in Tenaya Canyon. The rock is slippery, especially when wet. I assume you already know that, but others who read this may not know.
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Postby Wickett » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:35 pm

I just did Tenaya Canyon this weekend and there is no way around the reppel points. There are at least four, although there was webbing in a few spots that you could just downclimb. You will get wet since one reppel in a waterfall and you decend into a pool. The whole experience was awesome but I would definetly bring someone who has done the Canyon before.
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Postby ryanmj » Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:33 pm

Wickett wrote:I just did Tenaya Canyon this weekend and there is no way around the reppel points. There are at least four, although there was webbing in a few spots that you could just downclimb. You will get wet since one reppel in a waterfall and you decend into a pool. The whole experience was awesome but I would definetly bring someone who has done the Canyon before.


from what ive read their are ways around them but its pretty dangerous, did you take any pictures? ive been wanting to do this hike for years.
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Postby the doctor » Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:25 am

thanks for all the replies and links... greatly appreciated :D hey wickett, do you think you can post a trip report or some pictures? i too have been very interested in doing this hike one day... if only i didn't have to work so much... *sigh*
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Postby Wickett » Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:02 am

Sure, I will do a trip report later today. I am still compiling all the pictures from the group so they are limited.
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Postby Wickett » Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:55 pm

Trip report for Tenaya Canyon.

Due to the fires we couldn't drive Tioga road. We went up the Yosemite Falls trail and hiked to the Snow Creek camping area, about 10.3 miles. The next day we hiked to Tenaya Lake and stopped for lunch. We descended the first part of Tenaya Canyon and camped just above the Pywiack Cascade, about 10.1 miles.

Our route was past the cascade was the one on the granite below Clouds Rest. I do not recommend going that way. We had packs, which I do not recommend once again, and crossing the granite and finding a way down was a little too risky for my tastes. Once we got to the bottom of Pywaick Cascade I studied the other gullies and found one that looked very promising. I looked it up when we got back and it is named airplane gully.

Actually, I was just looking for a picture of airplane gully and found a great trip report with pictures.

http://www.tuolumnemeadows.org/index.php?topic=209.0

Their report is excellent and I would just be repeating it. I just wanted to reiterate, I would not try and bypass the rappel points. It is not easy to evac someone from the Canyon if something does go wrong.

Here are some of the photos/videos from our trip.
http://picasaweb.google.com/wickett684/TenayaCanyon#

Good luck!
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Postby bill-e-g » Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:41 am

Thanks for sharing!
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Postby balzaccom » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:41 pm

Yes--these are great photos and an excellent report.

NExt time we're in the Valley, we are going to try to do at least part of this again in reverse...and see how far we get!
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Postby Wickett » Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:12 pm

I would love to do another run this season but it doesn't look like it will be possible. Might have to make it an annual event. A run up the canyon would be fun. I need to scout out the lower canyon to find a faster route. Luckily on this last trip we hit the top of hidden falls just as it got dark so I knew where the trail down was. That saved a lot of time and trouble.
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