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hiking out of the grand canyon of tuolumne

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:43 am
by mpeabody28
I am going back to Yosemite this coming summer. Last year went to Ten Lakes, had a great time. I was wondering if it was possible to hike down from Ten Lakes into the grand canyon of tuolumne. This would be off trail, as the only ways to reach it via trail are out of White Wolf or Glenn Aulin.

But on my topo map, it looks like it is only a couple of miles, and I believe there is a stream that drains the Ten Lakes down into the Tuolumne river. I understand it drops about 4500 ft over a few miles, so it is probably really steep.

Would it be possible to follow this creek down into the canyon or is to too steep/impassible? Anyone ever tried this or have any experience/advice?

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:39 pm
by balzaccom
John Muir did this exact hike...but it is pretty rugged country.

Bear in mind that there was a big fire down in the GCT last summer, and it probably looks pretty different now. Our trip there was "redirected" by the NPS, because of the fire.

check out my website:

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:13 pm
by bill-e-g
Unless you have ALOT of xcountry experience I wouldn't recommend it.
Definitely know the river flow before going down if you do decide
to attempt this feat. You'll have to cross the Tuolumne to get to the trail.
The wildcat fire didn't really affect the area in question.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:44 pm
by mpeabody28
Thanks Balza(cool website, by the way) and Bill for the input. I don't have much xcountry experience, so it may not be such a good idea. I just wanted to see if anyone had ever attemped it, and apparently Muir did.

Never been into the GCT, is that river raging/difficult to cross at times? I hadn't even considered that to be a problem yet. I'm guessing it's highest flow would be in June??? I was looking at late June/early July for this trip, might be better to put it off until latter part of July.

I'm not looking to do any mountaineering...and the steepness/cliffs are my greatest concern. I don't have too many apprehensions about getting lost on this xcountry trek, feel comfortable with that part.

I guess I will wait and see if I can find out more info about trying this, as I'm sure someone has since Muir. If I still can't get a good read on the particulars of the trek, I can always set out with it being my plan...and turn around if it becomes too dificult. Then just hike back out and go drive up to TM and hike into the canyon from Glen Aulin.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:01 am
by bill-e-g
I always recommend you hit the trails before doing something like this.
Gives you an idea of what you might be getting into.
But, hey, thanks for the question. It's not something I considered and
now you got me thinking about it. On my short list is something
else Muir did... hiking THRU the Muir Gorge, not around it.
The Tuolumne will be raging almost certainly until mid July, perhaps
later depending on the snow year. I wouldn't pin myself with a
down route before then without knowing the flow and that I could
definitely get across.
Another suggestion is, if you really wanna do this... is to hike up.
At least then you've already seen some of the GCT, you've
crossed the river, and you can always turn around when sanity sets in.
Looking on Google Earth it looks do-able. Just knarly..

I wouldn't plan going down until probably Mid Aug at the earliest.
But then the "best" part of the GCT you're gonna miss... so, again,
since you haven't done the GCT I'd recommend you hit it from
Glen Aulin and go as early as you can. Go down to Return Creek
at least to see the "best" of the falls...
Anyway... have fun and be safe

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:39 pm
by orion
If you don't have much xcountry experience definately do not attempt that one, especially heading down. Xcountry was about all John Muir did, and I'm sure he didn't do that route green. More than anything I could tell you about it, it takes experience. Try a few easier ones first. Maybe Saddlebag Lake up to McCabe Lakes, or the Boundary Lake area, or up Horse Creek Canyon over into Spiller or Matterhorn Canyon. Off trail is the best place to be, but man, you gotta be careful and not get in over your head.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:25 pm
by calieigh
Thanks for that.