From this point both trails proceed South together down Jack Main Canyon on their way to Tuolumne Meadows. Reporting Station, All Just past the double Grouse Creek ford just up ahead of us on the trail we will find another faint trail, the main trail down to the campsites along the Southeastern Shore of Relief Reservoir. overviews. Relief Reservoir. Our route is getting around the Southwestern-most corner of this ridge and into the valley below its Southwestern facing flank. Sitting. feed Summit Creek, This hike is very scenic but a little challenging and steep in some areas so it’s best for older kids. Kennedy Lake and the PCT beyond, West End of Kennedy Lake Driving about three eights of a mile from the first signed trailhead parking (above) down to the South end of Kennedy Meadows Pack Station we find the second trail head, consisting of the stock gate across the dirt road continuing South into Kennedy Meadows proper past the pack station. The great slab of granite running Southwest of Emigrant Wilderness down to Cherry and Pinecrest Lakes below these PCT and TYT routes is magnificent, and should not be neglected by discerning backpackers looking for remote, beautiful, and very under-used wilderness areas. Thus we have two fords over Grouse Creek. 7.97 miles We have about 480 more feet of elevation to climb (Southbound TYT) to the high point on the ridge above Relief Reservoir before we start descending towards Grouse Creek and the Relief Reservoir campsites. Ridge Above Relief Reservoir. After climbing to the top of that ridgearm we'll get our next look at Summit Creek when we climb into the canyon above Relief Reservoir running East up to Brown Bear Pass. Significant Divergence Their sole remaining divergence is the TYT's short loop around Tilden Lake where the PCT swings around Wilmer Lake. Follow Kennedy Creek all the way up to its headwaters flowing out a fold in the Big Sam Massif under the Northeast Flank of Big Sam. Wagons took over transportation where rails ended, bringing to mind thoughts of the roads, wagons, horses and men of the late 19th century who ferried these bits of industrial history to a place too expensive to haul them out and melt them down at the ends of their useful lives. Spur of Granite and Forest Run of Car Campgrounds Tahoe to Yosemite Trail It’s a definitely climb on the way up, but reaching the reservoir is well worth it. Last rays of the days sun light up the operations building above Relief Reservoir's dam gates. Trail Junction Northbound backpacking options from the upper reaches of Highway 108 at Saint Marys and Sonora Passes follow the Tahoe to Yosemite and Pacific Crest Trails North into the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness (map). Kennedy Map, Peak 10530 beyond the South end of Kennedy Meadows. Both trail options rejoin on the narrow flat where we get our last look at Summit Creek before turning away for the ascent to the top of the ridge arm wrapping around the Northeast Shore of Relief Reservoir. across Matt has a bunkhouse in the main building where backpackers can rent a bunk. Trailheads 08/22/2020 - I agree the hike is moderate. Emigrant Pass is speculated to be the first Western route, Sonora-Saint Marys Passes the second, and Deadman Creek the third and current route. Lots of horses on the trail. Relief Creek and Relief Reservoir (shown above) near Kennedy Meadows Resort on the Sonora Pass highway offer a variety of great fishing places guaranteed to please nearly every kind of angler. Map: East up to very pleasant hike otherwise. 2.46 miles South of Kennedy Meadows Pack Station. Tahoe to Yosemite Trail Southbound through the gate at Kennedy Meadows Pack Station. Immediately ahead we are coming to a flat decorated by an old boiler featuring the main trail to the Relief Reservoir Dam on the North end of the reservoir. My map above cites this as a 31.06 mile hike, beginning and ending at Kennedy Meadows. Sweet Look Downriver Trail Specs South End of Kennedy Meadows. If you are starting a backpacking trip through the Kennedy Meadow Trailhead I suggest that you drive your pack down to Kennedy Meadows Pack Station, lean it against the wall by the office, then drive your car back to the parking lot. It Climbs Fiercely Kennedy Lake is situated on an expansive meadowed flat (image from above on Big Sam) wedged high up into the West flank of the Sierra between the Pacific Crest and Tahoe to Yosemite Trails. (KM Website), South over the Hill Down into Kennedy Meadows. I have decided that my Southbound approach to Saint Marys Pass will be unhurried. This granite and volcanic layering becomes more apparent as we hike higher up into the middle canyon to eventually emerge from obscured views into wide open vistas. I've noticed the wasps get more intense as Fall deepens. Ask Matt about camping there. Lower Footbridge South Kennedy Lake Trail Junction. Trail VIDEO. This means that I am going to camp at the ideal location on the North end of Clarks Meadow, from where I can easily make the Saint Marys Pass Trailhead for a late lunch at Kennedy Meadows Pack Station. Striking up friendly conversations and picking their brains about the upcoming trails, terrain, and fishing is always a good idea. Hiking across the broken-down sandy trail through the exposed terrain paralleling the East shore of Relief Reservoir makes for hard hiking even though the descent is fairly easy. South of Sonora Pass I typically stage up at Latopie Lake (guide), located 3.07 miles South of Sonora Pass, or the campsite at the top of Kennedy Canyon (guide), which is a tad further South than the 7.97 miles to the Kennedy Canyon trail junction. The very different route of the Pacific Crest Trail stays up high on the Sierra Crestline crossing Highway 108 at Sonora Pass (PCT Map) following the meandering Emigrant Wilderness boundary South over Leavitt Peak's (PCT Guide) portion of the Sierra Crestline before turning East to descend into the Toiyabe National Forest. We hiked up the reservoir (which is gorgeous!) 2013 Trail Culture Report. The Western trail goes through this sheer gulch while the Eastern trail follows a steep rocky chute South of the upper footbridge. Sonora Pass is seasonal, also check SR 108 above PCT 3.16 miles to the One route, the main route splits off to the Left, or East, running up a rocky debris cluttered channel up to a flat. Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River This is a no fire at all zone. Below I look at the how the terrain and trails across Emigrant Wilderness, and the associated "proto" Hoover Wilderness Area in the Toiyabe NF to our East, and the Northwest corner of Yosemite bracketed by Bond and Dorothy Lake Passes all work together creating a fine web of trails that makes exploring the Emigrant Wilderness a real joy, something akin to prying open every part of Nature's Treasure Chest one step at a time. Four Legged Support On the Beach looking down into our canyon from above, from where Kennedy Creek turns to flow down into Summit Creek. Looking to our Southwest If we follow the Eastern route above the upper bridge we climb up this steep rocky chute. If so, we will be limited to the sites on the beach or the sites across the log. The Winter of 2011-2012 brought very little snow to the Sierra, leading to early opening of the trails, early termination of the thaw, early drying out of meadows, and low water levels in creeks and lakes up and down the Sierra Crest. From the resort, cross the meadow to the first bridge and then begin a steep climb along an old road used to build Relief Dam in the early 1900s. Campsites along the Granite Flat Check the map for the location of the free trailhead parking near the Deadman Campground. Wow, what a magnificent juxtaposition to cut across the center of a High Sierra Canyon. My dad used… Drinking. North shore In addition to being a vital stop on our Tahoe to Yosemite Trail route South, Kennedy Meadows Pack Station (full TW webpage) is one of the four best trailheads for short and long backpacking trips South into the highest elevation sections of the Emigrant Wilderness. Miles and Elevations A short ways down Jack Main Canyon we find the long-way option to loop back to Kennedy Meadows Pack Station hiking the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail route through Bond Pass Northwest across the High Emigrant Basin. It may be that dam operations and operators have a similar history to that of telegraph operators and stagecoach drivers, of lighthouse keepers and Longshoremen, of being rendered useless by technology. This ridge arm ahead is what wraps around the Northeast end of the reservoir to pinch the bottom end of the canyon to make damming-up Relief Reservoir practical. TYT to PCT The main difference is how each canyon could hold a Western-style road. Over a fallen tree along a jumble swept down Grouse Creek. Official Policy VIDEO Hiking South up to cross the ridge arm above Relief Reservoir we hear sounds of life behind. The final, last of the three trailheads we've counted since the sign at the trailhead parking lot across from Deadman Camp and the gate at Kennedy Meadows. This is the actual Kennedy Meadow Trailhead for Backpackers into Emigrant Wilderness. If you work hard to push up to Sonora Pass late in the evening to catch a ride down to Kennedy Meadows you may have wasted some of your time and energy. You have to put together The East and Western spur trails joined together on the North side of this flat section, to our Right, where we hiked South into this sweet view of the gorge, Summit Creek, and its various surges, cascades, and falls. Kennedy Meadows Gate Note the raindrops decorating the winch. We have the final climb to Brown Bear Pass beyond the Mosquito Pass trail junction. Bottom Line MILES, MILES Satellite, All Looks like the remains of an old boiler. Private Each bunk comes with use of the shower and laundry. Relief Reservoir campsites continuing down the trail, if we don't follow the shortcut. I have marked the TW topo map for this section to indicate the current route of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail as carved into the hard rock cliff following Summit Creek to the Upper bridge. Ok, you've made your camp, assured that your resupply bucket is in the store, and eaten a big meal. The alternating sandy and slippery granite surfaces themselves suck extra energy out of us with every step. Long Distance Resupply Spot Clarks and Middle Forks These two trails, along with the web of trails covering the High Emigrant Basin between them, allows us to craft many, many excellent long and short backpacking loops around Emigrant Wilderness. Then we will tie sections of these great trails into big loops around the various High Sierra Wilderness Areas they cross. Were definitely swollen when we got back to our North-Northeast is transforming we... 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