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High Sierra Cow Anxiety in Upper Clarks Fork Canyon

As I was hiking down the Clarks Fork of the Stanislaus on the unmaintained Tahoe to Yosemite Trail I picked up the enchanting sound of softly clanging cow bells bouncing off the rocky canyon walls until absorbed by the forest.

I figured I'd meet some cows. The narrow canyon certainly makes "our" shared route along the visible bits of route along the unmaintained trail the best solution for both grazing stock and passing backpackers to reach our respective goals. It's cozy. No problem. I like cows.

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July 2015 TYT Unmaintained Trail Update: Clarks Fork Trailhead to Saint Marys Pass Trailhead

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Tropical Sunset
Fine tropical-influenced sunset from Clarks Meadow hiking the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail in July of 2015
  From the North Edge of Clarks Fork Meadow along the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail.

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Tollermom tops Mount Whitney on a very Long Day Hike

Tahoe to Whitney just received this excellent account of Tollermom's careful approach to hiking Mount Whitney in a day, her planning and preperation, and successful execution of this daring hike.

Mount Whitney in a Day

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North Yosemite Backcountry Trail Crew 2009

Hiking South on the combined PCT-TYT down Cold Canyon to Glen Aulin on August 3 encounted a hiker who I identified as trail crew as he approached.

Dan Schweitzer was indeed trail crew, and he was leading the pack hiking up the steep climb from Glen Aulin to the meadows in upper Cold Canyon. Not only was he moving fast and nimbly while climbing, he was only lightly strained. Classic trail crew.

Trail Crew on Trail Guide

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Steve's Fantastic North Yosemite Backpacking Loop

This trip and its report were executed and authored by Steve Thaw during the Summer of 2014, posted by Alex.

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Noble Canyon Backpacking Toiyabe National Forest

Steve contacted me about the huge junipers he had encountered along a short but sweet backpacking trip down Noble Canyon in the Eastern Sierra.

Steve at base of giant juniper tree in Noble Canyon.

 This backpacking trip covers what I estimate and 6.5 miles starting at Ebbetts Pass down to the Silver Creek Campground located at the base of Noble Canyon where Highway 4 crosses the end of Noble Creek.

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Janice "Pepperoni" Raddatz and Harmony near Meiss Meadow

July 16, 2009.

Encounter with Janice "Pepperoni" Radditz and her fine horse, Harmony.

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High Sierra Trail Crew Video

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We hike upon the work of generations of Trail crew. Every Summer the National Forests and Parks, the California Conservation Corps, and various volunteer organizations put trail crews into the High Sierra.

Backpackers fully support these institutional efforts and especially appreciate the folks who do the hard work required to keep up the web of trails that give us access to the high places.


The video pictures trail crew from CCC Stanislaus Backcountry, Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks.

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High Sierra Fire and Smoke Information

High Sierra Fire and Smoke Information


A historic fire year after years of drought is forming up. I expect fire bans early in the season up and down the Sierra Crest.

I suggest that backpackers monitoring of climate conditions include watching fire and smoke conditions, and that our backpacking plans now incorporate fire plans.

A fire plan is awareness of our various escape routes.


Fire Information

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A Great Cross Country American Family Adventure II: National Parks

Meeting Jon and Anne at Hetch Hetchy after a hot hike down Jack Main Canyon during the High Sierra Heat Wave of early July 2013 was a blessing, and the tip of a rather large iceberg.

Jon, Anne, and the kids at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, Yosemite, 2013.

Jon, Anne, and the kids at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, Yosemite National Park.

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Pacific Storm, Last Remnant, Relief Reservoir, Emigrant Wilderness

High Sierra Nevada Mountain Weather: Last wisps of Pacific Storm of June 24-25, 2013  die under sunrise of June 26.

 last of Pacific Ocean Storm moisture dissipates over Relief Reservoir.


Dynamic cloud dissipates over Tahoe to Yosemite Trail hiking across Emigrant Wilderness.

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Bird, Kennedy Meadows, July 11 2012

Unidentified High Sierra Bird in full mating colors, Highway 108 July 11, 2012.

Bird at junction of Highway 108 and Kennedy Meadows Road, July 2012.

Trail Guide: Kennedy Meadows to Relief Reservoir

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A Great Cross Country American Family Adventure

I was lucky enough to meet Jon and his family at the far end of the tunnel through solid rock that connects the O'Shawnessey Dam creating Hetch Hetchy with its Northwest shore.

John, Anne, and the two kids at Yosemite National Park, Summer 2013.

I was pretty beat by the intense heat of a local heat wave, and the cool tunnel and cool folks were a great back to civilization welcoming committee.

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McGee Creek and Lake: East Sierra Trip Report, June 21 2013 by Llamalady

 I just today finished a short (4 day) trip up the McGee Creek Trail to Little McGee Lake and back again.  (Elevation change, from 7800 to 11,400) We almost went over the pass.

 I was hiking with llamas and one of them got sick so we had to bail early.

The weather was excellent, clear and warm, and the mosquitoes were quite light where we camped. We used a camp at 9,200 on night one and three, near a running creek, and a camp in a meadow at 11,000 on night 2.   

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