Telephone Gulch to Campsite South of the Upper Ford Summit City Creek

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 12 November 2010


South of Telephone Gulch 

Post your Comments, Questions, and Experiences about backpacking on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail South from Telephone Gulch on Summit City Creek to this real nice campsite 1.3 miles South of the Upper Ford, and just a bit further South to the Campsite at the End of Summit City Canyon.

 Various Forms of Information

See the Trail Guide for Telephone Gulch for complete information.

Locate Telephone Gulch on a regional topo backpacking map.

Locate Telephone Gulch on a detailed local topo backpacking map

Miles and Elevations: Carson Gap to Lake Alpine


The local Situation

Telephone Gulch marks the point where the Southbound backpacker on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail enters the roughest segment of the 9.52 mile section of unmaintained trails between the Summit City Creek trail junction to Camp Irene, where maintained trails begin again.

You are now entering a very secluded area, where all indications of human intervention, including the trails, the campsites, the tree blazes and the fire rings are all old and faded, if visible at all.

The Northbound hiker will find growing signs of trail North of Telephone Gulch, until maintained trail resumes at the Summit City trail junction to Fourth of July Lake. The Southbound hiker is facing diminishing trail conditions.

All hikers will notice signs indicating the date of last use at the Telephone Gulch campsites: how much debris sits on top the remnants of the last fire in the ancient fire ring, the amount of debris collected on the sleeping flats since its last sweeping, and the faint trail bed showing more animal tracks than backpacker's footsteps.

Note the locations and direction of backpacker's footprints when you find them.

South of Telephone Gulch hikers will encounter fainter trails, when you find signs of a trailbed at all.

The Big Picture

Click up a level in this forum to the Carson Gap to Lake Alpine section of The Backpacker's Forum, where you can access all of the Forum and Trail Guide pages for this difficult section. You can navigate North and South through these locations via the links on the bottom of this page.

See the Trail Guide for more, and more detailed information about Tahoe to Yosemite Trail through Summit City Creek.

Alternative Route

An alternative route to hiking this umaintained trail section of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail between Highway 88 and Hwy 4 is the Pacific Crest Trail. Check out the map of the Pacific Crest Trail between Carson Pass and Ebbetts Pass. Click the red dots for links to the related trail guide pages.

You can actually walk South to Ebbetts Pass from the Summit City Creek trail junction by turning upstream at the Summit City trail junction below Fourth of July Lake. The quickest route to the Pacific Crest Trail is to meet up with the paved road at Upper Blue Lake and join up with the Pacific Crest Trail South of Lower Blue Lake. This route alteration will bring you around the difficult unmaintained section of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail.

From Ebbetts Pass you can hitch down to Lake Alpine for Resupply, then continue South on the maintained sections of the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail from the East Side of Lake Alpine.

Your Perspective adds to the depth of the Trail Guide and Forum

Post your comments, questions, or experiences at or near Telephone Gulch on Summit City Creek through the comments link below.

I'd love to hear from you locals and regional hikers about your short trips here, as well as thorugh-hiker experiences. Though I'm a long-distance hiker, I come back and do it over and over again. If this is your favorite short-distance backpacking location, tell me more!

Updates on the Unmaintaind Sections of the TYT

Register so you can post up your trail stories as stand-alone posts with pictures and videos about backpacking here in this, the Carson Gap to Lake Alpine: Tahoe to Yosemite Trail Forum.

My Goal

My goal in setting up a trail guide backed up by a forum is simple. I belive that the more perspectives we compile about any section of trail, especially a difficult one like this, will provide better, deeper, and more information that's relevant to as wide a range of skills and fitness levels of various backpackers as possible. 

I can give you one backpacker's perspective, but having more views of this section will customize the information from the viewpoints of as many different types of backpackers as post up.

For example, many expert backcountry folk may rate this route "easy," while many novice backpackers rate this route as "incredibly difficult."

Hard Trail

I rate this section of trail as the highest level of difficulty. I rate it so high not because it is a steep, high elevation mountain crossing. In fact this section spans a low elevation descent for Southbound hikers. I rate it the highest difficulty because of the extra physical work that having no trail entails, as well as the extra mental strain and skills required by  having to find your own path along this route.

In any case, this section is no joke. People get lost in here. I have full confidence that  you will calm down, hydrate and rest yourself, locate your present position in relation to your last good "known" point along the route, return to that position, and locate a good route through the terrain.

 North and South

 The Next Forum Page South on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail is Backpacking Summit City Creek: Granite Flat to the Lower Ford 

The Next Forum Page North on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail is Summit City Creek  


 Post up your comments through the comments link below

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