Space, Western .21 mile Now we continue hiking South deeper into Emigrant Wilderness, to our Left in the image above, along the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail up through Brown Bear Pass and into Emigrant Meadow. This technic generally helps keep us stable across slippery terrain, be it slick granite, sandy granite, or hard snow and ice. You could say there are three Kennedy Meadows trail heads. Tie it All Up Samples of Emigrant Wilderness Backpackers, 2013 High Sierra Trail & Culture Report: Relief Reservoir & Beyond, 2016 High Sierra Trail & Culture Report: Relief Reservoir & Beyond. 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. Nonetheless, this "ladder" of rungs connecting the TYT & PCT across the Carson Iceberg Wilderness opens up scads of short and medium distance backpacking loop trips out of the Saint Marys Pass Trailhead or the series of trailheads along the Clarks Fork Road. of 4.39 miles, Trail Specifications Staging for resupply is not as much of a problem for Southbound hikers on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail. 15 min USGS Backpacking Trail We've hiked South over the hill dividing the first and smallest of Kennedy Meadows where the pack station is located from the next upriver segment of Kennedy Meadows. Since we are hiking South on the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail we trace the main trail from the Relief Reservoir campsites back to its faint junction with the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail above the upper ford of Grouse Creek. But if you are sure of your dates, and it's mid-week away from a major holiday, you may be able to reserve a cabin. Local Thunderstorms Photo source. It's easier and cheaper to park at the free trailhead parking down by Deadman Campground. Watch the slippery sand on smooth granite surfaces. The Big Picture CCC is typically the first step into the world of trail crew. Hiker Information, Kennedy Meadows Wow, what a magnificent juxtaposition to cut across the center of a High Sierra Canyon. Using fuel oil allowed them to get away with a much smaller fire box for their boiler than wood allowed. From the Kennedy Canyon trail junction on the PCT (Guide) we have four options. We started Saturday morning with the intention to get to Ridge Lake in one day. Kennedy Meadows Pack Station Gate. The Western trail goes through this sheer gulch while the Eastern trail follows a steep rocky chute South of the upper footbridge. West Loop, Emigrant Wilderness The view of Grouse Creek we get hiking South along the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail to the upper ford is a restrained view. 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. Thanks you guys. 15 min USGS Backpacking The first trailhead is near the junction between Highway 108 and the road to Kennedy Meadows Pack Station. Hourly or trip group riders out of Kennedy Meadows Pack Station follow the guide. Looking closely around our trail climbing along the base of the Southwestern-facing flank of this canyon we can see that this great ancient volcanic feature capped by Relief Peak is covering even older granite features we see sticking out beyond the furthest reaches of the volcanic flows here and there as we climb up into the volcanic zone. EMIGRANT WILDERNESS Each of these three segments of our hike from Kennedy Meadows to Brown Bear Pass via Summit Creek's various iterations of "canyon," are each unique, with each having its own consistent characteristics which are notably different from the other segments. Crossing this bridge marks the beginning of our climb through the lower run of the upcoming narrow rocky canyon. The trails accessing Emigrant Wilderness through Leavitt Meadow and Leavitt Lake trail heads on the East flank are well complimented by the network of trails running off the Clarks Fork Road and through Kennedy Meadows on the West Flank. Summit Creek runs down the base its Right, or Southwestern facing flank, down the valley below Brown Bear Pass. Brown Bear Pass, Your Guide to the High Sierra Crest, including the Tahoe to Yosemite, Pacific Crest, and John Muir Trails. This change has no substantial effect on the route of the TYT. Beginning of the End [IN THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AREA] The Western trails move down deeper into Emigrant Wilderness. Mostly up uphill but it was great ! to the Relief Reservoir. This particular film was shot returning to Kennedy Meadows Pack Station at the end of a big circle backpacking trip around the High Emigrant Wilderness, thus we are hiking North down to the upper bridge, rather than up to it... View from the upper footbridge. The dirt road is twisting to our Left around to the East side of this segment of Kennedy Meadows to make its way to the trailhead and Emigrant Wilderness boundary by going around the edge of the meadow. Bald and Red Peaks are at the top of the massive ridge dividing the Clarks fork of the Stanislaus River on its far side from the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus running down the valley below us. Summit Creek. Southeast Corner of Relief Reservoir, Relief Reservoir Campsites The following trail guide pages (INDEX) , the information on the associated maps (INDEX) , miles and elevation pages are all designed to reveal our short, medium, and long distance hiking options in and around and around Emigrant Wilderness as well as exploring the classic Tahoe to Yosemite and Pacific Crest Trail routes across their slices of the Emigrant Wilderness. There is a faint trail most of the way with a clear route the rest. It's 35 bucks a bunk and the bunkhouse rooms hold five people. real-time current snow and temp data. of the Above: Backrest, perfect seat, and amazing angle of runoff for the resting legs... Back The Kennedy Canyon trail junction sits on a low point of the Sierra Crestline dividing these two canyons running East and West off the Sierra Crest, while being wedged between two great Sierra Crestline mountain massifs. On the Right we can see Nightcap Peak atop the end of the ridge making up the North wall of the canyon holding Kennedy Lake at the base of its Southern-facing flank. West and South Shores Backpacking Trips, Hiking Options Kennedy Creek joins Summit Creek just below the upper footbridge. This pattern of interconnected trails laid out over the Emigrant Wilderness gives us some interesting backpacking route options from the Kennedy Canyon (guide page) trail junction . Resupply and Backpacker Resources Or they lost the faint trail down, and picked their way through the rock formations down to the lower sites. Climbing along Kennedy Creek moderates further reaching the big central meadow holding Kennedy Lake. Kennedy Lake sits about three miles West of, and 1879 feet below the Kennedy Canyon Trail Junction on the Pacific Crest Trail. & Video The Middle fork of the Stanislaus River has fine sandy beaches soft and comfortable across the meadow from the main building at Kennedy Meadows Pack Station. Kennedy Meadows to Relief Reservoir Kennedy Lake Relief Reservoir to Brown Bear Pass. to Each bunk comes with use of the shower and laundry. A great idea. Summit Creek. As we climb into the valley we will see that the granite is solid on the South side of the valley, but that the granite on the North side of the valley has been drowned by ancient lava flows. Bald Peak's sun-splashed summit is glowing on the distant middle-Left of ridgeline in the distance, with Red Peak's darkened summit to its Right. of the tropical rainy season escaping the Gulf of Mexico, but mostly out of the top of the Sea of Cortez. TYT to PCT Hiking South up the steep chute running East above upper footbridge brings us to a short flat where we get clear views of Summit Creek surging down its steep canyon below Relief Reservoir before we again submerge into the terrain for the short hike up to the Kennedy Lake trail junction. You cannot park at the pack station. Because I never feed the wildlife, specifically to keep it wild. TYT to PCT The sides of this wide section of very sandy trail have a better surface than the center of the trail for backpackers. Look at the line of granite knobs running out in the distance. Highway 108 into Then we can follow-up by putting together endless combinations of short, medium, & very long distance backpacking trips staying within the exceptional beauty of Emigrant Wilderness. In total the actual Kennedy Meadow Trailhead is a mile and three eighths South of the location of the trailhead parking up near Highway 108 across from the Deadman Campground. Well, sometime there are ducks, sometimes there are not. from the The trail is mostly exposed across sandy soil on and between sweet granite outcroppings. Other times tropical storms approach out of the Southeast, typically composed of strong remnants Highway 108 to Bensen Lake, Trail South The 7-mile hike to Lower Relief Valley leads up from Kennedy Meadows past Relief Reservoir and then up Relief Creek to the valley. Notable trail junctions and camp spots between Relief Reservoir and Brown Bear Pass are the upcoming trail junction to Lower Relief Valley, Saucer Meadow campsites, Sheep Camp campsites, Lunch Meadow campsites, and the Mosquito Pass trail junction. NO TRAFFIC RESTRICTIONS ARE REPORTED FOR THIS AREA. Rainshadow 2 … The location of the Kennedy Meadows turnoff is seven miles East of Clarks Fork Road (sign-resupply page) and nine miles West of Sonora Pass. 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. This hike is very scenic but a little challenging and steep in some areas so it’s best for older kids. Then we have crest of the the distant ridge running up to the Sierra Crest. Western Flank U.S. Route 395 (from the Eastern Sierras) Trail to Kennedy Lake, Post up your sightings of Trail Crew in their Natural Habitat: The CCC trail crew is stabilizing a section of sandy trail across and down a sandy spot along the traverse above Relief Reservoir by boxing it in with custom-carved interlocking granite blocks. Ground Reporting Stations looking North, downriver at the beginning of The main difference is how each canyon could hold a Western-style road. No GPS. Hike down and cross the river on the tree. Stanislaus River Cascading waterfalls, rushing rivers, wood bridges, towering rock faces and sweeping views of the reservoir and the tops of the Sierras were some of the highlights. ONE LEG Kennedy Meadows to Relief Reservoir Trail is a 6.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pinecrest, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The gate on the South end of KM walking (!) That would be the trail from Snow to Emigrant Lakes on the map above. The TYT route passes by Kennedy Meadows' front door, and unlike Sonora Pass, the Saint Marys Pass trailhead on Highway 108 has a nearby creek, which allows Southbound TYT hikers to camp there. Procedure We are looking at Peak 10530 riding the Northwestern end of the massive volcanic ridge in the furthest distance. into That's why we get "weird" to draw them out. The canyon running Westward below the Kennedy Canyon trail junction has no name, while its main features are Kennedy Creek flowing West out of Kennedy Lake down to Summit Creek. Climbing higher up Summit Creek's drainage brings us above the treetops and terrain obstructions to get an overall view of the terrain, specifically looking North out the bottom of the canyon Summit Canyon flows down where it become the Middle Stanislaus River flowing into Kennedy Meadows. Southbound, Backpacking It has been a popular recreation area since 1917 providing horseback riding, camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, and backpacking. I was almost alone here when 13 backpackers of a group of unknown size hiked in from the upper ford. Kennedy Meadows Pack Station gate hiking South on the TYT to the Trail junction on the SE side of Relief Reservoir: 5.37 miles. Hiking Plan Across Emigrant Wilderness. Kennedy Meadows to Relief Reservoir, 30 min Map I always put myself on the windward side of approaching horses and mules to avoid getting dusted, if possible. Summit Creek views Open Hiking down to the campsites along the Southeast side of Relief Reservoir, checking out the various campsites and trails down there. very pleasant hike otherwise. Approaching the upper footbridge we take note of a substantial creek flowing out of its own rocky gorge down into a segment of Summit Creek Canyon's steepest, deepest, and narrowest runs. Plus, the reflective rock and our lack of tree cover is adding heat to the situation as well. I call this the lower ford. How your body feels, how drained or properly maintained you feel, should be the concern guiding how you use each of your resupply stops. View full map: GPX File: In the morning, after a big breakfast, I put the water into our packs and did a weigh-in. Trey Trailhead Review We can "double-down" continuing South into Yosemite to Hetch Hetchy (guide) or Tuolumne Meadows. We can put ourselves pretty far "out there" in the Emigrant Wilderness. and Last Climb Working on Relief Reservoir requires PG & E set up a beachhead in the Southern Kennedy Meadow from where they ferry in their men, tools, and equipment to the Relief Reservoir Dam via helicopter. I'd say Sonora Pass is the next best (three trailheads sit along the Sierra Crest near Sonora Pass, two of which point us North into the Carson Iceberg Wilderness (map)), followed closely by Leavitt Lake and Leavitt Meadows Trailheads. Looking Back, North down the trail towards Kennedy Meadows. of the Long shadows stretch over Relief Reservoir as twilight approaches. High Emigrant Wilderness Hiking North Excellent hikes into the Emigrant Wilderness begin at Kennedy Meadows. We can control the length of our loop by turning our route back to Kennedy Meadows through trail junctions situated at various distances South of Kennedy Meadows. The top of the dome just beyond the dam almost exactly marks the location where these two canyons meet, and the great exposed triangular shape rising above the dome is the canyon wall marking their junction point. Your input enriches the trail guide, independent of if you provide trail reports, add some random contemporary or historical information, and especially your questions, updates, and experiences. They fear, are curious, and I've even seen an angry trout. Schematic Trail Map This will dump you out at a good vista over the lake and dam. Matt has a bunkhouse in the main building where backpackers can rent a bunk. At the very top of this climb we reach and cross over the top of this ridge-arm onto the Northeast flank of the valley constraining Relief Reservoir. Now we are hiking through this geological transition zone from the lower elevation granites around Relief Reservoir up into the volcanic zone in Summit Creek's middle canyon running down from Brown Bear Pass to Relief Reservoir. These segments of our trail to Brown Bear Pass present quite an "evolution" of terrains which tell a number of stories. Looking North We hiked down to the campsites from the ducked shortcut trail (pictured above) through the Manzanita pictured on the far Right side of image below, which is still North of the Grouse Creek ford. off the Thus the 4-way Kennedy Canyon trail junction at the head of Kennedy Lake's valley offers access North to Sonora Pass via the Northbound PCT, Southbound access to the TYT into the High Emigrant Basin (define) via the Tungsten Road over Big Sam, as well as the option of following the Southbound PCT East down Kennedy Canyon. The company has gone off the deep end with crazy greed and irresponsibility, but the people who work for PG & E are good folk. I've tried to hike different routes through each time, eventually making my sections along the "long trails" through Emigrant Wilderness longer and longer! The lower down the mountain the ford is located, the more water it picks up. Through MILES, MILES Ask Matt about camping there. 2016 Trails and Trail Culture Review: Bonus: There is a general store by the trailhead at Kennedy Meadows for a cold beer after the hike! Along the position of the duck above there are sometimes a series of little trails breaking through manzanita that mostly funnel together into the route down to a little jumble of fallen timber in heavy undergrowth where we ford Grouse Creek right before it empties into Relief Reservoir. Everything reveals more information. TOPO MAP The Crestline The valley holding Kennedy Lake lays open on its Left, or down the Northeast facing flank of that vast ridge. Hiking Left, to our Southeast will lead us up through Lunch Meadow to Brown Bear and Mosquito Passes. Once you get to the sharp right, there is no trail and you need to scramble quite a bit up granite boulders to keep going in the general direction that is shown on the app (note: it's a straight line so definitely not a real path). Kennedy Meadows to Relief Reservoir Trail. Southbound entry into the High Emigrant Basin (definition) is made hiking South over Big Sam (map) from the Kennedy Canyon trail junction. From this point both trails proceed South together down Jack Main Canyon on their way to Tuolumne Meadows. West Flank Spur Trails Rejoin It's the same game up there. Kennedy Meadows Pack Station marks the beginning of the end; it begins our last and longest section of trail along the Tahoe to Yosemite Trail. Follow the Kennedy Lake Trail for 1.5 miles to the beginning of the route, or to Kennedy Lake (5 miles), whichever is your destination.