This ride across the valley during hot temps creates vast moist cells of superheated air that subsequently has its rain and electricity squeezed violently out by rapid cooling during its swift passage up and over the Sierra Crest. Western Flank above The lazy rivers were my favorite. Unless everything but the heaviest bits were hauled out as they became superfluous. Sand on granite makes for some slippery stepping. Summit Creek runs down the base its Right, or Southwestern facing flank, down the valley below Brown Bear Pass. I figure the first and lowest segment of our hike was the segment from Kennedy Meadows to Relief Reservoir. The trail was sandy with lots of horse traffic and poop. 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. Closer to us we can also see a giant granite plug rising out of the middle-foreground of the image, just beyond the end of Kennedy Meadows. Summit Creek's Chaotic Canyon The Kennedy Canyon trail junction on the PCT is located Climbing up to Sheep Camp puts us into the uppermost segment of this hike, being our entrance into the highest run of meadow and forest above Sheep Camp stretching up to our final climb for Brown Bear Pass. VIDEO This is a canyon mapping out the ancient limits of lost volcanoes, of burnt red and granite grays, displaying ever-changing variations under ever changing light. and the character of the seasons. Rainshadow 2 … I meet with my travel buddy Ryan in California.The original plan is to get to the awe-inspiring landscapes of Yosemite National Park, but something else lands on our radar.After some research, we find some incredible images of the lesser known Kennedy Meadows and Relief Reservoir … This beautiful place has something that makes everyone smile. This issue generally resolves itself into three simple questions: where to camp before, during, and when departing the resupply spot. Keep your eyes open when you engage your feet. Kennedy Meadows Pack Station Gate. The 7-mile hike to Lower Relief Valley leads up from Kennedy Meadows past Relief Reservoir and then up Relief Creek to the valley. Braiding of Grouse Creek has split this upper ford into two segments, nicely dividing up the flow into two easy fords. Not a fan of sharing the trail with so many horses and mules. TYT to PCT Kennedy Meadows Gate to We will touch the Northern corner of Yosemite and a sliver of the Toiyabe, but we will remain predominantly within the Emigrant Wilderness. We will be looking to pick our path around the sand to maintain traction on the rocky surfaces we can find. Our challenge now shifts more to strength and endurance over this long and very physically demanding section of trail. above the I like to get through here early in the morning when it's cool, if possible. Though the Clarks Forks Canyon is much bigger than that of the Middle Fork, and that this vast canyon running down from Saint Marys Pass was cut by the Clarks Fork of the Stanislaus, the river and its canyon from where the Middle Fork enters the Clarks Fork Canyon takes the name of the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus. Hikers on local routes will find Kennedy Meadows an excellent launch point for their trips, and a great place to pick up current trail information (command center) as well as last minute supplies, snacks, or an excellent first/last hot meal. Now we are climbing, gently at first, then through increasing degrees of steepness beyond the lower bridge, up to our final climb over the ridge protecting Relief Reservoir. TYT South Maximum Experience Just to keep the nomenclature straight, let's review the naming of the two canyons running East and West below the Kennedy Canyon PCT trail junction (guide) on the Sierra Crest. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. We will have to select the final route of our return from the many ways we can approach getting in and out of Kennedy Meadows Pack Station. Backpackers starting trips through the stock gate on the South side of Kennedy Meadows Pack Station are advised to drive to the gate and drop packs and hikers before turning around to park the car down the road at Deadman. Then walk down to Kennedy Meadow's gate where you dropped your people and pack. Grouse Creek Ford Sweet footbridge. (Jeeze. Emigrant Wilderness The actual official Federal Kennedy Meadow Trail head is another mile' walk past the gate down this dirt road through the series of Kennedy Meadows to their far South end where the actual National Forest Trailhead into the Emigrant Wilderness is located. Kennedy Lake sits about three miles West of, and 1879 feet below the Kennedy Canyon Trail Junction on the Pacific Crest Trail. for our 1.58 miles These "pieces" spew powerful downpours and lightening, putting on quite a show when observed from a safe hiding place. National Forest Wilderness Map The group never became aware of my presence, though I observed and listened to them. 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. It is also an exposed section of trail with no tree cover surrounded by reflective granite. The Emigrant Wilderness and its extensive webs of Sierra Crest trails paralleled by East and West flank trails deserves some close-in attention from serious long and local backpackers. 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. PG & E The two canyons running East and West with Leavitt Massif rising to the North and Big Sam to the South along the Sierra Crestline makes the Kennedy Canyon trail junction a key junction for many Emigrant Wilderness backpacking trips. We did pass a few groups that went from Ridge Lake all the way down in a day. Hike down and cross the river on the tree. Kennedy Lake, Total Life was oh so good. The ladies in the office will tell you to hike down three-quarters of a mile to the Deadman Federal Campsite and pay 18 bucks a night to stay there. Kennedy Meadows Pack Station Look at the line of granite knobs running out in the distance. Mid week was perfect, not a lot of people on the trail. Turning around to hike through Brown Bear Pass we find it marks the highest gap between these two very divergent terrains, being a passage between the volcanic terrain to our North and the granite to our South. These car campgrounds are located along Highway 108 spread out along the floor of the canyon we see running out the Left edge of the image above, starting from the junction with Deadman Canyon all the way down to the Clarks Fork Road. CCC Trail Crew Information, Trail Traversing East Shore Hiking down to the campsites along the Southeast side of Relief Reservoir, checking out the various campsites and trails down there. Stanislaus National Forest. Footbridge. The top end had long tubes bent into a long U with water entering one end and exiting as steam through the other. Photo source. The Main Shortcut Down Hunters Camp is a superior campsite in every respect. 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