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[pct-l] Trip Report: Tuolumne Meadows to Kennedy Meadows [HWY 108]

This is the Southern section of the Tahoe-Yosemite Trail. The route is
identical to the PCT Section I until Bond Pass, 1/2 mile South of Dorothy

1-No bears but lots of bear stories
2-Saw more deer and horses than people
3-No bugs but lots of horse manure

In Yosemite, Benson Lake is a wonderful place to kick back. However the
Emigrant Wilderness area is far more interesting and clean than the canyon
section of Yosemite. In a dry year this canyon section was less than
impressive. For people looking for a week-long hike, this isn't one I would

1-The wonderful section between Highway 120 and Glen Aulin was overloaded
with horse manure. Most of the hikers were day hikers. In July this section
is spectacular. In late August it was merely great. I didn't miss the bugs,
however, who populate this section enmass in July.
2-The canyon hopping section between Glen Aulin and Smedburg Lake was
tedious. There was not much water available.
3-The outlet to Smedburg Lake was trashed by horse overuse. About 1.5 acres
was litterly covered with horse shit. Still the fishing was great
4-Benson Lake was awesome as usual. It was warm and very swimmable.
5-Wilmer Lake was also overused by horse party. The trip from Benson to
Wilmer, more canyon hopping, was again tedious. A bear had trashed a major
campsite tossing garbage all over. The campsite was a NPS work party site
that had been abandoned. There were a dozen coolers and a zillion burlap
bags of trash but nary a bear canister or box in site. Seems that the NPS
doesn't follow their own rules.
6- One SHOULD NOT MISS the section between Bond Pass and Kennedy Meadows. It
is a totally fascinating area where granite and volcanic sections meet.
There was lots of horse action but the campsites were clean. It proved that
horse packers CAN use an area responsibly without making it miserable for
hikers. Apparantly whoever services Yosemite just didnt want to.

1-YNP asked for a written report of the trail from me. Natch I have pictures
of the trashed areas.
2-I was amused on my past two trips by the number of hikers telling bear
stories. In particular I was amused by hikers that swore that they never had
lost food to bears, then went on to relate how they had.
3-Unless the NPS/USFS educates hikers on the use of bear canisters these
gadgets worn't work. I ran across two hikers in Kerrick Canyon, 30 miles
from their trailhead [Sonora Pass]. The were concerned about bears [this is
where a bear had trashed a NPS work crew site] because they [still] couldn't
get all their food in the canisters. 

I am sane again.... for a while...