Hetch Hetchy Loop via Lake Vernon

HARD 6 reviews
#68 of 165 trails in

Hetch Hetchy Loop via Lake Vernon is a 24.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Groveland, California that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from April until September.

DISTANCE
24.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
6486 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

rocky

snow

backpacking
23 days ago

This was my first experience in Yosemite, and we chose this trail because we'd heard there was less traffic and we were looking for true wilderness and not many people. We'd originally planned to go up on Moraine Ridge and down into the Jack Main Canyon, but because of the still high levels of snow there in mid-to-late June, the rangers recommended against it. They also warned that we may not be able to cross Falls Creek because of the amount of snowmelt. The switchbacks were hard and gruelling in 90 degree heat, but I made it and am proud of that (at 58 and not backpacking in almost 40 years, that is saying something). We hiked toward Beehive Meadow which was nothing but mosquito-filled because of all the wetness on the trail. But arriving at Lake Vernon, we were thrilled. The granite surrounding the area, the lovely lake, the camping areas, the side trails, the wildflowers, the wildlife... all quite wonderful. I fell in love with this backcountry, for sure. So beautiful, so peaceful. We were not able to make the loop because of the raging water covering the footbridge at Falls Creek, but we spent a couple nights here before heading back down. I definitely want to do this trail again, but go onto the Ridge and the Canyon too, in a season and year when the snows aren't so prolific.

backpacking
30 days ago

Awesome trail! I loved the views and the peacefulness. I defiantly recommend doing this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

3 months ago

This trail was not my favorite. It felt grueling and very hot, with little pay off. The lake access is limited due to vegetation. However, the granite surrounding scenery was pretty impressive. It wasn't recommended by the rangers to cross Falls Creek because the water level is much higher than normal, therefore we could not complete the entire loop. That may have changed my rating. Going to just Lake Vernon and back from Hetch Hetchy was not worth the heat and work.

backpacking
4 months ago

hiking
Saturday, May 21, 2016