Lake Vernon and Tiltill Valley Trail

MODERATE 7 reviews
#104 of 202 trails in

Lake Vernon and Tiltill Valley Trail is a 23.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Long Barn, California that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and camping and is best used from April until October.

23.2 miles
5646 feet






wild flowers


no dogs

7 months ago

Actually, my review pertains to the Lake Vernon Leg, only, done in September '71, and August '72. There are a few terraces, past the Lake Eleanor Service Road portion, commencing at about the 4,200 Ft. elevation, that comprise PURE, to nearly pure Ponderosa Pine, with Jeffrey Pine, and Jeffrey/Ponderosa Pine hybrids, until about at the top of this stretch at Beehive Junction (Left Trail eventually to Bond Pass, out of The Park; with the Right Trail being the fairly level 1.5-2 Mile Inrun, to Lake Vernon.), with elegant Red Fir, too. If, you are a Dendrologist, or know someone who is, I'd STRONGLY advise you to be directed to this more or less contiguous big grove of these species, to record NEW CHAMPIONS of these! Many have assumed the appearance of Sequoias, they are THAT giant! Huge buttresses at their bases; Diameter Breast Heights of at least 8 Feet; Total Heights MORE than 220 Ft.--I'd guess; negligible Taper, up to about 120 Ft.; with the first HUGE limbs occurring at about 80 Ft. And those limbs could be trees in their own right, at about 3-4 Ft. diameter! Granted, there may be some Sugar Pine and White Fir giants mixed in here and there, but it's the Ponderosas and Jeffreys that most definitely COMMAND your attention, with their metallic-looking alligator hide-patterned Barks, and tiers upon pagoda tiers of Limbs, ending in the glossy candelabras of long, thick foliage. At Beehive, and towards the Lake's East end, you will find some handsome strapping Quaking Aspens too, if I recall correctly. Also, at the Inrun stretch of trail, there is a vast field of level to gently sloping glacially polished Granite, polished so heavily (with a few boulder erratics), that it's like tombstones or kitchen countertops, and if the sun hits it just right, you can not look directly at it--absolutely blinding. Soon after exiting the Dam Tunnel, you will encounter highly anomalous Pinon Pines, mixed in with the Digger Pines, and a few Knobcone Pines. The reason for that, is that Hetch Hetchy was along a prime Trade Route, between the more localized Miwok peoples, and the mostly East-Slope peoples of the Monos, Bannocks, Paiutes, Shoshones, and other tribes, where the Pinons more naturally grew. Either a few seeds sifted out of their baskets, or the Miwoks/Ahwhaneechees tried to plant their own groves, so that they wouldn't have to depend upon the Easterners. These sights and more, will make for one heckuva unforgettable experience that you will ALWAYS treasure!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

headed out from the dam to do a loop around Hetch Hetchy area..lots of elevation going up to Lake Vernon and Laurel Lakes, but well worth it. Many campsites around Vernon, some have cliffs to jump off, others have soft mud but clear water. Views are great, so many peaks to look at..the descent to Tilltill and Rancheria was fun, lots of running down hill, only saw 5 people in 3 days..once we arrived at camp near the Falls, we explored the pools and waterfall and cliffs, great place.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

In the spring this is my favorite place.
-Till Till Valley:
-Water logged in spring so bring your water shoes.
- Bears either live here or frequent this area in early spring so be mindful of them.
- Two camp sites that I've seen offer a place to rest before you continue on to Lake Vernon.

Lake Vernon:
- Beautiful granite encased lake.
- Camp sites on both sides of the lake
- Bears are here in the spring. (watch out for Jack, he likes too steal your food)
-Good fishing for you anglers. (caught a beautiful 3-4 lbs rainbow trout.)
- Water is Crystal clear and very cold.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

If you made it to Rancheria falls and didn't want to die you are in good shape. Why not continue to Till till valley? It's only a short hump over a mountain!
If you love the Sierra Nevada mountains like I do then it's worth every step.
The novice hiker or backpacker may want to overnight at the Rancheria falls camp ground and either day hike up or just move camp to till till. (only a couple camp sites at till till)
In the spring the valley is ringed with or sometimes completely flooded with about shin deep water so bring your water shoes

Friday, June 21, 2013

Aggressive hike, very beautiful views

Monday, August 08, 2016