O’Shaughnessy Dam to Tuolumne River

May 12, 2012
Hetch Hetchy Area
Total distance:  3.5 miles

Today’s hike took place in the Hetch Hetchy area of Yosemite National Park.

Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

The trail was a maintenance road that veered off the O’Shaughnessy Dam and wove its way downhill to the valley floor.

O'Shaughnessy Dam (taken 10/13/2012).

O’Shaughnessy Dam (taken 10/13/2012).

There was a good view of the spillway from the top of the gravel road.

Looking down at the spillway and canyon.

Looking down at the spillway and canyon.

Colorful succulents adorned the rock wall that supported the parking area.

Liveforever

Liveforever

I walked in the hot sun the whole way and eventually came to a well-constructed bridge above the raging Tuolumne River.

The bridge over the Tuolumne River.

The bridge over the Tuolumne River.

Looking north from the bridge.

Looking north from the bridge.

After crossing, I continued walking to the road’s end and came to a gauging station.  It was a pretty area filled with trees, grass, tiny wildflowers, and a beautiful view of Hetch Hetchy Dome, Kolana Rock and O’Shaughnessy Dam.  Although the trail ended, I was not content to stop because I was hoping to reach the river.

L: Hetch Hetchy Dome; R: Kolana Rock; Middle: O'Shaughnessy Dam

L: Hetch Hetchy Dome; R: Kolana Rock; Middle: O’Shaughnessy Dam

Nature made a crude downhill trail to the water.  As I descended, a red salamander darted out of the rocks.  At the bottom, trees bordered the river.  I found a heavenly spot for lunch, a sandy beach next to the lazy moving river.

My view during lunch.

My view during lunch.

I sat for a while before retracing my steps back…uphill all the way.  What a grand day this was!

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