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Snow Creek - Porcupine Creek

Intermediate
 4.0 (4)

A quiet run to Snow Creek that offers breathtaking views of Clouds Rest and Half Dome.


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Map Key

4.4

Miles

7.1

KM

88%

Runnable

8,096' 2,468 m

High

6,760' 2,060 m

Low

94' 29 m

Up

1,431' 436 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Views

Tioga Road east of Crane Flat and west of Tioga Pass Entrance station is closed in the winter and spring until the road is cleared of snow. You can check road conditions at nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/… or by dialing 1-209-372-0200, dialing extensions 1/1. An alternative route is climbing up Snow Creek Trail from the valley floor to Snow Creek.

Runner Notes

Once past the intersection with the main North Dome Trail, the trail descends rapidly and can be slippery when wet.

Description

The trailhead is 24.8 miles from Crane Flat on Tioga Road at the Porcupine Flat parking area on the right. If you are coming from Tioga Pass, the trail is 14 miles west of Tuolumne Meadows.

The trail follows an old road down to Porcupine Creek, where a rock hop or log crossing is necessary to get across the creek. Once you have crossed the creek, the trail begins to narrow as you run through a forest of red fir and lodgepole pines. At 1.5 miles, take the right fork toward Snow Creek. At this point in the run, the trail begins to descend steeply following the Porcupine Creek stream drainage. The shade of the trees and the creek close by cause this area to be cooler than the trail you were just on. When the trail turns sharply right, the trail begins to follow Snow Creek. Continue to follow this trail through white firs and other evergreen trees until you reach the bridge at Snow Creek.

Once you have reached the Snow Creek Trail, take time to enjoy the views. Leave the main trail about 250 feet from the trail junction, and run out across the open area toward Half Dome. You'll reach a point where the opposite side of Tenaya Canyon is in full, unobstructed view. Clouds Rest, Quarter Domes, and Half Dome rise in front of you while Mount Watkins rises to your left.

There aren't large crowds, just the occasional hiker either coming from Yosemite Valley headed toward Tuolumne Meadows or others like yourself enjoying a more isolated run in the woods. It's a popular camping site in the summer, with the swimming hole providing a great place to relax (and ready water supply) and plenty of spots with great views.

Return to your car via the same trail, or choose to run to Yosemite Valley via the Mirror Lake Trail if you were dropped off at the trailhead. If returning to your car, give yourself plenty of time to get back as the climb is uphill until you intersect the North Dome Trail.

Flora & Fauna

Bear, deer, squirrels, and ground squirrels are found in this area. If you are camping overnight, heed bear warnings as bears in this area have been known to steel canisters and throw them over the ledge to get into them.

Contacts

Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

Shared By:

David Hitchcock

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 4 votes

#10433

Overall
  4.0 from 4 votes
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Trail Rankings

#1,049

in California

#10,433

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18 Views Last Month
1,406 Since Jan 4, 2016
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Photos

Half Dome begins to appear as you near Snow Creek.
Jan 23, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Hiking through downed trees and large virgin forest.
Jan 23, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Trail running by some fallen trees.
Jan 27, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
The trail opens up some as you descend into the Snow Creek watershed.  Wildflowers bloom in the summer.
Jan 23, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Crossing Porcupine Creek.
Jan 25, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Bad / Closed 87 days ago See History
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