by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved
Crane Flat area winter trails
Map of winter trails in the Crane Flat area in Yosemite National Park (NP) with trail descriptions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
Crane Flat Yosemite National Park TRAIL DESCRIPTIONS Trails are not groomed in the Crane Flat area. Note that trail ratings are for average conditions. Icy or crusty conditions, or deep snow can make trails much more difficult. Crane Flat Winter Trails Yosemite National Park #1 Crane Flat Lookout Trail (1.5 mi., 2.4 km, one way): This trail is an uphill, rolling climb most of the way to the fire lookout, where the 360 degree views of Yosemite are spectacular. #2 Tuolumne Grove Trail (1 mi., 1.6 km, one way): This trail descends from the trailhead the entire way to the majestic giant sequoias. This is a popular trail both with snowshoers and hikers and is an arduous return ski. #3 Gin Flat Loop Trail (6.25 mi., 10.1 km, roundtrip): Start at the gate on the Tioga Road and go .25 mile (.4 km). From there you can continue up the Tioga Road or take the old Gin Flat Loop Trail up to Gin Flat. Either way, it’s about a 3-mile (4.8 km) climb, but then a nice ski down. Skiing back to the trailhead via the road is considerably easier than skiing back via the trail. #4 Crane Flat Campground Trail (1.75 mi., 2.8 km, roundtrip): Wind your way through and around Crane Flat Campground, then cross a meadow to join the Clark Range View trail. Turning north takes you back to the trailhead. #5 Clark Range View Trail (2 mi., 3.2 km, one way): This trail follows an old logging road with beautiful views of the Merced River Canyon and the Clark Range. #6 South Landing Road Trail (2.25 mi., 3.6 km, one way): This trail follows an old logging road with views of the Merced River Canyon and El Portal to the south. Rockefeller Grove Trail (2.25 mi., 3.6 km, one way): Park at the Merced Grove parking lot and walk across the road to pick up the old trail to the Rockefeller Grove. It’s a gradual 2-mile (3.2 km) climb to this grove of sugar pines. The trail is entirely wooded. In low snow years this trail may not be skiable. Merced Grove Trail (1.5 mi., 2.4 km, one way): The first half mile is level and easy, providing a good warm-up for the steep 1 mile (1.6 km) descent into this grove of giant sequoias. This trail requires heavy snowfall from a cold, lower-elevation storm to be skiable Trail Rating Legend: Easiest More difficult Most difficult Skiers and snowshoers, please make and maintain separate, parallel trails. If you are walking, please stay off the ski trails. Footsteps create holes in the snow, which can make skiing difficult and create hazards. 50¢ BEFORE YOU START Crane Flat Yosemite National Park Ski or snowshoe touring in Yosemite can be a magnificent experience, or it can be a disaster if certain simple preparations are ignored. Park rangers have assembled a set of suggestions which, when observed, can help ensure a safe trip even if you encounter stormy weather or unforeseen problems. KNOW THE RULES Plan your trip sensibly, keeping in mind your experience and physical condition. Remember that winter days are short and you may not be able to travel as far as you expect. Before you leave on a trip, let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll return. Keep track of others in your party. Always carry a map and compass and know how to use them. Unless you’re an expert with map and compass, stay on trails, which are located by orange markers. Consider carrying a GPS unit, if you know how to use one. Get a weather forecast (209/372-0200)—then be prepared for the unexpected. Even on short trips, carry proper gear and food for an unplanned bivouac. Always carry and drink plenty of water. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Clothing and equipment suggestions: Wear wool, fleece, or polypropylene—a wool or synthetic hat is essential. These fabrics retain some warmth even when wet. Pack a waterproof jacket. Carry quickenergy food, water, waterproof matches, a flashlight, and protection from the sun. If you become lost or must bivouac unexpectedly, THINK! Stop early to prepare for the night. Don’t thrash around or panic; save your energy. Build a fire, if possible. Avoid wind and insulate your body from snow. Drink warm liquids, if possible; eat often and huddle together. Stay dry! Keep an eye on members of your party. Hypothermia can be recognized by unusually slow movements, unintelligible speech, and peculiar behavior. If a member of your party appears hypothermic, take quick action to keep him or her as warm as possible. If you have informed someone of your expected return and are overdue, remember that help probably is on the way. Maintain the attitude that you can and will survive. If someone in your party needs ranger assistance and you can safely ski out, go to the Crane Flat gas station or the Tuolumne Grove parking lot and call 911. Certain National Park Service regulations must be observed by winter backcountry users; these protect the park as well as visitors. • A wilderness permit for an overnight trips can be obtained at the Valley Visitor Center, Wawona Information Station, Badger Pass Ranger Station, or the Big Oak Flat Information Station. • Camp at least one mile from any plowed road. • Camp no closer than 100 feet (30.5 m) to lakes, streams, and trails. • To dispose of human waste, dig through snow and six inches into soil. • Pack out all garbage, including toilet paper. • Cutting tree limbs or pine boughs for shelter is not permitted. • No pets permitted beyond plowed roads. • No motorized vehicles are permitted. • Skiers and snowshoers should make and maintain separate tracks. CAMPING TIPS Before heading into the wilderness on an overnight trip, you must get a wilderness permit. See above for locations. When planning your itinerary, remember that winter days are short and conditions can change dramatically. Winter camping demands a much greater level of preparedness. Inclement weather, including heavy snowfall and rain, should be anticipated. Take time to learn about snow camping: melting water, building snow caves, and cooking. Be sure to pack extra clothing, map and compass, emergency shelter, and a winter sleeping bag. Snowplows operate all winter long and may bury a parked car after a heavy snowfall. Plan ahead by bringing a shovel to dig out your car. Park near the back of a parking lot. FACILITIES Toilet facilities are available at the Tuolumne Grove trailhead. There is no water available there. Limited food, water, and other supplies are available at the Crane Flat gas station. The nearest lodging facilities are in Yosemite Valley. 250000mE 251 253 252 254 255 4184000mN #2 Tuolumne Grove Trail 4184000mN CRANE FLAT WINTER TRAILS 256 Tunnel Tree Mileage scale 0 0.5 1 MILES 0 0.5 1 KILOMETERS Tuolumne Grove O TI Rockefeller Grove Trail RO D Plowed road Unplowed road Gin Flat 3 2 GA A TA M Marked trail ek Cre O A K F L AT R O AT RD . D 3 T Restroom TI AD Moss A RO Parking AD 4182 G O 4182 Telephone #1 Crane Flat Lookout Trail #3 Gin Flat Loop Trail BI Merced Grove Big Trees G 4 O AK F L AT RO AD 4181 4181 Snow Play Area 6000 #6 South Landing Trail M 4 6 Ski Trail Rating:* Easiest More difficult Most difficult *Trail ratings are based upon ideal snow conditions and may change radically due to changes in weather or snow conditions. Skiers and snowshoers, please make and maintain separate, parallel trails. #5 Clark Range View Trail Crane Flat Campground 5 s 4180 #4 Crane Flat Campground Loop Trail os 4180 Contour interval = 100 feet (30.5 m) Gas Station 1 RANGER STATION Trail numbers (keyed to trailhead markers) Structure FLA RO Merced Grove Trail 6 Downhill direction O 6000 C BIG 7000 4183 RA LD FL A BIG AK O No Parking Crane Flat Lookout K 4183 A Yosemite Institute Cr an e This project made possible through a gift from the Jeangerard Foundation. Printed on recycled paper. © 2006. 5000 6000 5000 250000mE 251 252 253 254 255 256