Yosemite's Secrets -
Off The Beaten Path Adventures!

by Kris Corey
Yosemite Audio Adventures
(Groveland, CA)

Alder Creek Falls - Yosemite National Park

Alder Creek Falls - Yosemite National Park

Hiking trails in Yosemite National Park offer the adventurous explorer an opportunity to discover Yosemite’s secret gems. Each trail is a gateway to a new adventure, a route with its own unique characteristics and history.

Many of the eight hundred miles of hiking trails in Yosemite park are ancient, used by Indians who inhabited this area for thousands of years. Evidence of Native Americans is occasionally found in the form of obsidian. The black, shiny, glass-like rock used to make arrowheads. (Do Not Take Artifacts!)

Many trails pass through areas of Yosemite park that are rich with history. Places where history seems to permeate from the ground beneath your feet.

When the White man first discovered the Yosemite area much of the Southern portion of the park contained ancient stands of Sugar Pines. Huge trees up to eight feet in diameter.

Timber claims were exercised during the early years and the largest stands of Sugar Pines in the world were clear cut by the Yosemite Lumber Company.

Pictures of proud loggers standing amongst the giant stumps in a clear cut area are pretty appalling to most of us nowadays. But, to actually see this area now and walk along the old Railroad Grade is an interesting experience if you like ‘off the beaten path’ adventures.

There is a trail located off the Wawona Road, between Chinquapin and Wawona that leads to a place called Alder Creek Falls.

Along this trail evidence remains in the form of railroad track and an obvious railroad grade that makes for nice flat hiking.

Today, as the natural healing process continues, Mother Nature is taking back what is rightfully hers.

The first mile or so of the trail is uphill through a section of burnt forest that has it’s own unique beauty. After turning left at the trail junction you’re still going up but it’s a more gradual incline. The last mile or so you are walking on the old railroad grade and it’s reasonably flat.

The grade is still recognizable as a man made intrusion and you can imagine the noise, the thunder that once filled these mountains. This was a rail system assembled by hand. The marks in the ties from railroad spikes hammered by men during this era of destruction.

Today, Mother Nature offers her own unquestionable beauty to this landscape. After years of healing, the Sugar Pines are back. Some four to five feet in diameter, standing tall with their huge cones hanging at the ends of their branches like Christmas tree ornaments.

You can experience this area and discover one of Yosemite’s ‘secret gems.’

Alder Creek Falls is a little known waterfall that is very impressive in the Spring. It is approximately one hundred twenty feet tall but rarely visited by the occasional tourist.

One of the main reasons it remains a lesser waterfall is that you can’t access either the top or the bottom of this water feature without some serious climbing. And, the trail has no great overlooks or vista’s along the way.

This isn’t a terribly difficult hike but it’s about 9 miles round trip so it takes time. The trail is mostly shaded and a great place to hike away from the crowds.

The trailhead is located at a hairpin turn on the Wawona road (Hwy 41) in Yosemite National Park at Mosquito Creek. There is a small turnout and one bear box on the inside part of the curve. The trail begins on the other side of the road.

Take the Time,

Take a Hike!

Article Contributed by:
Kris Corey
Yosemite Audio Adventures
P.O. Box 1262
Groveland, CA 95321

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Off The Beaten Path Adventures!

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Insider Secrets are the Best!
by: Suzi

Thanks so much, Kris -

Nothing beats getting Insider Secrets about where to go and what to see from someone In The Know! Thank you for sharing YOUR Insider Secrets about Yosemite National Park!


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