A Day at the Hetchy!
This is my favorite place to come to when I want to enjoy the peace and quiet. Honestly I am not a hiker, I prefer to hike my leg up over the saddle and let my horse do the walking! However, going to Hetch Hetchy is different. I want to run! I want to run through the mountain tunnel and take off to the other side heading out to the waterfalls! I get so excited, it’s like a amazing miracle is in front my eyes.
So let me tell you how to get there so you can enjoy it too!
Highway 120 to Evergreen Road
Evergreen Road to Hetch Hetchy Road.
Follow to Entrance for maps and details
Along the Way
On Evergreen Road about 7 miles in, you will come across Evergreen Lodge! What a great place this is! Lodging, nice restaurant, general store, bike rentals, activities area and so much more. This is a great place to get a sandwich and water for your trip to the Hetch Hetchy O’Shaughnessy Dam. It’s a even better place to stop after you have hiked up to the falls! Stop in for some dinner and spirits!
Yosemite Entrance at Hetch Hetchy
It takes about 30 minutes driving time to get to the O’Shaughnessy Dam from the entrance gate. Once you arrived you will see there is a day camping in this area of Yosemite National Park. Just a FYI, Hetch Hetchy O’Shaughnessy Dam is located in the Northern part of Yosemite National Park and John Muir has written that the Hetch Hetchy Valley was as beautiful as Yosemite Valley. I believe it was and still is too!
Lookout Point Trail begins near the Entrance Station. It’s a quick 2 mile hike which takes you out to a rocky outcropping of massive boulders overlooking the Hetch Hetchy Valley. Simply breath taking!
The Poopenaut Trail begins about 4 miles passed the Entrance Station. This trail is tough…it’s beautiful as it takes you down to the Tuolumne River..it’s about a 2.5 mile hike.
Smith Peak Trail begin approx 6 miles from the Entrance Station. It’s about a 14 mile hike..if your a badass do it!! Once you get to the peak the views are too awesome for words! Definitely a Kodak moment!!
You made it!
You will soon be seeing the reservoir and the massive O’Shaughnessy Dam. But what is going to catch your eye is the huge tunnel in the mountain across the Dam. Wow, that just amazes me how the men of the early 1900s worked so hard to make that mountain tunnel! Walking across the Dam and reading the history of these hardworking men is just mind-blowing.
Coming from a blue collar hardworking family I appreciate all the hard work they have done..ok back to the Hetchy!
As I said before I’m not much of a hiker but I will hike here! It’s more of a nice and easy enjoy the lake and waterfall kind of walk.
This is my favorite day getaway. It’s only 2.5 miles to the Wapama Falls but I can make it last for hours. I enjoy sitting by the big rock boulders on the shoreside and pondering my thoughts. Actually just thanking God for this beautiful place he created for my enjoyment and pleasure..I always see a bear and snake when I come here. The bears usually lay up under the rock overhangings so they are in the shade. I’ve seen them walk down the rock formations with such grace down to the lake. They just looked at me.. I only wish I was so graceful as he was watching me moving over the rocks! Remember bears are wild do not try to pet or approach them. Do not feed them unless you want to lose a arm. May settle for a zoomed in photo instead.. When I finally get to the wooden walk bridges I need a sandwich! I sit close to the wooden walk way on the hot rock formations and feel the warmth of the sun and the rocks.. there are natural springs coming up from the rock formations and it’s perfect for a warm foot soaking! I love it here! I eat my sandwich and bust out my Cowgirls and Angels book. I love to sit here and listen to the wind..I can hear the whispers in the wind that sound like Indian maidens singing..oh I wish I was alive back in those days! To be a Indian girl riding into a Trading Post to trade my furs and beads for supplies I couldn’t provide for myself. My hero is Sacagawea..
Usually after my sandwich and reading my book I continue on for about another hour..it gets prettier ever step I take. Then reality hits me and I think..OK cowgirl..you better start heading back.
It always so pretty walking in however somehow it gets prettier when hiking out. Maybe I’m walking slower..smelling the roses so to say.. appreciating everything I encounter in my way. Even the fast snake that crossed my path.. Dang that got my blood pumping but I can see the tunnel so I’m all good 👍.
The sun is setting as I head out of the Hetch Hetchy Valley and start home. But first, I need a cold drink and a bite to eat at Evergreen Lodge.
I hope you all enjoyed a trip to Hetch Hetchy’s O’Shaughnessy Dam!