Paddling Yosemite????


I am planning on doing some backpacking in Yosemite later this month and want to bring my kayak for an overnighter. I don’t know much about Yosemite, but Hetch Hetchy (think that is what it is called) seems to be the only sizeable lake. I think I read that it is 8 miles long??? I am thinking that if it is truly 8 miles long then maybe a paddle on this lake and then up the Tolumne River that flows into it would make a good overnight trip.

I would be paddling my fiberglass sea kayak so I really would not want to paddle too far up the river if it super shallow/rocky, and would not be able to go to far up it if the current is very strong.

Has anyone every paddled here??? Any advice? I’m not even sure if you are allowed to paddle here or not.



spent 4 days kayaking the arms
of Yellowstone Lake, we flew into Jackson Hole, hiked in Grand Teton and then hiked in Yellowstone then hooked up with the local outfitter for shuttles/boats/basic gear other than sleeping bags which we took with us.

Incredible place to paddle. Words to the wise, there are leeches in the small bays attached to Yellowstone Lake, when camping always think like Griz would, and remember you are paddling/hiking on the Earth’s largest ACTIVE caldera.

Go over to Twin Lakes
Just NE of the park. The access is in Bridgeport off 395

No boats
I’m pretty sure they don’t allow boats on Hetch Hetchy. A shame since it is extremely beautiful. There are trails around the perimeter.

My wife and I encountered (and quickly backed away from) a bear cub on the trail there last November.

No boating
or fishing is permitted at Hetch Hetchy. But Tsunami’s right: there is fine paddling just outside the park. Besides Twin Lakes, Tenaya is small but worth a short paddle just for the views. June Lake Loop, just south of 120 off 395 offers paddling on Grant, Silver, Gull and June Lakes. Crowley near Mammoth is a large lake that’s good for paddling.

The area’s unique opportunity is Mono Lake. This is a BIG piece of water, and wind can come up suddenly. Best to paddle early in the day, and to be prepared for some weather. You can paddle around tufa towers topped with osprey nests, paddle to an island with a hotsprings that makes the lake steam, see countless thousands of shorebirds and waterfowl, and marvel at the wall of the Sierra rising from the high desert. Hetch Hetchy pales in comparison.

Hecth Hechy Is Forbidden

– Last Updated: Jun-03-05 4:29 PM EST –

But some guys have been know to sneak in camoflage inflatables....;-)

I prefer Sonora Pass To Yosemite. The scenary is just as awesome with less crowds. Lake Beardsley will be full with nice waterfalls this spring.Also, Sonora Pass is already open, and Tioga will not be open for a while yet.

It has been a good snowpack year, so the waterfalls in Yosemite will be full right now. By summer the place will be packed like Disney Land.

Great info!!!
Thanks. I am very interested in Mono Lake and the June Lake Loop, but have some questions.

-can you camp along them? I would plan to do an overnight trip

-Is the June Lake Loop a series of connected lakes, a series of lakes requiring a short portage, or would have have to drive to get from one to the other? Sounds like this might make an interesting trip for an overnight paddle if I could do it without having to drive/shuttle.

-Does anyone have anymore information on the June Lake Loop? I was able to find quite a bit on the internet about Mono Lake, but not as much about the June Lake Loop.

-are they both free from boat / beach goers? I would prefer a secluded paddle rather than having to battle it out with wave runners.

thanks again