Creek Crossings – Forester Pass to Tuolumne

Mile 784: Bubbs Creek Tributary

May 21st, 2017: Creek almost completely snow bridged over. Will last for several more weeks at least. -Beta

June 14th, 2011: Late afternoon crossing. Easy ford.

Mile 797: Baxter Creek

May 23rd, 2017: Snow bridge. Didn’t even realize we’d crossed it. -Beta

June 13th, 2006: Late afternoon crossing. Thigh deep. “Sketchy”.

Mile 800: Woods Creek

Suspension Bridge.

Undamaged Woods Creek suspension bridge.











May 24th, 2017: Rumors of suspension bridge being damaged were false. Bridge is there and undamaged.

Mile 811: South Fork of the Kings River

May 24th, 2017: Raging river with several solid snow bridge options within a couple hundred yards of the actual trail crossing. Snow bridges won’t last for more than a week, maybe two. -Beta

Big snow bridges over the raging South Fork of the Kings River.











June 18th, 2011: Many, many streams and rivers to cross approaching the South Fork. All manageable, but check out this entry. A classic lesson in remaining diligent in finding optimal crossings and navigating carefully to ensure you don’t cross any streams you’ll have to re-cross. It seems this entry might have been turned around quite a bit in this section.

One option (shown below in yellow) is to not cross the South Fork and simply stay on the east side of the river for a few miles and cross smaller tributaries while paralleling the PCT the whole time. Mentioned here.

Mile 850.1: Evolution Creek Meadow

May 27th, 2017: Crossed Evolution Creek about 3.5 miles upstream of the meadow crossing (approximate location shown in blue in the top image below) on a solid snow bridge. Another snow bridge was noted about 3 miles upstream from the meadow crossing as well, but no others. After crossing, we followed the creek to the meadow crossing where we reconnected with the PCT. -Beta

Crossing Evolution Creek on a snow bridge about 3.5 miles upstream.
Meadow Crossing





















June 22nd, 2006: Five separate fords. Last ford waist deep, slow moving water.

June 21st, 2011: Meadow flooded, but easy, waist deep ford.

July 21st, 2011: Deep and cold, but not hard.


Mile 851: Evolution Creek

May 27th, 2017: Morning observation. Incredible flow. Impassible at trail crossing. -Beta

June 15th, 2006: Impassible at trail crossing. Morning crossing. Thigh-high, fast moving water 20 to 30 yards upstream.

June 22nd, 2006: Afternoon attempt. Impassible at trail crossing. 20 to 30 yards upstream was chest high and impassible.

June 21st, 2011: Morning observation. Impassible at trail crossing.

Mile 868: West Fork Bear Creek

May 29th, 2017: Many snow bridges to cross that will persist for weeks, BUT crossing was a mistake. A steep drop downhill brought us to the Bear Creek crossing which was a bit of a debacle. See below. -Beta

June 23rd, 2006: Late afternoon crossing. Hard to find actual trail crossing. Waist deep, relatively slow current.

June 22nd, 2011: Morning Crossing. Very easy upstream from trail crossing.

Mile 869: Bear Creek

May 29th, 2017: 6 a.m. crossing attempt. 25F ambient temp. Hip-deep, swift, brutally cold. One of our party was swept off his feet, lost trekking poles. Another of our party narrowly made it across. I turned around and returned back up to the West Fork of Bear Creek and crossed snow bridges upstream until I could get around the crossing. Attempting the crossing was a mistake. Use the alternate (with images) below. -Beta

Easily crossable snow bridges about 0.7 miles upstream of Bear Creek trail crossing.











June 23rd, 2006: Late afternoon crossing. Trail crossing appeared impassible. Crossed downstream where the river split in two with a small island in the middle.

June 21st, 2011: Afternoon crossing. Crotch deep. Mentions that trail rumors at this point are that North Yosemite is impassible (which ended up being false).

June 22nd, 2011: Morning crossing. Downstream from the trail crossing, the creek splits into three streams. The third stream was still knee to thigh deep, fast moving water.

July 22nd, 2011: Afternoon crossing at the trail. Hip-deep, swift water.

One method of crossing the West Fork of Bear Creek and Bear Creek itself is to tackle its tributaries individually (shown in green below). Instead of crossing the West Fork, head east up the Sandpiper Lake Trail and cross the outlet of Lou Beverly Lake. From there, head downhill and cross the East Fork and link up with the PCT on the east shore of the traditional Bear Creek crossing.

Mile 879: North Fork of Mono Creek. First Crossing

May 30th, 2017: Very early morning crossing on large log about 100 feet upstream. Creek raging below log. -Beta

June 25th, 2006: Morning crossing. Narrow ford on Trail.

June 23rd, 2011: Morning crossing. Upstream burnt log to cross with dry feet.

July 25th, 2011: Vaguely mentioned as easy.

Mile 882: North Fork of Mono Creek. Second Crossing

May 30th, 2017: Crossed about a half-mile before the trail crossing on a large snow bridge. Bridge wouldn’t persist for more than a couple weeks. -Beta

June 25th, 2006: Morning Crossing. Ford on Trail. Intimidating but relatively easy.

June 23rd, 2011: Morning Crossing. Missed trail crossing and went up the wrong trail (toward Mott Lake) for 30 minutes. Near trail crossing they found an island they could cross to on a log. From the island, a second log got them within four feet of the other bank and had to jump across the gap.

July 25th, 2011: Vaguely mentioned as easy.

Mile 883: Silver Creek

May 30th, 2017: Most dangerous and intimidating encounter we faced up to Mammoth. Used planted ice axe to lower into the waterfall jet. Stepped across exposed slippery rocks above trail to a fallen tree we could use as a handrail with the waterfall at our backs. A slip would’ve been fatal. No alternate that we could find. Once the snow is gone from this section, the crossing will be safer but still loud, wet, and cold. -Beta

Silver Creek waterfall crossing











June 25th, 2006: Morning Crossing. Waterfall crossing with overwhelming spray and current. Must cross at the waterfall.

June 23rd, 2011: Morning Crossing. Group initially turned away from intimidating waterfall crossing. Crossed after another group of thru-hikers went through knee/thigh deep water on the trail.

July 25th, 2011: Vaguely mentioned as easy.

Mile 892: Lake Virginia Inlet

May 31st, 2017: Lake frozen over. Walked right across. -Beta

Lake Virginia. Easy walk across.











June 26th, 2006: Morning attempt. Too deep to ford. Took a wide arc north to avoid fording.

Mile 927: Rush Creek

Although not mentioned by other journals, this crossing can be safer by heading upstream (shown below in yellow). If still uncrossable, Rush Creek could potentially be crossed even further upstream, and then Donahue Pass could be approached via an alternate route (shown in blue below).