Mileage: 6.76 miles/10.87 km
Elevation Gain: 1,332 ft/406 m
The start of our hike at Hetch Hetchy took us down from the overnight camping park lot across the O'Shaugnessy Dam. This rises 430 ft above the floor of the Canyon. It has been years since I have walked across a dam; looking down at the base of the dam and the force of the water coming out gave some perspective both of the power of the water as well as how "high" up we actually were on the hike.
Emerging from the tunnel that you can see on the far edge of the dam, we began our trek along the reservoir's edge. The trail at this part was fairly level. The temperature was in the mid-70's as we wandered up, passing by day high hikers going as far as Wapama Falls or even Rancheria Falls, where we would spend the night.
The trail began to rise away from the reservoir. As one might expect, the rock here is largely various types of granite. The views remained spectacular.
We were fortunate in that this has been a very wet year in California, so there was an abundance of water which fueled the waterfalls which the higher parts of the Sierra can be known for. This is Tueeulala Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in the U.S.:
But even small, nameless falls contributed their own music:
The Kolana Rock:
Continuing along the trail, we came to Wapama Falls, a year round (or almost year round fall) that drops 1,100 feet. We had brought our rain gear in anticipation that we would either get terribly wet or that the bridge might even be impassable (it is, occasionally). We were fortunate: although definitely misted, there was no need to get our pack covers and raincoats out.