Main Features: This topo hiking map as well as the previous and next detailed topo hiking maps are important because they depict the section of the Summit City Creek that is unmaintained. The unmaintained section begins at the trail junction below Fourth of July Lake and extends South to Camp Irene. This section is arguably the hardest part of the Classic Tahoe to Yosemite Trail.
Once you intersect with the Summit City Creek Trail and turn South, down river on Summit City Creek, you will be backpacking across unmaintained "trail," if you are sharp enough to stay on the old trail route, until you reach Camp Irene on the Mokelumne River. Between the junction with Summit City Creek down to Telephone Gulch, the well-trodden trail bed is discernable and easy to follow despite being crossed by many fallen trees and some sections of dense over-growth.
From Horse Canyon South the trail bed deterorates considerably, and South of Telephone Gulch to the open rock area before the first ford of Summit City Creek, the going is pretty rough. There are dense forests of Sword Ferns that have large networks of exposed, elevated roots. The roots want to trip you, so the Swords can impale you. There are wide sections of downed forest and washouts.
These areas are hard to travel across due to the occassional necessity to climb over downed trees and push through dense overgrowth. Footing is very poor. After all that you come to an exposed section of fine granite before reaching the first ford of Summit City Creek.
This beautiful section of exposed rock is well ducked, and leads to the first ford. A nice campsite sits under the edge of the stand of trees just North of the Upper Ford. After fording, turn right to follow the route over a rocky granite outcropping. We are passing around a rough section of Summit City Creek as it passes though a deep and narrow gorge.
Summit City emerges from its tumultous path flowing onto a wide granite flat as our path again accesses the creek. There's a nice campsite on the far South side of the flat. At the end of the flat the route again climbs away from Summit City Creek as it begins its steep drop down a granite encased cut in the mountains. We will make our way down a hot exposed mountain side filled with a dense maze of Manzanita.
At the bottom of our descent we again see Summit City Creek emerging into a densely wooded flat where we again converge with the creek. A short hike through creek-side debris brings us to the lower ford.
refer to the trail guide for more...