Bennettville Hike

August 5, 2014

First day is always about acclimatization.  If we’re smart, we look for a hike that is not terribly strenuous, but still gets us out and about (because we’re here to hike) and also works to increase our red blood cell supply. You know.

Plus, we’re always looking for a hike we’ve not done.

Bennettville was that hike.

Parked across the road from the Tioga Campground just outside the Tioga gate, starting around 9800′.  We headed up the hill until we found a small lake, on the other side of which was a trail that lead to an old mine (in use from 1882-1884).

Here you can see some of its tailings:



Here’s the mine, close up… a deep tunnel, some remaining tracks, a blower and some sort of steam engine.  I think.


Visible down the hill were a couple remaining buildings from the small mining settlement of Bennettville:


And closer up:



They’ve restored these a little. Below is the bunkhouse. We went inside the smaller of the two buildings (the former assay office).


Here’s an explanation:


So that was all interesting, if you like that kind of thing, but I enjoyed the hiking more.

Some shots…

Jim’s trying to figure out how best to cross this bit of water:


Peter has an idea:


Which worked pretty well!


I took one boot off and stepped right into the water, crossing easily… while Peter did this (for him: easy and fun):



We wandered about another mile up the valley past a couple lakes (Shell, and Fantail where we ate lunch)…. and eventually got to Spuller Lake.  From there we could sort of see the valley we hiked through two years ago to get to the route up the East side of Mt. Conness, 12,648′ (which Peter and Jim would try again this year).


It was extremely cold! I can’t remember the last time I hiked in Yosemite, in summer, in long pants and down…wishing I’d had gloves!

But it was very pretty!!


And we had this guy with us…


So… definitely not complaining.