Water under the bridge
A 26-day mother-and-daughter backpacking trip along the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River in Yosemite National Park and onto the John Muir Trail to its terminus on top of Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park provided much in the way of scenery. But it wasn’t all pretty peaks, meandering meadows, lovely lakes, rocks, flowers, and trees.
Here are some manmade structures that added scenic value to the trails while providing a simplified crossing of some major waterways, of which we are appreciative. No two bridges are the same, and each has architectural significance as well as utility.
While there are plentiful bridges in the High Sierra backcountry, there are also dozens of inlets, outlets, creeks, brooks, and rivers that require hopping across on rocks, balancing on logs, or a combination of both. Trekking poles are extremely useful during these crossings.
On this midsummer trip following four low-snowpack winters, there was just one ford that required the removal of footwear and wading across in knee-deep water: Evolution Creek in Kings Canyon National Park (Day 14; Mileage: 125; Elevation: 9,400).
Click on the arrows by the above photo to see the more than one dozen bridges that span the waterways of the Sierra.