Hetch Hetchy Vally which is now a reservoir supplying San francisco with water is also a gem that is worth a visit. Much less well known than Yosemite Valley, Hetch Hetchy is a great place for the avid backpacker who wants to get away from the crowds.
The story behind the reservoirs creations is interesting and controversial. It is said, that before it became a reservoir its beauty could rival that of Yosemite Valley. Thousands of feet of granite rock walls with waterfalls cascading down their surfaces.
This was the valley as it would have appeared in the Early 1900’s
At the time of the damns construction Yosemite was already a National Park. After a heated 7 year legal battle construction on the damn began and was finished in 1924.
But don’t let this story deter you from visiting this beautiful place.
It is still worth seeing!
A few things to note if you are visiting are below:
- Your Yosemite Annual Pass is good for Hetch Hetchy! and is available for purchase at any gate for $40
- There are only a certain number of visitors allowed in each day. Get there early in the Summer to secure a permit
- There really are no amenities other than restrooms so bring your own food and drink before you go in.
- There is a great hike across the damn that takes you through a tunnel and out on to the north side of the lake. If you are feeling adventurous the trail will take you around the reservoir to various waterfalls that cascade down the granite.