The legendary Yosemite Valley drug aircraft crash


An excerpt from the award-winning film ‘Valley Uprising’ that documents one of the most legendary moments in Yosemite climbing history: the 1977 drug plane crash.

One of the most legendary moments in Yosemite climbing history didn’t unfold on the huge granite walls of El Capitan or Half Dome, but actually on the shores of Lower Merced Pass Lake, a rather obscure spot of water high above the valley which until the start of 1977 almost no one knew about.

Things changed dramatically that winter when Camp 4 climbers overheard that a plane flying from Mexico full of high-grade marijuana had crashed into the lake in December 1976. Although the Park Rangers had already secured some of the weed, an incoming winter storm had convinced them to put off salvage operations until spring. The Rangers had however, in their own words“underestimated the entrepreneurial spirit of certain members of the community” up at Dope Lake… 

This clip features in the award-winning feature documentary Valley Uprising by Nick Rosen, Peter Mortimer and Josh Lowell.


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