Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Yosemite Backpacking - Young Lakes/Glen Aulin 8-1-10

Cary and me at Young Lakes
Falls of the Toulumne River
High Country, Yosemite

Last weekend Cary and I went backpacking in the high country of Yosemite. On Friday night we drove up to Toulumne Meadows where we camped under the stars at the backpackers camp.  In the morning we were woken up from various campers yelling "go bear go".  I sat up in my sleeping bag to see a black bear with her cub roaming around the camp.  Apparently the mother bear tried to take a campers backpack.  According to the ranger this bear "green 5 s niner" or something close to that is a regular there.

After the bear sighting we got up and rolled over to the wilderness office and got in line.  We got there around 7:20, a good 10 minutes before it was open.  There was already a line of 15 people waiting for wilderness permits.  About 40 minutes later Cary and I lucked out and got the last 2 permits for the same day!  Our plan was to go up to Young Lakes via the Glen Aulin trail.  After getting the permits we packed our bags and set out near Lembert Dome.  4 hours later we arrived at Young Lakes (6.5 mi).  The hike was mellow and filled with lush vegetation.  We quickly cleared out a camp site and set up our tent.  We took a dip in the lake and relaxed.  That night we took photographs, trying to capture "star trails".

The next morning we took some early morning photographs of the still lake then packed up camp.  We decided to do a 3 mile cross country route from Young Lakes to Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp.  We followed a ridge and then headed down about 1000 feet using landmarks, a compass and a gps to steer us in the right direction.  We did a lot of bush wacking and hopping over dead trees.  In the end it took us about 4 hours to get there.  We thought we were still a good hour away when we stumbled into camp!  That afternoon and night we relaxed near the Toulumne River and took some more photographs.

After a relaxing night we woke up and did a day hike to Water Wheel Falls.  The trail from Glen Aulin followed the Toulumne River with a ton of different falls along the way.  There were wildflowers all over the place. This hike was simply spectacular.  We only saw a handful of people and the falls were huge and spectacular! Water Wheel Falls was great, however, I didn't think it was more extraordinary than the falls leading up to it.  If you are ever in the high country I strongly recommend this hike.

The next morning we woke up early and packed up.  We hiked up the river to Toulumne Falls where I realized both my batteries for my camera were dead. Ugh!  Oh well, it was still great to see it.  Hopefully Cary got some nice shots.  2 hours later we returned to my car where we took a dip in the river.  This time we dove in all the way and man was it cold!  It was great to rinse off  4 days of dirt, however, it was still a bit colder than I expected.

All and all it was a great trip. It was nice to take a leisurely backpacking trip where we focused on taking photographs.    You can check out some of my photographs at:


I will be posting them for the next week as I get time to process them.

Click here to see Cary's Photos

View Yosemite - Glen Aulin/ Young Lakes in a larger map