Last month we backpacked in Yosemite with Lila and Chuck! It was absolutely grand. Four days, 40 miles, 6,000 feet of climbing, 6,000 feet of descending. Some great wildlife sightings: one coyote (colloquially known to some of us as a white wolf), three California Black Bears, 2 snakes of indeterminate origin (who wants to stay around long enough to look?) and an enormous Great Gray Owl. We enjoyed great food, evening cards, taking ice cold dips in the Tuolumne River and beautiful scenery.
For those interested in our trip route, here's a park map. We began in Tuolumne Meadows at the Dog Lake trailhead, and hiked 7.5 miles to Young Lakes. Day 2, we hiked to the Tuolumne River, past Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp to Waterwheel Falls. Day 3, we hiked into the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, following the Tuolumne River to Pate Valley. We then hiked out to White Wolf Campground.
The view of part of Tuolumne Meadows.
Lembert Dome, near where we began our hike.
Our first stop at Dog Lake,
Our hike took us through meadows...
... and forests.
This alpine meadow was stunning, and windy.
Here's our tent: if you look closely, you can see Brian holding up his shorts - frozen solid from hanging outside all night.
The lake was a glassy mirror: I couldn't choose which reflection pic to include, so I kept them all.
Pumping water was a morning ritual.
Each morning we took a picture. We're ready for a downhill hike today!
In most places the trail is well established.
Sometimes the trail is hard to see...
We camped next to the river.
We hiked into the canyon - on some incredible terrain.
We hiked along the river most of the day.
Lila spies the trail up ahead.
The camera's timer (and my quick feet) enabled this candid lunch picture.
Our afternoon hike into Pate Valley brought incredible views and steep climbs, but some incredible waterfalls provided nice resting points.
The trail kept going.
After crossing through Pate Valley, which had very few camping options, we found an amazing spot right next to the river. We all enjoyed a very refreshing/numbing dip. We were enjoying dinner when we we saw a mother bear and two cubs!
Our last morning picture at our campsite along the Tuolumne River.
After climbing about 2500 feet, we had lunch and decided to change our plan of being in the wilderness one more night and climbed 1100 more to get to the White Wolf campground, which offered a bit more civilization (hopefully showers!).
Purple flowers in the meadow.
Off the trail!
We camped at White Wolf campground that night, enjoying nearly all the beer, cheetos and potato chips that the campground store had to offer. The next morning we enjoyed the first non-oatmeal breakfast we'd had in a long time at the campground restaurant. We then took a morning tour of Yosemite Valley.
Can you spot the climber? He's on the curve in the bottom left of the picture.
El Capitan! A great trip!