Tag Archives: Tuolumne Meadows

Yosemite Hike: Gaylor Lakes

As we prepared for our summer trip to Yosemite, we planned on doing two hikes. The first hike would be the Panorama Trail with our friends Robyn and Jason. The second hike we intended to do was the hike to Cathedral Lakes.

Our Panorama Trail hike did a number on our out-of-shape legs. And although we had two full days to recover, we seriously doubted our ability to take on another “moderate” trail. So I pulled out our handy book – Yosemite National Park: A Complete Hiker’s Guide – and started browsing for alternatives in the high country.

The morning of our final day, we got going early to drive up to the Tuolumne Meadows area and check out the hike to Gaylor Lakes.

DSC04720

What we gathered from our book was that the Gaylor Lakes hike was “easy” (a relative term for Yosemite hikes), offered beautiful scenery the likes of the Cathedral Lakes hike, and saw far fewer hikers. Winner!

The trailhead is located just inside the Tioga Pass entrance. It’s a pretty steep climb from there to the top of the ridge, but it’s not a long climb. Just as we were starting to regret our choice, the trail evened out and we were rewarded with glorious views of Dana Meadows and the surrounding mountains.

DSC04728

While the views behind us were beautiful, they were nothing compared to what awaited us just beyond the ridge…

DSC04731

IMG_2497

IMG_2493

The first lake you see is Middle Gaylor Lake. The lake is a good size and crystal clear. We made our way along the north side of the lake and then headed out towards Upper Gaylor Lake.

DSC04741

DSC04749

At this point, we started to encounter larger patches of snow. The snow was quickly melting, and the trail was more of a stream than a walkable path. We made it to the south edge of Upper Gaylor Lake and hit our end point. We were hoping to make it a little farther and get to the Great Sierra Mine, but the snow cancelled those plans. So we turned around and found a nice spot to sit, eat our snacks, and take in the view.

DSC04753

DSC04770

Seriously, I never wanted to leave. But eventually, it was time to start the hike out.

DSC04796

And carefully make our way down the steep stretch we struggled to hike up.

DSC04801

We absolutely loved the Gaylor Lakes hike in Yosemite National Park! It gave us just the right amount of challenge and rewarded us with amazing views. And our book was true to its word – There were barely any hikers out there. We encountered two guys headed out to fish, a dad and two boys heading back from fishing, and two other couples just hiking. For Yosemite, this is a rare occurrence. We soaked it up.

A beautiful day and a fun hike were the perfect endings to our time in Yosemite National Park and our summer vacation as a whole.

A Day of Rest and Relaxation in Yosemite

After a strenuous hike along the Panorama Trail, a day of rest and relaxation was exactly what the vacation ordered.

We said goodbye to our friends Jason and Robyn after breakfast on our second full day in Yosemite. We knew that we would be taking it easy, because our legs were in pain. We hobbled out to our car and decided to drive up towards Tenaya Lake. We just wanted to find a good spot to sit and do nothing. And there is no better place to do nothing than in one of my favorite spots in the whole park.

DSC04634

We claimed a great slab of granite and broke out our lunch snacks. And we just sat. It was perfect.

DSC04644

DSC04646

IMG_2404

We hung out at Tenaya Lake for about an hour, and then we headed further up the Tioga Road to Tuolumne Meadows. Once again, we found a hunk of granite and just sat.

DSC04651

We enjoyed the peace of Tuolumne Meadows and watched a rainstorm slowly roll in. We were actually pretty pumped to experience a storm in Yosemite. In two previous trips, we had never had a rainy day.

The second we saw lightening, though, we headed for the car. We started the drive back to Yosemite Valley, and caught a few cool glimpses of the passing storm.

DSC04663

DSC04686

We also saw our second bear of the trip, and it was a big one! We managed to get some of our best bear pictures ever before the inevitable crowds arrived.

IMG_2451

Even though we didn’t do much, it was one of the most perfect days I’ve spent in Yosemite.

* Patagonia might be my new favorite brand after this trip. I am in love with the “plaid” shirt I wore this day. I also picked up their MiniMass Messenger Bag for the trip, in hot pink of course. I love it, too! A gear review is in order soon.

Complete California Vacation 2011 Series

Lembert Dome

Well, I clearly took the whole vacation recap to a whole new level this summer  😉 My dinky posts from last summer’s Yosemite trip pale in comparison to the 17 full posts for this summer’s Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and San Francisco adventure. Whew!

In case you missed any of it – and to just make it easier to access the whole series of posts – here’s a recap of the recaps. Enjoy!

Yosemite Arrival

Tuolumne Meadows Lodge

Tour of Tuolumne Meadows Lodge

Mono Lake

An Evening in Tuolumne Meadows

Hiking Lembert Dome

Exploring Tuolumne Meadows

Stop in Yosemite Valley

Onward to SEKI

First Taste of Sequoia National Park

No Room at the Inn

Kings Canyon

Tokopah Falls

The Giant Sequoias

Moro Rock Madness

Muir Woods

San Francisco in Pictures

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...