Backpackers Camp at Tuolomne Meadows After our fabulous nine-day backpacking trip last summer through the Dolomites we decided we needed another long pack trip this summer. We have spent lots of time in Yosemite but after all these years hadn’t ever spent time in the backcountry. Based on several friends’ recommendations, we put in for a permit to do the six-day, five-night High Sierra Camp loop in August. We were not only lucky enough to get the permit on the day we wanted, at the sites we wanted, but we also were able to arrange reservations for meals three of the five nights we were out on the trail.
With the backpacking permit also came a camping spot at the backpackers’ camp in Tuolomne meadow the night before beginning our hike. Tuolomne River & Cathedral Range? This made things awfully easy. We drove out to Yosemite the day before and arrived in time to pick up our permit, get oriented and set up camp. It was a beautiful evening shared with the masses. They certainly pack you in at those sites! After a fairly sleepless night we got up, packed up, situated our car for the week and made our way to the Lambert Dome trailhead. Our first day was the shortest and easiest of them all so getting on the trail at 9am wasn’t a problem.
Tuolomne Falls From the trail head we hiked two fairly flat miles that weren’t all that remarkable. But then we hit the Tuolomne River and it all changed. The views of the river were gorgeous. We stopped several times to admire them. A couple miles further down the trail we arrived at Tuolomne Falls where we stopped to take several pictures. Lee even pulled out his tripod. They were gorgeous, even after an incredible dry summer. Our last two miles were all downhill and we arrived at Glen Aulin somewhere between 1-2pm. We found a remote and beautiful campsite and got set up for the evening. Sunset at Glen Aulin We hadn’t yet had lunch so we walked down to the cascading falls and large swimming hole to eat and to swim. The water was freezing cold so we didn’t stay in it for long, but it was refreshing and very pleasant way to spend the afternoon. Fearing sunburns at elevation, we headed back to camp to get dressed and play a few rounds of cribbage. We made an early dinner and then as the sun was setting walked out to the overlook where the Tulomne River meandered out of site and down towards Hetch Hetchy. It really was beautiful. We’d love to go back there.
Pictures of Day 1 are here.