Start – Falls Creek, Mile 987, 6:15 am
End – Mile 1006, 5:15 pm
Miles – 19
Yosemite really held up to the bitter end. The trail today was a gradual ride up to Dorothy Lake, walking most of the time along Falls Creek. Aside from the mosquitos it was gorgeous scenery the whole way walking through meadows and along the creek and then coming to one of the most picturesque lakes yet (it’s hard to rate them).
Right after Dorothy Lake the trail goes up slightly and then you’re at the Pass and a sign marking your entry into the Toiyabe National Forest. I tried to sit up at the Pass and soak it all in but the mosquitoes were so thick that I cut things short and started down the north side.
At first the change in landscape is subtle as there are still small alpine lakes all around, but after a mile of so it’s apparent that you’re no longer in the park.
Not that the landscape it’s pretty, it’s just not Yosemite. No more granite peaks surrounding you in every direction. The creeks are smaller and the forest isn’t as lush. But it’s still a great area to hike.
As I went along further I happened upon a rock monument noting that I was crossing the 1000 mile threshold, which felt pretty monumental to me. So I decided to grab some pictures and stay there to eat lunch. That was fortunate because I was able to help some other hikers take their pictures too, including a guy name 40 Prime who it turned out is from San Jose. We had been leapfrogging for two days but hadn’t talked much so it was good to have a chance to get to know him a bit.
After that my plan was just to make it partway up the ridge to Sonora Pass. The climb is pretty steep and the elevation is back over 10,000 feet, so I wanted to split it into two and do part of it today and finish it in the morning.
Along this section the trail started looking more like a desert again, with the trees spaced out more and dirt for the ground. But as I started the climb around Kennedy Canyon the hills took on a lush green amid the remaining snow patches and the trees became smalls stands, which gave the area a look similar to hiking in the east bay hills.
In fact where I’m camping really feels like that, and I’ve got a strong breeze to help complete the image. Tomorrow I have 10’miles to complete to get to Sonora Pass, the first two of which are the remainder of the climb up to the ridge.
The ridgeline through here is supposed to be great so the morning hike should be pretty nice.