Zero Mile day in Tuolumne.
Yesterday as I was hiking in to Yosemite, I decided that I didn’t want to rush this section, and wanted to find some ways to explore the park in ways that I haven’t before.
Initially I was thinking about getting a permit to finish the last 22 miles of the JMT and hike down into the valley. But the prospect of setting out for 22 miles was hard to get enthusiastic about this morning particularly since I would need to wait until after the wilderness office opens which means I’d be getting a late start to do pretty substantial miles in one day.
My next thought was to take the bus down to the valley and do a day hike and then take it back up. But I also realized that it’s a Saturday in June meaning the valley is packed and that wasn’t likely to be stress free.
So what I settled on was doing a day hike around Tuolumne. Before that though most everyone I know showed up at the camp store/restaurant so I spent the morning catching up with folks. They had all gone into Mammoth so I hadn’t seen many of them since Bishop.
But they were all heading back out on the trail immediately and I wasn’t, so around noon I left the store and walked a mile to the visitor center to get a recommendation. Since there was no way I was going to be able to do half dome, I settled on another dome, Lembert, which towers over Tuolumne.
Without my pack, since I was operating as a day Hiker, the route up Lembert didn’t take long despite being pretty steep and climbing nearly 2000 feet. It took about 40 minutes to get to the top and the views were definitely worth the effort. After hanging out on the slanted precipice for a while, I headed back down and took a detour to Dog Lake.
Dog Lake is pretty shallow, so it’s a better choice than most to swim in up here. Yesterday as I was trying to get to the campground I passed up the chance to swim in the Lyell Fork, and decided to make a point of swimming in either a lake or river before leaving the park.
So I took the opportunity to check that box right away took a brief swim which should hopefully make up for the lack of a shower in several days. It probably won’t but it’s better than nothing.
Tomorrow I’ll get back on the trail and should be to Sonora in four or five days.