LABOR DAY WEEKEND - 2002
This 4-day trip mostly followed the Pacific Crest Trail from Ansel Adams Wilderness to Yosemite NP, then back and out at Silver Lake (near June Lake). Special thanks to my aptly-named friend Bob who gave me a lift to Mammoth Lakes to begin my hike, and for also picking me up at the finish. Way to go, BOB! Bob and the Antelope Valley Desert Divers do an annual trip to June and Silver Lakes where they dive the lakes and retreive trash, and they were quite helpful to my plan to make this 40 mile trip.
Bob drops me off at Mammoth Mountain to catch the bus to the Agnew Meadows trailhead. I look clean and bright.
The Ritter Range and the Minarets from the PCT, with Shadow Lake below
Thousand Island Lake and Banner Peak. One of the most scenic pictures in the Sierras.
On this first day I did see a few people, but hiked alone all day. Ended up hiking over 12 miles, stopping about 7 pm. This was my very quiet camp on Rush Creek at the end of the first day.
Day 2, heading out and looking back at the Ritter Range.
A few hours later and I'm having lunch on 11000' Donahue Pass.
I found these big obsidian tool flakes on the pass. Lots of passes in this part of the Sierra were trading spots for thousands of years. Tribes on the Eastern Sierra traded their obsidian tools and projectile points with people from the west side. One obsidian source (Obsidian Dome near Mammoth Lakes) is probably less than 25 walking miles from here, and was the likely source of this stone.
I am dropping into Lyell Canyon, a long southward-trending finger from Yosemite's Tuolumne Meadows. Here's a reflection of clouds at the first water crossing. Lyell is notorious for naughty bears so I'm calling today a short day and staying around treeline instead of hiking farther downcanyon where bears are active.
I camped at 10000' by this unnamed lake in Upper Lyell Canyon. It was pretty cool here overnight. There were a few other guys camped here too.
Climbing back over Donahue Pass on the morning of Day 3, I took this picture of the glaciers above.
On Island Pass, approaching Thousand Island Lake again. This isn't the shortest route to Silver Lake but it is the prettiest.
3rd night's camp at Clark Lakes. I arrived around dark. These trapped pocket lakes sit on the top of a volcanic ridge. It was utterly silent here without any creeks or running water. No wind, no water, no crickets, nothing. It was a nice campsite but I didn't sleep well because of the quiet. I resolve to always find running water whenever possible on future trips.
Day 4: another of the Clark Lakes which made a good picture. I was almost tempted to go for a swim here.
After hiking 5 miles, including around Gem Lake (the long way out), I can finally see Silver Lake! Here my hike ends. Bob picked me up, I got a shower at the campground, and I camped with the AV Desert Divers that night before driving home the next morning.