Day 77: June 18th
Mile 933.6 (Lyell Fork) to Glen Aulin
It was a frosty morning as the entire meadow was covered in frost. Very pretty, but Deb doesn’t enjoy cold mornings very much.
We made it the nine miles to the Tuolumne Meadows store where we discovered that only one of our resupply boxes had arrived. The other was down in Yosemite Valley. Fortunately the Yosemite Valley post office had noticed about 15 boxes that were going to Tuolumne and sent them by car that morning so we had our second box by 1 pm.
According to the Tuolumne Post office the address is:
c/o Tuolumne Meadows
Yosemite, CA 95389
But this address won’t work with USPS.com and the web site has a different address for Tuolumne Meadows that sometimes gets lost. Anyway both our packages arrived and we were soon back on the trail.
Wow, the next section to Glen Aulin could not be more spectacular. The Tuolumne river is filled with different shades of green – it looked like an artist had drizzled green paint in the river but each shade flowed separately and did not mix with the other shades. It is hard to imagine a photograph capturing the images we enjoyed. Day hikers saw us stopping often to admire the views and told us to keep walking because it gets better and better. And it did. We can’t wait for tomorrow!
Mileage: 14.8 miles
Day 78: June 19th
Glen Aulin to Mile 965.8
Today surprised us. We knew we were in for some climbing from studying the elevation profiles, but we were not expecting such steep grades. Deb is guessing that this is one of the older (or first) trails built in Yosemite – not much hiker traffic today as yesterday. But we still felt very privileged to experience this trail today and enjoyed the green meadows high on the mountain crests, and the rivers low in the valleys.
We ate our dinner in Matterhorn canyon before ending our day with an additional climb halfway up the mountain. Deer are near our campsite so we hope our hiking pole handles are safe (they seek salt on the handles.)
Day 76: June 17th
Mile 916 (above Agnew Meadow) to Mile 933.6 (Lyell Fork)
The Pacific Crest Trail and the John Muir Trail diverge and take separate paths to Thousand Island Lakes and we naturally took the PCT. This path gently climbs and traverses a green valley with small waterfalls and water cascades crossing the trail many times during a given mile. The mountain range across the valley from our path was a beautiful vista of snowy peaks, sometimes capped by the clouds.
The day was very windy and we seemed to adjust our layers every half hour. In the afternoon hours we were climbing over Donahue Pass, the last Sierra pass in the park. The few snow patches were easy to cross. The roughest part of the day was the trail tread before and after the pass – we had to concentrate on our feet as we stepped up, on top, or over big stone steps. Deb won’t miss the big steps!
Tomorrow we pick up a resupply box at the Tuolumne post office, grab a burger (of course), and hike a few more miles away from Tuolumne to camp.
Photo: Thousand Island Lake
Mileage: 17.6 miles
Day 75: June 16th
Red’s Meadow to Mile 916 (above Agnew Meadow)
We had a few chores to finish up in Mammoth Lakes, so we got a late start on the Pacific Crest Trail this morning.
We stopped by the post office shortly after it opened and mailed back Deb’s bear canister and our remaining snow gear. Deb will share Lon’s bear canister until they are no longer required at Sonora Pass and then we will ship that one home too.
We then took a free shuttle bus up to the ski resort/bike park to catch another shuttle ($7 round trip) to Red’s Meadow.
Felt good to be back on the PCT. Lon replaced the Superfeet insoles in his shoes and the new replacements are very comfortable. He also had the tips of his trekking poles replaced by the outfitter in Mammoth.
The PCT diverts from the John Muir Trail today and we were walking new Sierra miles for Deb, along the San Joaquin river – turned out to be a very green and beautiful section. Two passes tomorrow, Island and Donohue, although Lon is calling Island a “pino” (pass in name only.)
It was a windy day and cool temperatures are forecast tonight.
Photo: The Zpacks tent pitched in our sheltered campsite tonight.
Mileage: 9.2 miles
Day 73-74: June 14-15th
We have been taking a zero day in Mammoth Lakes, CA to rest and resupply before continuing along the Pacific Crest Trail to Yosemite National Park. Tomorrow morning we will take the shuttle bus to Red’s Meadow were we exited the trail on Saturday.
We are using this rest stop to eat and eat and eat some more. Lon has lost more than 19 pounds and Deb about 6, and our hiking pants are cinched almost as tight as can be. What a great excuse to eat ice cream!
It has been cold the last few days so we would like some June warmth soon, but not too warm.
Day 72: June 13th
Mile 882.8 to Deer Creek (Mile 901)
The weather seems to have cooled down a bit. We started the day by climbing the two miles of the Pacific Crest Trail and 1,000 feet over Silver Pass (10,700 feet) which fortunately did not have any significant snow.
We continued past very pretty forests, Tully Hole, Purple Lake, and are now camped at Deer Creek.
Tomorrow we will go into the town of Mammoth Lakes to resupply.
Photo: Tully Hole
Mileage 18.3 miles