A Peak Experience

July 28, 2016

I’ve probably used that clever title before. Please forgive.

Our collective objective today was to climb Tuolumne Peak. I knew Peter and Jim would have no issues, and I had hopes for me… so we started out with optimism.

Drove up to the May Lake turn off, three miles beyond Olmsted. There’s a parking lot a couple miles in along a dirt road, which serves as an easy and accessible trailhead for the May Lake High Sierra Camp. Have used this trailhead numerous times, and love this short little 1.2 miles into the lake.

And wow, nothing beats May Lake for beauty. Mt. Hoffman is off to the left, out of view…


… and Tuolumne Peak, our destination, is to the right:



At the recommendation of Nester, an interesting fellow who’s been a host/waiter at Tuolumne Meadows lodge for the last five years (and who comes from Long Beach, as it turns out), we sought out Brian, a long time staffer at May Lake, to inquire about the best route up Tuolumne Peak. He recommended something entirely different than we’d planned, a route that would save us maybe five or six miles. Good tip!

We set out. the trail along the lake is so pretty:


After about a half mile, came across this lovely meadow, thick in yellow wildflowers..


Then, this one…


Bore off the main trail at this point, and meandered northward.. more good views, this one of the peak (though not sure which is the real one in there):


We went another half mile or so and I realized, 1) my hip wasn’t going to make it, and 2) I didn’t want to have to retrace too much of the off-trail stuff by myself, so turned around.


I returned to May Lake and found a good spot under a tree (or twenty):


And did this:


For the next three or four hours.

Ate lunch, hung around with this guy:


And this guy:


And zoned out on views of Mt. Hoffman (which is behind those two prominent points):


Peter and Jim returned after a great, great trip to the top [Jim’s pictures coming]. Said they found the route, most of it was actually an unmaintained, but clear, trail, and it was done of the best views of the whole of Yosemite.

Headed down to the car, and back.

This being our last day, I decided to take a short walk up the Dana Fork.. mostly just a sentimental jaunt.

The thunderheads were building, something we didn’t see much of at all this trip..


A nice view downstream:


Sat for a spell…


Sad, of course, that it’s our last day.