I was sitting at work today and couldn’t stop thinking about how badly I wanted to transport back into the wilderness. Ugh, what I wouldn’t give to be back in Yosemite in that brisk fresh air… Than I realized I never finished sharing our last trip. Let’s take a hike…
Day 2- we start to get a-hiking (my favorite part!). I love getting lost on trails and exploring as far and deep into the desolation as possible. Unfortunately, we could only do about 7 miles a day because we were staying at the campgrounds and hadn’t really conditioned for the altitude in Yosemite. This still gave us plenty of options for day hikes near Tuolumne.
Our first exploration was taking a scenic pass on the JMT/PCT to Lembert Dome and Dog Lake. I have been reading up a lot lately on JMT backpacking and wanted so badly to just step foot on the same path as those lucky enough to make the full journey- it was oddly inspiring and motivational to pass through-hikers on the barely 1-mile stretch we took. Just the small trek was between campgrounds was so beautiful! There were rolling rivers, adorable bridges, mountainous views, shady trees, and I saw my first marmot (no photos of that guy, though)!
On our way to Dog Lake, we took a short stray off path to Lembert Dome. That’s the giant rock you see from the Tuolumne grounds and think “I wanna climb that!” Well…as soon as we started the nearly vertical ascent, I was thinking twice. But, when in Rome! Forward march.
It was much steeper than I thought and my knees were a little wobbly while shuffling across the rock. I did better than I thought. Didn’t get all the way up and around, but still enough to feel somewhat accomplished and take in the scenery. It was one of the overall highlights for me for sure. (And I managed to not pee my pants in fear…hooray)
After about an hour of stumbling like a baby deer, we headed towards Dog Lake. It was a short hike, just behind the dome. The lake was…well, a lake. Nothing too crazy impressive. We walked the perimeter, but there wasn’t much action. We decided to sit along the bay near a large group/family. The kids with the group were playing in the water and discovered a few water snakes tucked into the shoreline which was super amusing.
The water was looking pretty low. You could see the line where it has recessed from and how much of an effect the drought has had in that area. We saw very little wildlife during our time there. Wildflowers were still scattered and in bloom, but being there in the summer, we didn’t expect too much either.
We had done about 6 miles or so up to this point but still wanted to explore more… We gathered out things and headed towards the meadows. While the meadow is notoriously the “touristy” area of Tuolumne, we figured we still had to see what was going on.
Stay tuned for Part 3 where we discover soda springs, huts, streams, and more!