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Re: TM/Glen Aulin/ WW Falls / Elizabeth LakeTrip Report (MidJuly)

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TM/Glen Aulin/ WW Falls / Elizabeth LakeTrip Report (MidJuly)
August 23, 2011 07:24PM
Hello fellow Yosemite Adventurers,

Thanks to great advice from many of you, my friends and I had a great time on our backpacking trip from July 15th to the 19th. I apologize this report is so late. But I thought some people may still be interested.

Our original plan was to start at the May Lake trail head and head north to the Tuolumne river, and west to WW falls, then back to TM. Due to the conditions of the trail (told up to 10 ft of snowpack, postholes, etc) we canceled our May Lake trailhead permit reservation, and got a first come permit for Glen Aulin Trailhead (pass through was full).

Here is a link to the pictures we took along the way:


We hiked from TM and Camped at Glen Aulin packers camp the first night. Delaney creek was flowing, but we found logs to cross and stayed dry. The views of the Cathedral Range were phenomenal along the Tuolumne river. As you can see in the pictures, Tuolumne Falls was very dramatic.

The next day we had a leisurely day hike to the falls and Return Creek and back. Glen Aulin was wet as expected. But it wasn't as bad as the rangers made it out to be. There was probably a few hundred yards of walking through slow water between ankle and knee deep. It actually felt really nice on the legs because it was pretty warm out. We saw a couple people log hopping and I think they made it all the way through without getting wet. Although it probably took them hours to do it. Its much easier just to put on sandals and get wet. More fun too.

We made it down to Le Conte falls where we bumped into two separate groups of people who thought it was WW falls. Thanks to the forums I read on here, I knew it wasn't. We continued down to WW falls and as the pictures show, it was roaring. The mist was shooting off the rocks 50 ft high and being blown back toward the top of the falls. Standing near the mist was a great way to cool off.

On the way back to Glen Aulin, we decided to take a swim across the river. We found a nice rock to jump off with what looked like a pristine beach on the other side of the river. I went first. I knew the water was going to be cold, but WOW! Once I hit the water I instantly regretted my decision. I swam quickly to the other side and dragged myself onto the sandy beach. I was in agony. My friends called from the other side "Is it worth it?". I said yes of course. I didn't want to be the only idiot. They both jumped in and swam across. The beach we were on was nice at first, and then the mosquitos came. They were eating us alive. Three stooges in nothing but skibbies stuck between an army of mosquitos, and cold cold cold water. The only thing more uncomfortable than that freezing water was the the hundreds of mosquitos stinging us. So we jumped and swam back across. We eventually made our way back to the Glen Aulin packers camp and warmed up some nice mac n cheese burritos.

The next day we hiked back to TM. We saw a snake on a dead tree along the river (see picture). Not sure what kind of snake he was, but he had nice enough manners to share the log with me while I pumped some water.

After setting up camp at TM packers campground, we set off at 7 pm for a night hike up to Elizabeth Lake. It was amazing. The trail was still in poor conditions. Lots of water and snow. But it added to the excitement. We made it to the top just as the sun was going down. We filled our water bottles at the creek and drank the best water I have ever had. Ice cold, delicious water. Then we were on the move. We had head lamps to light the way down. A flask of whiskey kept us warm. By the time we made it back to the campground it was completely dark except for the moonlight. It was an amazing hike and one of the highlights of the trip.

The trip was great and I am happy that we didn't make any headlines. If anyone has any questions about my trip I would be happy to answer. I also have more pictures and videos to share if interested.

Thanks again to all of you for the great advice.

Happy Camping!

avatar Re: TM/Glen Aulin/ WW Falls / Elizabeth LakeTrip Report (MidJuly)
August 24, 2011 07:02AM
Numba 64 - dats Thistle.... smack it around when you see it... it's not native

The snake is a Mountain Gartersnake.

Tanks for sharon

(ooo... and yeah, u nuts for going in da cold water... (or one heck o lot braver than me!))

Chick-on is looking at you!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/24/2011 07:04AM by chick-on.
Re: TM/Glen Aulin/ WW Falls / Elizabeth LakeTrip Report (MidJuly)
August 24, 2011 12:48PM
California Thistle, native. I've whacked a lot of invasive Bull Thistle in Mariposa Grove on a 'Vol. in Parks' weekend and my local parks.
avatar Re: TM/Glen Aulin/ WW Falls / Elizabeth LakeTrip Report (MidJuly)
August 24, 2011 01:18PM
So there is good thistle and bad thistle?

Can you describe the big differentiation so I don't go whacking the wrong one... ???

Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: TM/Glen Aulin/ WW Falls / Elizabeth LakeTrip Report (MidJuly)
August 24, 2011 01:39PM
Skinny leaves, gray green.

There is also a patch of Anderson's Thistle at the end of the Lembert Dome trail at Tioga Rd. (Near TM Lodge) Upright flower head, purple stem.
avatar Re: TM/Glen Aulin/ WW Falls / Elizabeth LakeTrip Report (MidJuly)
August 25, 2011 03:02AM
Thanks for the trip report and sharing your photos. Looked like a wonderful trip!
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