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Yosemite Is Better: Fall Recovery Day-Hikes

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Yosemite Is Better: Fall Recovery Day-Hikes
October 17, 2012 09:45PM
My wife has been unable to enjoy a lot of the trips I've taken this season due to a bad high-ankle sprain... Her recovery has been slow, but enough progress had been made that we were able to take a few short late-season day hikes over the past few weekends:

Clouds Rest

Yes, been there and done that, but it's a favorite. One big difference: very little water. Tenaya Creek? Not so much:



Last year, for comparison:



All water sources north of the Sunrise junction were dry. The tarn between the Sunrise Lakes and Forsyth junctions was low, but had water, as did the creek just south of this tarn. Given that this is a record-dry year, I think we can concur with the pink chicken: these water sources are "reliable".

The view from the top was wonderful, as always:



Unfortunately, the dry conditions resulted in very aggressive yellow jacket-y bugs, who were very interested in my turkey sandwich... On the other hand, there was no interest in some of the other food I'd brought along, despite having left a hand-written invitation:



(Oh, one more thing: whoever has been pruning the small whitebark pines on Clouds Rest to build illegal fires... please stop! Let's not give the park service a good reason to ban camping on CR like they've done for HD...)

El Capitan

Yep, another repeat, but this time from Tamarack Flat. The smoke from the Cascade Fire was a bit thick in the morning, but we were past most of it by the Cascade Creek bridge:



We took the "shortcut" mentioned in the Schaffer book--much nicer than the officially-signed trail (shortcut climbs to left, 100-200 yards south of bridge):



Cascade Creek was the last water until Ribbon Creek, which had only a few stagnant ponds (conclusion: not reliable). The views of and from El Cap were of course very nice:



(Similar note: while fires are technically legal on El Cap, it doesn't count as "dead and down" wood if you had to saw it off the tree first... At 7,200' in the Sierra, you shouldn't need a fire, even in winter... sheesh!)

Lyell/Ireland/Evelyn Loop

Another repeat, this time with much less snow... We followed the Lyell Fork to the Ireland Creek Junction, looped towards Evelyn Lake, then descended the Evelyn Creek outlet to try out some easy cross-country travel. The Lyell Fork had some water, as did Ireland Creek near where the trail leaves the creek.



The views from the Ireland/Evelyn saddle were excellent, including much of the Kuna Creek headwaters area:



(Alas, the trap didn't work, despite the correct bait...)

Evelyn Creek was dry:



(it was only mostly dry in mid-August: not reliable. Oh, and WTF?)

Rafferty? Also dry, even at the trailside falls:



Compare to last June or so:



Tuolumne definitely had that "end of the season" feel, the peak summer season's crowds now gone and the light taking on a warmer, more golden hue instead of the harsh "high noon" light more typical of summer.



Summer may be over, but fortunately it's not the only season Yosemite is accessible.

More Pictures
avatar Re: Yosemite Is Better: Fall Recovery Day-Hikes
October 17, 2012 11:03PM
Thanks for the trip report and the link to all the photos.

Photos from Cloud Rest and El Cap never get old. Surprised that Rafferty Creek was bone dry. (I thought it would have at least a trickle of water.)
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avatar Re: Yosemite Is Better: Fall Recovery Day-Hikes
October 18, 2012 10:49AM
Glad to hear that your wife's ankle is getting better.
avatar Re: Yosemite Is Better: Fall Recovery Day-Hikes
October 19, 2012 07:36AM
Tanks for Sharon Aaron

You show why it's nice to repeat. Different conditions and time of year change the feel.

Have a great time at/in CR
wink



Chick-on is looking at you!
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