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Searching for Ansels campsite

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Searching for Ansels campsite
July 25, 2013 05:08PM
In 1938, Ansel Adams took a trip to Yosemite National Park with friends Georgia O'Keeffe, David McAlpin, and Godfrey and Helen Rockefeller. One of their destinations was along the Lyell fork of the Merced river, Ansels favorite camp. This past week as I hiked through the area I tried to find the campsite. Follow along...

Here is where the Lyell Fork of the Merced crosses the trail. I leave the trail and follow the river upstream a ways to see where it takes me.

Green meadows, a lazy river and towering peaks soon appear.

It reminds me of that other Lyell Fork.

I am starting to see the appeal.

Those impossibly green meadows are right behind these camp sheltering trees.

Yes, I think this might be it. A massive cut log, rock seating and fire ring. No dates are carved anywhere, but looks to me it could be from 1938.

I mark the spot on my map.

And continue on up towards the lake basin above the Lyell Fork.
avatar Re: Searching for Ansels campsite
July 25, 2013 07:46PM
Nice pictures, and an interesting way to find an established campsite off-trail.
avatar Re: Searching for Ansels campsite
July 25, 2013 10:37PM
Thanks for your informative trip report!

This was the itinerary of Ansel and friends 1938 wilderness trip through Yosemite (according to the exhibit that you referenced):

1. On Friday, September 9, 1938, Adams took the group to Glacier Point, where he pointed out all the remarkable places the party would be visiting.

2. On Sunday, September 11, the group left Best's Studio and the Yosemite Valley. Best's studio was originally owned by Adams' father-in-law, Harrie Cassie Best. In 1936, Adams and his wife, Virginia, inherited the studio, which is now the Ansel Adams Gallery.

3. They took the Snow Creek Trail to the Tuolumne Meadows.

4. They spent their first night at the Budd Creek Campground.

5. Monday, the party turned south, on the Sunrise Trail to the Echo Peaks, where they camped for two nights.

6. Wednesday, they trekked to the Merced Lake High Sierra Camp.

7. The party visited Washburn Lake while at Merced Lake.

8. Thursday, they spent a chilly night at about 10,000 feet at the Vogelsang High Sierra Camp.

9. Friday morning, they went to the Lyell Fork of the Merced River, Adams' favorite camping spot. The party stayed on the Lyell Fork for three nights, Friday through Sunday.

10. While on the Lyell Fork, they took a day trip up to Isberg Pass and Post Peak Pass for a grand view of the High Sierra. On Monday, they descended and slept at Merced Lake. Tuesday, September 20, they returned to the Yosemite Valley, passing Nevada and Vernal Falls en route.

Here's a link to more information about the exhibit including some of the exhibits photos and the captions for all the photos shown in the exhibit plus brief bios of the participants of the trip.


avatar Re: Searching for Ansels campsite
July 28, 2013 07:59AM
Tanks Katy!

Inspired me to hit those lakes sooner rather than later.
Did you go explore those lakes further upstream at all?
We've only been up as far as your photo #2.
Although this time... I'll hit it from near Foerster.
smiling smiley

Have fun

Chick-on is looking at you!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/28/2013 08:09AM by chick-on.
avatar Re: Searching for Ansels campsite
July 28, 2013 11:58AM
Those lakes at the top of Lyle Creek going up to Rodgers Peak is on my list.
Re: Searching for Ansels campsite
July 28, 2013 01:05PM
Yes, as you both surmised the main destination of the trip was the lake basin above the Lyell Fork. See the Isberg to Vogelsang thread for details and pix.
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