Yosemite – Vogelsang in 5 easy steps

Who am I kidding? This was not easy in any way…. From September 4-8, I hiked in the Yosemite high country with my buddy Brodie (yes – of “damn you brodie fame). We hiked from Tuolumne Meadow Lodge , up the Lyell Canyon trail, and then up to Vogelsang area. There we stayed for 3 nights, and then hiked out on Sunday Sept 8. It was alternately awful and awesome. Mostly awesome. As we always say these days : “life begins at the end of your comfort zone” (and man… I was at “the end” most of the time).


Map of the trip – Yosemite High Country

Step 1: The pre-hike

After landing in SF and taking the BART to Berkeley, we set out. We had to go a long way around to R120 E east entrance to Yosemite, because of the RIM fire
We went via Sonora pass 108 and arrived in the Lodge for one night. The winds were from the SW , and would hopefully keep the smoke away from us.

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odd driver seen by mono lake

life begins2

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bear lockers

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luxury sleeping

Step 2 : The toil

It started off easy enough… the Lyell canyon trail: “This trail passes through Lyell Canyon, along the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River. Early in the season, the trail can be muddy in places (please remain on the trail even if it’s muddy). There are several creek crossings, including Rafferty Creek (bridged) and Ireland Creek (unbridged). Spectacular Kuna Creek cascades down the side of the east canyon wall near the eight-mile mark.”

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Lets get started

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we look tough and ready

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Lyell meadow

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trail sign

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we don’t always walk together

And then it got steep… we turned off the flat trail and up in the general direction of Ireland lake. We camped perhaps ¾ of the way up to the treeline.

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Step 3 The wonder of the High Country

The morning was toil, and some tough moments.

But then again, once we got above the treeline and up to the alpine valley and meadow… it was fantastic!

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Finally the high country !

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Head for lunch at the lake

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Arrive Townsley Lake

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Relax while brodie does the work of finding a campsite

As usual, brodie started trying to figure out a campsite early on… he made it clear that staying in the high country camp was not an option (he is quite the purist). And staying in a lake near them was also not possible. So we climbed up to Townsley Lake, searched for a while, and found a most excellent site, halfway down the lake. And of course, the usual work in setting up camp. We had a good area, and a big rock that became our kitchen and platform for star gazing.

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View of camp from the … um… commode

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Fletcher Peak across the lake

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Matching cups from the grand canyon trip

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The sun set by sliding down Fletcher peak (no kidding)

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mmmmm – dinner

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view of camp from the big rock

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trying to be artsy

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you can see us in the glasses

Step 4: The awesome Townsley Lake

It was great exploring the Towsley lake areas. There was swimming in the lake of course. And then hike up to hanging Basket lake. And a side trip to Vogelsang Camp. And on to lower elevation Booth Lake.

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that is really cold !

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but I went in a second time for some reason

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hanging garden lake (there was no garden, only rocks)

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those who filter water need to be able to see the color green

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Boothe Lake

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The trail back to Vogelsang

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Made it to Vogelsang… and I have the proof

Brodie left me at the camp and went up to Vogelsang pass without me, if only be able to brag later. It was ok.

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Sunset showed a smokey cloud to the west

Step 5 – The hike out

The morning was calm and clear.. The lake was still.

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I await the departure

I was eager to hike out. Brodie said that morning that I was like “a horse who wants to get back to the stable”. Yes – I was ready. We broke camp, hiked from Townsley to Vogelsang, and down the Rafferty Creek trail to the car… I was happy to make it. Whew


About dmahler99

not all who wander are lost...
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3 Responses to Yosemite – Vogelsang in 5 easy steps

  1. Carol says:

    You are amazing…I would be looking for the five star hotel….Carol 🙂

  2. Tim says:

    Trip look great but I had a pick him up at the airport.I should brought the convertible, talk about stink. Only kidding. You should submit the video to motion.

  3. Phil says:

    Looks great, I like the view of the camp and the reflection in the lake

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