Lyell Canyon

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Here are evening shots taken a few steps from our campsite on the Lyell Fork. You can see some smoke lingering over the valley, which is from a camp upriver. This was a very beautiful place to camp, so we stopped a little earlier in the afternoon than we normally would have so we could stay here. In a way it reminded us of McClure Meadow and the Evolution Peaks, just a tad less dramatic perhaps, but still incredible to behold. This is serious bear country, and there was scat everywhere. Hanging from a branch near our campsite was a shredded food bag. We found a note by our fireplace from the previous people camping there that hanging food with the counterbalance method is comletely useless here. These bears are smart. But we had our bear canisters with us, so we didn't hafta worry about hanging food anyway. I also found some bear dung near our camp that had a huge chunk of a nylon bag in it, as well as a big piece of heavy, twisted foil. Ouch, I would have hated to pass that thing! We didn't see a bear that night though. The fishing in this river is incredible for small-to-medium sized brook trout. The next morning we crossed those big ole mountains via Donahue Pass. From this vantage point, I can see our route. We went nearly to the base of those big twin peaks in the center of the photo, hung a ralph up that canyon and over those mountains. It was a pretty high pass. I hate to brag, but, ahem, we're studs. No doubt.


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This was a zoomed shot from our camp down on the Lyell Fork, lQQking up towards Donahue Pass. Those zig-zagging stripes on the peaks are trail switchbacks. The trail was blasted directly into the mountain. And I lie.

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Here's the Lyell Fork in the early morning. A mist hovered over the river (really, if you don't believe me, look at the pic).

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Lyell Fork

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Jim ascending out of Lyell Fork meadow.  On our way to Donahue Pass.


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Looking back down on Lyell Fork.  I thought this was a rather unique looking tree. I think G-Dub stripped off the branches lest they catch fire. Jim and I had camped the night before in that golden meadow in the distance, and we're climbing our way up towards Donahue Pass when I turned around and snapped this pic. This was day 4 of our JMT trek. It felt nice to climb after dumping tons of weight back at Tuolumne Meadows. It was a great feeling knowing we had nearly 3 weeks of adventures awaiting us, especially after all the beautiful scenery we had already seen the first few days. Each day we hiked as long as we felt like it, with no solid pre-planned daily destination, and camped wherever we darn well pleased. I love the freedom of backpacking! There aren't any designated, numbered backcountry spots out in this country... you are trusted to use your own judgment to camp just about anywhere. Creeks, lakes, ledges, summits, etc., anywyere you can toss a sleeping bag is cool. I really like that. FREEEEEEEDDDDDOOOOOOOMMM!!!