Yosemite – Cathedral Range Loop – 09-02-2013 to 09-10-2013

Mountaineers 6-day backpack through Yosemite National Park. Here is a brief recap of some highlights.

  • The High Sierra “Rim Fire” loomed over the entire trip. Luckily, winds were mostly favorable on our trip. We breathed in smoke from the fire upon our arrival in Reno on Sept. 3rd, most of our bus ride from Reno to Lee Vining (thankfully Lee Vining was not covered in smoke), and from about noon to a couple of hours after sunset on our 5th day hiking from Babcock Lake to Vogelsang Camp. All other times the air was fresh and clean.
  • California and the High Sierra is in a drought. Campsites near lakes or running water are sought after by backpackers. Sunrise creek was especially dry. Water purification is a must – my filter needed constant cleaning to function properly.
  • Bears were not a problem, even though the Park Rangers gave a ‘Bear Scare’ lecture to us while we were obtaining our permit. We heard rumour of a sow and two cubs near our camp on day 3 from a neighboring backpacker. These black bears are pretty harmless and usually run away if you make some noise.
  • Sherry and I did Clouds Rest and Half Dome in a long day. What made the day especially long was the climb back to camp after doing Half Dome. Climbing up the cabled staircase on Half Dome is a mind trip. Sherry made it to the top. I went half way and came back down. I guess I don’t have that youthful tolerance for exposure I once had.
  • Our 4th day to Babcock Lake was long. We setup camp in the dark – luckily we all found each other in the dark. It was a long, trying day that put each participant to the test. This was especially true for the couple in our group.

One of the most significant backpacks of my life – I received something from each participant on this trip. Many lessons learned. Thank you all.

Participants include Nicole Hansen (leader), Louise Kornreich, Richard DuBois, Sherry Kytonen, Michael Smallwood, and Diana Traxler.

Yosemite – Cathedral Range Loop – 09-02-2013 to 09-10-2013 (Fullscreen Slideshow)


  • USGS Merced Peak
  • USGS Tenaya Lake
  • USGS Vogelsang Peak
  • Sierra North, Backcountry Trips in California‚Äôs Sierra Nevada, by Kathy Morey & Mike White, No. 53 Cathedral Lakes Trailhead to Lyell Canyon-PCT/JMT Trailhead
  • 100 Hikes in Yosemite National Park, by Marc J. Soares
  • Yosemite National Park, National Park Service


Driving Directions
Drive to 1.5 miles west of the Tuolumne Meadows Campground entrance on Tioga Road (State Route 120) and park on the side of the highway. You can also ride the Tuolumne Meadows shuttle bus to the Cathedral Lakes trailhead after parking your car at Happy Isles at the east end of Yosemite Valley.

Hiking Stats:
56.15 miles, 10782 ft. gain, 5 days, 2 hrs 44 min.

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