The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) - here are 10 photographs and a brief write up on each picture. The photographs were taken from Tuolumne Meadows (in Yosemite) leading north 115 miles north near Ebbett's Pass. This is part of a larger 225 mile, month-long trek across the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Lake Tahoe. Note that there are numerous, smaller hikes to enjoy along sections of the PCT, and many branches off the main trail. It's definitely adventurous, accessible and really suited for anyone with will-power. We saw folks of all ages. What this trip mostly takes is planning and perserverence. Most important, it takes time, not to mention "timing," such as waiting for the snow pack to melt away usually by mid-summer.
and Notes - about 15 pages total describing the full trip.
- Section One - Yosemite to Ebbetts Pass (near Bear Valley)
- Section Two - Ebbetts Pass to Interstate 80 (at Sugarbowl Ski Resort)
Tuolumne River - here you can gaze onto the graceful Tuolumne River as it meanders through meadowlark meadows and quietly breathes beneath Cathedral Peak. Downstream from this point lies a precipitous waterfall, Tuolumne Falls, past which you will eventually discover Glen Aulin backcountry camp (6 miles from the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center - our starting point before heading north).
|Matterhorn Canyon - standing in this glaciated trough tucked deeply below an adjacent hanging valley, I felt completely removed from the crowds and in the heart of Yosemite. We are 3 days or 20 miles from our start in Tuolumne Meadows.|
|Benson Pass - At 10,000 feet, you are likely to see snow patches like these year round. This photograph was taken in mid-July. Incidentally, the mosquitos were quite annoying even at this elevation. (Imagine what it was like at lower elevations.)|
|Benson "Riviera" - named after the French Riviera known for its luxuriant waterfronts and smoothly sanded beaches, this camp lives up to its name. The beach sand was coarse, composed mostly of chunky granite. Quaking aspen trees lined the beach naturally. We are 4 days or 31 miles from the start.|
Pass - the "grunt" it is called. So we woke up early to endure several
hours of hiking up and over six (6) "false gaps," as our guide book calls
them. In slightly over a couple of hours we made it over the final real
gap, only to spy another daunting ridge several miles in the distance.
By the days end, we had surmounted 3 major passes and 15 grueling miles
of up, over and down in this rugged part of Yosemite.
|Dorthy Lake - By day 5, we had traveled nearly 57 miles to the outer boundary of Yosemite National Park. We saw nobody this day as followed a straight, steady trail up to the Dorthy Lake Divide. North of this point lies Toiyabe National Forest and the Emigrant Wilderness to the west. The mosquitos were the worst from Seavey Pass to this divide -- especially at river crossings. At this camp, unfortunately, we spent most of our time in the tent.|
|Kennedy Canyon - climbing toward Leavitt Peak was the climax of our trip, both figuratively and literally, as we rose to 11,000 feet. This was the highest point in our trip. The old PCT is still visible behind me along the north facing slope (a clear and present danger). Fortunately, the new trail traversed a fairly sunny and safe route with awesome panoramic views. By days end we will have reached Sonora Pass (Hwy 108) and traveled 76 miles by "day 7."|
|Leavitt Ridge - look like the "Sound of Music" movie backdrop? Looking south across the Sierra Nevada & Yosemite Park, one gets a glimpse of the vastness, ruggedness and beauty John Muir marveled about during his Sierra travels. This was the highest point in our month-long odyssey reaching nearly 11, 000 feet.|
|Lupine - this profusion of wildflower actually improved as we entered the more volcanic, drier soils from Ebbett's Pass (Hwy 4) to Lake Tahoe. One can spend hours sniffing these flowers or taking their pictures.|
Peak - shooting through this rocky gap just north of Ebbett's Pass,
the PCT enters a rainshadow climate, barren and groomed with sagebrush.
We are now 115 miles from Tuolumne Meadows and have another 110 miles
to go before our journey is complete at Donnor Pass (Hwy. 80).
- Yosemite National Park
Yosemite, CA 95389
- Stanislaus National Forest
(Emigrant, Carson-Iceberg and Mokelumne Wilderness)
19777 Greenley Road
Sonora, CA 95370
- Toiyabe National Forest
(Carson-Iceberg, Mokelumne Wilderness)
1200 Franklin Way
Sparks, Nevada 89431
(702) 355- 5300
- Eldorado National Forest
(Mokelumne, Desolation, Granite Chief Wilderness)
100 Forni Road
Placerville, CA 95667
- Pacific Southwest Region 5 (California) Office
630 Sansome Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
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