Gaylor Peak and Lakes
See also my photo album
from this hike.
(Tuesday, July 01, 2003 in Yosemite, CA)
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After a very enjoyable, but short, hike on Lembert
Dome and Dog Dome, Sarah & I decided to get in one more hike before
going to our hotel in Lee Vining. The Gaylor Lakes trailhead is right at
Tioga Pass, and Gaylor Peak had been recommended by the good folks on the
Sierra Scrambles email list, so we thought we'd give it a go. There were
again no bear boxes, but we weren't too worried about mid-afternoon bears
right next to a Yosemite entrance station, so we again covered up our
smellables, and hit the trail at 13:50.
The trail started
climbing steeply, often on stone steps, almost immediately. As we climbed,
our views of the area opened up considerably, especially of Mt. Dana, our
objective for tomorrow, which was looking a little bit intimidating (although
I certainly didn't let on to Sarah!). After climbing for what seemed like
entirely too long, we gained a saddle and got our first view of Middle Gaylor Lake
below us, as well as Gaylor Peak to our
right. I wanted to climb the peak, but Sarah suggested we hike around the
lakes first. I think she was secretly hoping I'd lose interest in the peak -
We descended briefly to the edge of the middle lake, and
were treated to lovely views of the surrounding mountains as a gale-force wind
blasted our faces. We hiked to our right around a use trail circling the
lake, then saw a faint trail following an upstream tributary to Middle Gaylor
Lake. We followed this for a little ways and soon came to Upper Gaylor Lake,
a nice lake, but not as pretty as the middle one. We'd seen a trail leading
up to a structure, presumably the High Sierra Mine, but it still looked a
little ways off, and we didn't want to overexert ourselves before attempting
Mt. Dana, so we headed back to the middle lake.
We climbed back up to the
saddle and Sarah announced she had no interest in climbing Gaylor Peak. I had
other plans, and left her enjoying a nice southerly view, sheltered from the
wind. I felt a little bad leaving her for the second time today while I
climbed a pile of rocks, but she didn't seem to mind, and the peak looked like
a short enough diversion, so off I went.
It was a lovely hike across a
green meadow to the jumble of rocks that was Gaylor Peak. I didn't see too
many traces of previous passage, but it was obvious enough where to go (up),
and before too long I got to the summit and enjoyed long
views in most directions. There wasn't any evidence of a register, but one
would have been difficult to find given the broad summit. After soaking in
the views (north,
east, south, and Mt. Dana) for a little bit, I headed back down to rejoin Sarah and the trail.
I found Sarah where we'd parted and we hiked back to the car relatively
Not quite as easily rewarding as Lembert Dome, this was still a highly
enjoyable hike. I would have liked to explored the High Sierra Mine ghost
buildings - at least I have an excuse to come back now.
||7 - uneven and rocky getting to pass but fine from there.