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    Gaylor Peak and Lakes
    (Tuesday, July 01, 2003 in Yosemite, CA)

    See also my photo album from this hike.

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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. Sarah and I on the Gaylor
Lakes Trail

    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 - ha! :)

    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. Gaylor Peak

    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 quickly.

    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.

    Hike Stats:
    Distance: 4mi
    Total Time: 3h 6m
    Difficulty: 7
    Scenery: 8
    Trail condition/markings/etc: 7 - uneven and rocky getting to pass but fine from there.
    Overall rating: 8

    Last modified 08 February, 2011 MST
    Copyright © 2009 Adam R. Paul
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