Date: Saturday, 16 September 2017
Start: Camped by the trail at Mile 926.9, 10069 ft
Finish: Camped in Tuolumne Meadows Campground near Mile 942.5, 8596 ft
Daily Miles: 15.6 PCT, plus 0.5 to Campground
Total PCT Miles: 2263.2
Weather: Cool and sunny in the morning and partly cloudy in the afternoon
Dinner: Chilli, double cheeseburger & fries, corn chips, jelly, Tim Tams (thanks, Jeanine!)
Aches: Nothing new
Highlight: The park-like Tuolumne River Valley and Meadows did not disappoint. Bordered by bare rocky mountains with pine forests on the lower slopes, the grassed valley floor was bisected by the crystal clear river making for an idyllic scene.
Lowlight: None really.
Pictures: Click here
I was on the traila little before 7:00am, with Neil, a faster hiker, leaving sometime later. It was another beautiful clear and cold morning with frost on the ground and ice on the puddles. The hike started with a climb up and over Donohue Pass (11073 ft) which wasn’t particularly steep, but did seem to take a long time. At the top I met a park ranger who told me I was now in Yosemite National Park and asked to see my backcountry permit. I fished my Pacific Crest Trail Long-Distance Permit out from deep in my pack, this being the first time I had been asked for it on the entire hike, and she seemed satisfied.
The descent from the Pass was quite slow in parts because of steep and rocky trail while the flat valley floor could be seen in the distance, beckoning tired feet and legs. By this time, Neil had caught me and we had a break when we reached the valley floor before walking the remaining 10 miles to Tuolumne Meadows through picturesque forest and meadows.
On reaching the busy Tuolumne Meadows, a popular tourist spot in Yosemite, at around 3:00pm, I walked to the campground while Neil collected his rental car from a trailhead carpark and met me there. We set up our tents in the hikers section of the campground and then drove the short distance to the store and grill and ordered ourselves a late lunch/early dinner which we ate on a picnic table outside in a chill breeze. After buying a few snacks for later to accompany the very welcome packet of Tim Tams that Jeanine had given Neil to give to me, we returned to the campground and did some planning for tomorrow before having an early night. It is cold!