The weekend of July 17 was spent backpacking in Yosemite. We had initially planned to try for Mt. Vogelsang, but that plan had to be cancelled since all the camping spots were already taken. Instead we decided to go camp at Lake Nelson.
After the drive to the Twolumne Meadows trail head, we dropped off the backpacks and then Chandra and myself went to park the car at the parking lot about a mile off. So for the two of us, the trip actually started off at the parking lot.
The first segment of the trip was a hike up to Lake Elizabeth. It turned out to be steeper than I expected, since most of the elevation gain was in the first half of the hike. There were a fair number of other hikers on this segment of the trail. And in addition to the hikers, there were a lot of flies too. We used lots of bug repellants to keep them at bay.
As we neared Lake Elizabeth, the trail flattened out into a nice green meadow.
We decided to visit Lake Elizabeth on the way back, and instead push ahead towards our destination Lake Nelson.
Our hike took us by the Unicorn creek.
We continued our hike through a lush green meadow that I really really liked. The goal is the forest in the distance.
We reach the wooded area and the climb to a mountain pass starts. This was by far the hardest hike of the trip. But the sky was overcast, and the trees provided plenty of shade, thereby making it much more pleasant than it could have been. Still we made quite a few stops on the way to rest.
Soon we are out of the woods and quite close to the highest point of the pass.
Just a little bit of the climb remains up the rock face. The rest of the gang marshal their strength to climb it.
The view from the pass is breathtaking.
Now we prepare to descend to the other side.
Now, a new set if mountains come into view. This is the appropriately named Cockscomb mountain.
Soon we are hiking along the Echo Creek.
We walk through quite a bit of dense vegetation, considering the height that we are at.
And there are lots of wild flowers!
This is quite pleasant since we are still going downhill. But the folks sure do look beat.
We are in a rather flat valley flanked on both sides by steep and jagged cliffs.
A tree against the overcast sky.
We have to climb a bit to get to Nelson Lake, but we can't find the correct trail. So we went up and down a few promising paths, but couldn't find Nelson Lake.
It's getting dark. So we give up the search and camp on the meadow by the creek.
This time we actually made a camp fire! In fact this is the first time that we made one in one of our backpacking trips. The Prometheus like Shantanu, used a paper soup cup as the starter and slowly nursed a very nice looking fire.
Then after a good night's sleep we wake up to a sunny morning.
That's Sonal having breakfast.
Then we start back. We take a small detour to clamber up some boulders to get a better view of the valley we were in.
Then we climb up back to the pass we came through. There was some controversy to where the exact trail was, but we got to the pass without getting too badly off track.
Once on the other side, we speed on towards Lake Elizabeth.
Soon we are at the lake. It is quite beautiful.
Then we are back at the trail head.