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This was my first solo backpacking trip and my first time in Yosemite and this was the perfect route for both. I completed the route over 3 days 2 nights through the pouring rain most of the time but it didn’t even matter. The scenery was unreal from the beginning to end. I stayed at booth lake the first night and the morning scenery was beautiful there. I stayed a little past Merced Lake on the second night on a cliff overlooking the Merced River. I didn’t see a single soul until my last day when I hit the valley. What an amazing experience I can’t wait to return next spring.

backpacking
1 month ago

Ideal backpacking trip if you want to take first-timers with you! It was surprisingly cold (October 6th) but seeing the lake surrounded by fresh snow was magical.

Great hike. Lakes are beautiful. It was very windy at the first, second and third lake. Great in the summer

I enjoyed the views ... but it is nowhere near 34 miles. It is closer to 20 miles. I went counterclockwise and found it moderate only because I was carrying a pack. It could easily be done as a day hike.

Three of the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever seen. We backpacked in via the glen Aulin trail which is beautiful but that last 1.5 miles to the lake is tough- seemed to take forever. Temperatures are very cold at night so if you camp bring warm clothes (we had frost on our tent on August 29). Our second day we slack packed to the two upper lakes- each more beautiful than the last - don’t miss them, although the trail is hard to find in places. TIP - remember where you entered to the lakes so you find the trail out! The dog lake trail out on day three is strenuous but beautiful- make sure you go to soda springs at the junction near the end or you will end up at the wilderness center. If you start early you can do this hike in one day but you won’t have as much time to enjoy the lakes.

backpacking
2 months ago

Great hike, trail well marked and no snow on trail over Labor Day weekend. Loved the view going on the Dog Lake Trail side. Glen Aulin Trail is good while you are in Tuolumne Meadows IMO, and it’s wooded going towards Young Lakes. At Young Lakes, best campsites appear to be on the north side and northwest side. Beautiful sunrise hitting Ragged Peak.
Ranger reported that there is often a bear at Young Lake, we did not see any.
Fantastic hike, great for a short trip :)

backpacking
2 months ago

I completed the five Camp Circuit last week at the end of the season. It was very enjoyable as the weather was fine, no mesquites, and great people.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike on 08/19/18 thru 08/21/18 via the Dog Lake Trail and returned via the Glen Aulin. It is a constant climb that can be strenuous at times. Had a little trouble getting acclimated to the altitude. Of course, the return is an easy down hill for the most part. There were 3-4 tents at the lower lake. I stayed at the middle lake and there was only one other group there. Middle Lake is loaded with brook trout, but he upper lake is an anglers paradise. Caught FIFTEEN trout there in under an hour for a total of 23 fish. I used spinner lures. Due to the near by fire, it was not crowded as expected. Plan on doing this again next year.

backpacking
4 months ago

Absolutely LOVED this hike! we love hiking on vacation every year, but being from Florida means that's about the only time we are able to do it. We are not in amazing shape, but not horrible either. I will say that the hike in (via Dog Lake Trail) was pretty intense for us. We were praying for no more uphill climbing & begging for the lake to finally come into view! We still have a hard time believing that the mountain trail distance markers are right...they sure do seem like the longest miles on the face of the planet! Lol We got a pretty late start (about 1pm) so it was a bit hotter than we liked. However, majority of the time there was a nice breeze and the woods kept a nice comfortable temp. I have to say that this was one of the prettiest hikes throughout the entire trail that we have done. Some trails are all about the destination. This one was beautiful the entire time. The destination did not disappoint by any stretch of the imagination! The lakes were absolutely breathtaking! I definitely recommend not setting up camp immediately when entering the area around the lake. As tired as we were, we decided to hike around the lake a bit to look for the best spot. We crossed the falling creek about 1/4 of the way around the lake and found "the perfect" hard spot just up in the trees. Nobody else camped on that side of the creek. So we were pretty much all by ourselves over there with the sound of the waterfalls on the creek to lull us to sleep at night. We also had our own flat rock on the lake to go sit out on every night and every morning. Couldn't have asked for a better more tranquil setting! Then the hike up to the 2 other upper lakes was just as if not more awe inspiring than the 1st lake! The hike out via Glen Aulin trail was a very gradual decent and very picturesque as well. We spent 3 days total...Day 1 (started super late) hiked in from 1pm - 5pm then set up camp & just enjoyed the area. Day 2 we hiked up to the upper lakes from about 8am until about 3pm. Did some fishing back at the bottom lake & just relaxed rest of the day. Day 3 we packed up and headed out about 8am and arrived at our car at 11:30am. Absolutely the most peaceful and relaxing backpacking trip we have ever done! Well worth the work!

Beautiful.

backpacking
6 months ago

Started at Cathedral Lakes TH for 3 night/4 day in late Aug 2017. Camped at Sunrise, near base of Half Dome spur trail then 3rd night in LYV. Did half dome on day 3 and left packs at camp to lighten load. Smoke from fires obscured view on half dome, unlucky timing for us. Family of 4 with teenagers did this trip. It was tough, but very doable and worth every step. Tons of people on last leg downhill to Yosemite Valley; yearned for the solitude of the high country! Need permits to do this hike overnight. Ranger was checking for permits.

We did Tuolumne Meadows campground to Yosemite Valley over 3 days, Via JMT to Rafferty creek ( Tuolumne Pass) to Emeric Lake (day 1); to Merced Lake Via Fletcher Creek and Lewis Creek (Day 2), then to Yosemite Valley through Little Yosemite Valley following Merced River and Mist Trail. Beautiful sights, little to no traffic (until you get within day hikers of the valley, and even small fishing in the creeks between Emeric and Merced. Needless to say, I look forward to doing it again and again through all four seasons.

One of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever witnessed. The secluded lakes, forests and peaks were breathtaking

11 months ago

I've hiked this trail from Yosemite's Valley floor & Tuolumne Meadows (TM) and it's a bit easier going down in elevation than up! However, this trail is AMAZING and even out of shape individuals could complete this trip with the right Attitude and Gear. I recommend parking car at Valley floor, catching Shuttle to TM and starting from there.

backpacking
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

This was an amazing trip! It's high altitude (9800 feet), so expect a few breaks on your way up if you're backpacking in. The views are completely stunning; I uploaded a few photos. The fishing is also pretty good. I caught several brook trout using a yellow rooster tail.
Definitely one of the most beautiful hikes I've ever done. I ended up spending two nights in a hammock up there. The nights get below freezing in October...so wear clothes.

backpacking
Sunday, September 17, 2017

My wife and I just did this hike over the labor day weekend 2017. We parked and started hiking from the Dog Lake parking area though. Plenty of bear boxes at that car park too. We did this the opposite way than what this review spells out. And in my opinion, going up Rafferty Creek and down into the Lyell Fork is the way to go. The first 3/4 of a mile or so up Rafferty is the only section that involves any real climbing. Beyond that, it is the nicest gradual ascending trail I've been on in a while. Literally almost flat. And from what I had read about going up out of the Lyell Fork prior, was absolutely correct. That route is steep, for a long ways!!! Was glad we were going down that, not up. So the hike up Rafferty Creek was right at 7 miles to the backpackers campground at Vogelsang. It took us 5 hours but we were in no hurry. The scenery doesn't really unfold until you can start to see Fletcher and Vogelsang peaks. Once you get to Tuolumne pass, you are within a mile of the High Sierra camp. We lucked out with a cloudy hiking day, so that was a bonus. We camped out for 2 nights and did day hikes around the area. Up to Vogelsang Pass one day and up to Townsley lake the next. We were going to spend one more night, but smoke from the fires down by Glacier point changed direction, and changed our plans too. We left in the middle of the afternoon for the PCT along the Lyell Fork. A little disappointed, but we had done all we wanted to do anyway, and had 2 really nice days up there. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the scenery along the stretch from Vogelsang down to the Lyell Fork due to all the smoke. Oh well. We set up camp that evening right before it got dark at the junction of the PCT and the trail to Vogelsang. Pretty tired after an unexpected 6.3 mile hike. And we had already hiked over 4 miles earlier that day up by Townsley Lake. Hiked out the next morning back to Tuolumne meadow a day early but no regrets. This is a great loop, and a fairly easy one going the direction we did. One cool surprise we weren't expecting, was that you can see Half Dome from the trail up to Vogelsang Pass, right before Vogelsang lake. Clouds Rest is visible to the right too. Pretty awesome!! If you haven't been up here, put it on the list!!

backpacking
Wednesday, September 06, 2017

I did this loop in the opposite direction (starting at Young Lakes via Dog Lake and finishing via Glen Aulin). With a pack, the initial ascent is steep and tough, but it's worth it for the views at Young Lakes. The lowest of the lakes makes for stunning sunrises/sunsets and there's good campsites on the north side of the lake (and good water in the creek that flows down from the lake). Also well worth a hike to the highest lake, which is very pretty (the middle lake is comparatively unremarkable).

backpacking
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I may be a bit biased as this trip was my first time in Yosemite and I was completely awe struck by the beauty all around me. But for my first solo backpacking trip I couldn't have picked a better loop. The meadows and alpine forests are breathtaking and the lakes themselves are gorgeous. I'd highly recommend making the scramble up the waterfall to Upper Young Lake, one of the best sunsets I have ever seen!

hiking
Friday, August 04, 2017

Have you ever done this hike in the opposite direction?
I’ve been thinking about starting in the valley and ending in Tuolumne Meadows.
Do you have any reasons on why to do it the way you did?

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Beautiful, great views.

backpacking
Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Yosemite classic of fantastic trails and campsites. Makes you think twice about planning your summer trip to Yosemite Valley because after this hike you are only gonna want to do this hike. Each camp is roughly 8 miles apart, making it not difficult to get to each campsite. Just the right amount of work out and then celebrating being at your next campsite. Fantastic views each day and every day is special on this trail. Can't say enough good things about it

This hike was amazing. My boyfriend and I did it over 3 days, our favorite camp being under Fletcher peak near Vogelsang. The trek out of the meadow after Ireland Creek junction is definitely a lung-buster but so very worth the effort. When you come up and over the mountain there is a small unnamed lake before Evelyn which we loved!! This lake deserves a proper name! October was a great time to hike, the days were cool enough and with enough layers the nights weren't too bad. Plenty of green left and some beautiful changing colors. Would do it again in a heart beat.

backpacking
Saturday, May 28, 2016

Great, but rushed. Walked the opposite way, Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley.

We did this in reverse from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley which, I recommend since it's mostly downhill. What can I say? The scenery is breathtaking particularly on the Cathedral to Sunrise and the descent after Nevada Falls. On our second night we camped by Sunrise Creek in the burned over area from last year's fire, but about a mile further below the crossing we could have camped in the forest again.

hiking
Monday, May 11, 2015

This was my first backpacking experience with my father, and where he taught me to fly fish. That trip our family camped at the lower lake. I have gone back to Young Lakes at least five times, solo, with high school friends, again with my father, with an employee and his son, and with my own son. I prefer camping at the highest lake, with its clear vistas. It really is one of the beautiful spots in Yosemite, and a great starting point for ascending Mt. Conness. You can also make a loop by hiking to Roosevelt Lake, crossing the north pass to Upper McCabe Lake (descent is a bit steep), and picking up the PCT back to Tuolumne, which goes past Tuolumne Falls. Climbing North Peak on the way to Upper McCabe is definitely worth it.
I prefer starting on the trail that goes past Dog Lake. An extra 400 feet of climbing, offset by less mileage. Good water usually at the Dingley Creek Crossing and a beautiful meadow. Great high meadows and superior views of the Cathedral Range when crossing the high shoulder.

camping
Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I backpack to Young lake, it is a HARD hike. Getting up there was a battle but I'm glad I did it, stay 2 nights and fished. The lake and the surrounding mountain make you feel like you went back in time. For 2 days we didn't see or hear another person, it was us and mother nature and she was beautiful. I've since been back 2x and each time I fall deeper and deeper in love with Yosemite and all it's beauty.

Completed this in October. Beauty is beyond words... definitely something to just go and see. People? well you don't see any after the Cathedral Lakes turnoff until you get below Little Yosemite Valley. Of note: water was not available between CL until the top side of LYV... its a long haul when you run out!

We finished the route in 3 days/2 nights and this hike was incredible! This guide helped out immensely and has made me a devoted follower of Every Trail. Completed the hike with my 11yr old son and though it was difficult (especially the 13 mile final push on the last day) we made it and probably our greatest bonding experience to date. I look forward to trying more trails from Every Trail.

This trail is EPIC to say the least. Starting in the Valley is probably harder than starting in Tuolumne, but either way, just do it. You see Vernal and Nevada falls, Mist Trail, Halfdome and Clouds Rest, Sunrise and Cathedral Lakes etc. It's a visual dream come true for someone trying to escape the city life and walk in John Muir's footsteps. Next try Tuolumne to Devils Postpiles and ya. Mind Blowing.

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