Mount Watkins—stunning views above Yosemite Valley

August 5, 2023

East Yosemite

I drove up from Mammoth Lakes. I passed the massive Mono Lake in total darkness, turning off the main road and climbing towards Tioga Pass. Around 5 am I entered the park, passing through Tuolumne Meadows and towards the upper rim of Yosemite Valley. Finally, I arrived at a small dirt parking area, where my hike began.

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Lake Aloha, and the Desolation Wilderness

May 23, 2020, Echo Lake Trailhead

Arrival at Echo Lake

In late May, having settled into my new apartment in the Bay Area, I decided to set off on a backpacking trip. This trip would represent my first wilderness adventure in California.

I decided on a stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail near Lake Tahoe through the Desolation Wilderness. From the name alone I knew this would be pretty interesting.

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