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Here is Lee trying to make a little wider path through the rocks.





















There were simply too many things to take pictures of on this trip.   You can try to move some of these "boulders" but good luck. We both tried to move a couple that look like they are barely touching the granite below them but even a small one is hundreds of pounds.











I hope this tree makes it until the next time I am out here. This is one of those scary trees you see in movies. Not so scary looking in the day time though.




















I had to get this shot of Lee trudging up the hill with the backdrop of the smoky valley behind him. It was a little hazy and later that evening it would get worse. This time from a fire near Yosemite of course we didn't know any of that yet.



















Here is a shot that shows a wood pecker that was on his way out. I think that he had a broken wing as he would not fly. We left him alone to hide in the bushes nearby.













Here is a reflection from the un-named lily covered lake we saw on the way in the day before.














The diversity on this trail is another reason why it is so popular. We saw some groups of horses on both days. Everyone on horseback was friendly and one guy even apologized for kicking up a littler dust.




















I always wonder what might have killed (or is killing them if they are still alive) this grove of trees.














This shot turned out pretty good. Of course a couple should since I took 250+ pictures.




















The dirt "S" is the trail in the distance. You have to lose and then gain back most of your elevation on this portion of the trail.













I should have taken a botany class in college. This shot is a little washed out but the yellow and greens were awesome in person.



















Here is the only creek crossing we had to do on this trip. There was hardly any water flowing in this wide section where the trail crosses it. This year was pretty dry though so it could be a different story with a better snow pack and earlier in the season.











Here we are going up the other side of the valley in the "S" shot above. The stream goes down the granite on the middle of this picture and forms a few pools that would be neat to hang out in (probably pretty cold though). Not many spots around here to camp until you get to Camp Lake, unless you like sleeping on granite.



















Back at Camp Lake now. There is some good swimming near the middle of the lake and I saw some people jumping in after they swam to the other side. I swam a little and the water was great.


















Here is another cool tree. I took a few shots of it but I like this one with the granite boulders in the foreground.




















I don't know how these trees are able to grow right out of the granite.


















Lee decided to "pose" for this picture. The views are amazing if you venture up to the top of the granite formations that overlook nearby Pine Valley to the south.












Down below here is our camp. We were a little in from the lake but only had to filter water once and then I went for a swim once so really we only made a couple of trips to the water. The rest of our time was spent climbing the granite formations nearby the site.










Lee found this arrow that looked pretty new. We also found a 22 shell casing.





















Here is another shot of the tree that I took many pictures of..




















Camp Lake is in the background. Notice that the horizon is a little smokier now. We were starting to get a little concerned about it since we weren't sure where the smoke was coming from, yet.












Another tree defying the odds by growing right out of the rock and seeming to be doing a good job of it.













So now we knew where the smoke was coming from. We could tell it was from a fire far to the south. Of course we didn't learn of where it was exactly until we headed home and heard on the radio that it was near Yosemite and burning pretty good.











Another dead tree with a very dreary sky to go with it. The smoke filled sky does add another layer to the shot.





















Here is a close up of camp before we were heading out the next morning. The evening was nice enough that I slept outside. My only complaint was that we had some ash fall on us right around the time we were turning in. With your headlamp on it looked like a fine snow falling. The next morning most everything had a little ash on it.










The sky wasn't as smoky on the way out as it was the day before. I think the wind had shifted where the smoke was going.



















Here is the last shot from the trip. We chatted for a minute or two with this guy training his llamas. He rents these animals to backpackers. They seemed nice enough. We let him go on his way after we noticed he was getting eaten by mosquitoes. Stopping in the shady sections was not a good idea. All in all this was a great trip with some fire elements that I had not encountered before. I will be heading out here again (probably next year) so watch for another trip report for this area.






Click here to go back to the first page (scroll down for map and elevation profile).









Here is the path we took. We were off trail after the fire marked east of Piute Meadow. We spent the night at the eastern most blue waypoint. We hiked north to the trail and followed it back to Camp Lake for our second night. The profile is below.

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