Day 4 – North of Donahue Pass to Tuolumne Meadows

Miles: 12

Last night I slept well. I woke up at 1:45am per usual after a deep sleep, but this time, instead of tossing and turning til morning, I rolled over to my side and fell right to sleep again.

I was warmer tonight too thanks to my down jacket and proper bedroll setup. By placing my head to face the wind I prevented the crosswind that plagued me the night before.

We had planned for an early start to get to our car by 1pm. We left precisely at 7:25am.

The trail was gentle and the temperature was very pleasant.

As we descended through the forest, Lyell Canyon came into view. Stunning is the word that comes to mind to describe the beauty of this canyon.

We hiked in the shadows for many hours of the morning, making our way down to the canyon. Once out of the trees, the temperature plummeted. The brown grass covering the meadows were covered in frost. The cool, damp air had descended onto the canyon floor and was still there. It was colder here than where we camped near 10,000 ft.

Three miles and and hour and a half later, the canyon began to warm.

We took a break mid morning to snack, soak our feet and enjoy the beauty of Lyell Canyon.

After the initial downhill of the early morning, most of the hike to the Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Permit Office parking lot is flat.

Flat and beautiful. The dry brush, the lazy river, the coyotes, the distant jaggy peaks and the pure blue sky made for very pleasant hiking.

We stopped once again to soak our feet near the junction of the John Muir Trail and the Tuolumne Meadows High Sierra Camp. The season is over and they are slowly taking down the tents.

A half hour later we arrived at our car, replacing our hiking shoes with flip flops, our hiking clothes with cotton shirts.

It has been another beautiful trip in the Sierras. If we get any snow this winter, we will be back to snowshoe!

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