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Grant Lakes - Yosemite - 3 members in 3 triplogs have rated this an average 5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jun 14 2014
John9L
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,073
 Triplogs 1,634

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Ten Lakes - YosemiteSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Backpack avatar Jun 14 2014
John9L
Backpack22.50 Miles 4,500 AEG
Backpack22.50 Miles2 Days         
4,500 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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chumley
clairebear
juliachaos
squatpuke
Tough_Boots
The second leg of our trip started on Saturday morning at the Backpackers Campground in Yosemite Valley. We broke camp and then made a stop at the general store and then headed back to the high country. The plan was to hike to the Ten Lakes Basin and camp near one of the lakes. We would hike out on Sunday and start the return to Phoenix.

The Ten Lakes Trail is roughly 6.5 miles long and gains 2,000 ft. I started a little bit earlier than everyone else and took my time heading in. I stopped a few times to admire the views of Mount Hoffman and Tuolumne Peak to the east. I want to visit both summits someday. I continued hiking and was met by Kyle near the Half Moon Meadow. From here the trail gains 500+ feet over the next half mile as it climbs to Ten Lakes Pass. Once Kyle and I were up there we took a break and waited for Larry & Chumley to catch up. Liz and Claire were taking their time and would meet us at the lake. The views to the north are just draw dropping! There are so many peaks and so much to explore!

After the pass the trail drops roughly 600 ft into the Ten Lakes Basin. The views on this side are just spectacular. Each lake slowly comes into view and the Grand Canyon of Tuolumne River looms to the north. That is another hike I want to do someday. We continued on and eventually reached one of the lakes at the bottom of the trail. Chumley left us and found a sweet site on the east side of the lake. We made our way over there and set up camp. The girls were less than an hour behind us and joined us at camp.

After getting camp settled, Chumley and I went over to the north side of the lake to have a look around. There is a steep drainage that drops over 3,500 ft into the Tuolumne River. The drop looks non-technical but it was impossible to tell from our viewpoint. After a few minutes we walked over to the east to check out another lake. Again it was just breathtaking! From there we dropped back into camp and spent the rest of the evening enjoying each other’s company over numerous libations!

We woke on our last day and wanted to do some exploring while the girls slept in. Kyle, Chumley and I made a counter clockwise loop that took us by four more lakes. Each one had its own charm as it was nestled in by granite walls. We were at roughly 9,000 ft elevation and there was still some snow near the peaks. I really enjoyed this exploration. We covered over four miles and did some very easy off-trail.

We returned to camp around 11am and finished tearing down camp. From there our group started the hike out. After we got back to the Ten Lakes Pass, Chumley, Larry and I dropped our packs and separated our bear canisters and then walked the mile plus to Grant Lakes. There was an upper lake but Larry and I were spent so we turned around while Chumley made a quick trip to the upper lake. The rest of the hike out was uneventful. We all met back up at the trailhead and then packed up and started the drive home.

I really enjoyed the Ten Lakes area. These lakes are stunning as they are surrounded by granite. This might have been my favorite part of the trip!

Thanks Chumley for putting all of this together and for doing 95% of the driving! It was a great group and Yosemite only gets better with each return visit. I’m already thinking about next summer! The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River is calling.
Named place
Named place
Ten Lakes Pass Tuolumne Peak
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Jun 14 2014
chumley
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 Guides 80
 Routes 681
 Photos 15,084
 Triplogs 1,551

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Ten Lakes - YosemiteSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Backpack avatar Jun 14 2014
chumley
Backpack22.83 Miles 4,846 AEG
Backpack22.83 Miles1 Day   3 Hrs   40 Mns   
4,846 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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clairebear
Jobobadoo
John9L
juliachaos
squatpuke
Tough_Boots
In a week backpacking through Yosemite that included summiting Clouds Rest and a full-moon night summit of Half Dome, how could one even imagine that this hike would be the highlight!?

Chalk this up on your list of places to go. :)

After the miles racked up on previous days, we were all a little bit tired, and the first four miles was a slow and steady climb, followed by another mile of steeper switchbacks. But once on top, the views opened up to what can truly be described as breathtaking. We all admired in awe before descending the final mile to the main lake.

I found a huge campsite on the far side of the lake, and we settled in for the afternoon. 9L and I explored for 90 minutes over 1.5 miles exploring a little bit down the huge drainage toward the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River, and then around the second of the 7 Ten Lakes before returning to camp.

Larry revealed that he doesn't know how to start a fire, and Kyle realized that I'm an anal-retentive micromanager. We had brought several beverages with us, so the evening was filled with plenty of laughter. Claire and Liz even composed a song. Something about eskimos. Probably because it was chilly and there was plenty of snow in the surrounding mountains. At least that's my story.

9L finally got the right bear canister lid back, and I found a lost beer. All was right with the world as we all dozed off for the night.

In the morning, 9L, Kyle, and I went for a hike while the girls slept in, and Larry tended to the fire. Two and a half hours, and 4.5 miles later, we returned to camp having visited four more of the 7 Ten Lakes. Each lake is beautiful in a different way, and linked by streams, cascades, waterfalls, and amazing alpine forest scenery. Most lakes have use trails around and between them, but we made a fully off-trail trip between the south lake and 9398. From there, a maintained trail leads back to the main lake.

Back at camp, we packed up and headed back out toward the trailhead. At the crest of the Ten Lakes Pass, three of us dropped our packs and made the side trip down to the first of the Grant Lakes. I continued to the second, which was a great off-trail hike along a continuous 250-foot high cascading stream between the two lakes. Either of these would be worthy backpacking destinations! We saw a couple of marmots and some deer along the way.

An hour and 20 minutes behind the others I put it in overdrive for the 5-miles back to the trailhead, and arrived only a few minutes after them. We packed up and headed to Tuolumne for a bite to eat. There we met 6 guys and a girl from Tempe who had just started the JMT. I was wearing an AZW shirt, and the girl works at Four Peaks. They were HAZ lurkers too. Small world! :)

By 5pm we were on the road back to Vegas, where Larry had some friends who were kind enough to let us break up the drive and crash on their floor. Gotta love a Vegas hookup! Thanks Larry!

Monday we made the final drive home. I dropped off the rental, having totally exploited the bargain price by dropping 1700 miles on it :sl: .
BTW, a Chrysler Town & Country takes 6 adults and all their gear just fine. Satellite radio, DVD video, 110-volt outlets, 6 lighter ports, and 23+mpg at 80-85mph was pretty nice. Including a couple of $5/gallon fuel fills, it still cost us about half the federal reimbursement rate on mileage. Split six ways, I think we all had the least expensive weeklong trip possible. :)
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33s over 45s
Jun 14 2014
squatpuke
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 Guides 5
 Routes 5
 Photos 1,479
 Triplogs 170

53 male
 Joined Apr 04 2002
 Flagstaff, AZ
Ten Lakes - YosemiteSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Backpack avatar Jun 14 2014
squatpuke
Backpack8.96 Miles 2,284 AEG
Backpack8.96 Miles2 Days         
2,284 ft AEG40 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
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chumley
clairebear
John9L
juliachaos
Tough_Boots
This last trip turned out to be AWESOME despite my earlier and anxious thinking. It's amazing what a shower and large pizza will do for ones will-power. :)

After completing 3 wonderful days with mosquito infested Cloud's Rest, dark and dangerous Half-Dome and sleeping inches away from a bear in Yosemite Valley, our group replenished at the expensive tourist market there in the Village. I purchased some spicy brauts for tonight's self-envisioned campfire feast. [BTW, Chum kindly shared his brauts a few nights earlier when my Mtn House became spoiled by highly chlorinated water. Seems I overly sterilized my filter - lesson learned.]

9L and I sat in the very back of the rented van for the first time and we had a long ride to Ten Lakes; I made an immediate impression by spilling a packet of open soy sauce on him, hehe...So glad I weigh 70lbs more than him ( :wlift: ). Anyhoo...we made it to the trailhead, prepped up (sans Ben who left us the night before), and hit the trail...this time with Parnelli Clairbear who wasn't with us the first leg of the trip (I'm sure the extra estrogen was appreciated by Liz!)

The Ten Lakes trail follows a gradual incline to the north with a large slabbed, rocky area about a mile in. Consider always hiking westerly during this vague section, as it's an easy place to get lost. It continues north to an open and very large, beautiful meadow. The ladies were trailing behind us, so with great dignity, our group-leader creatively formed markers, drawings and snowmen to denote our presence ahead. Very considerate!

Kyle, John and I made it to the first campsites on the south side of the Lake 8947, but Chum had completely vanished. We soon found out, had circumvented the entire lake looking for the ideal campsite for us; I'm sure he found it there on the lonely north side. Very spacious and plenty of firewood.

Each of the lakes in this area drains into another, so there are wonderful streams and waterfalls between each of these gorgeous, crystalline lakes. I think everyone wished they had more time to explore this area. Many of the lakes had little rock islands...so tempting to swim out to - I wished I now had done that.

As I returned from a water run...I saw a odd and slithering lizard that gave me a spook...now that I've Googled, I'm pretty sure it was a "SKINK" of some sorts; I had never seen one of these before and it was definitely a wildlife highlight. I snapped some photos; every time I got close to the rascal, he would become more aggressive; even took a snap at me.

The campfire was very entertaining that evening. Beer supplies had been freshly replenished and Chumley had carried in so many, he had a tough time keeping track of them all. The ladies entertained us with CopaCoChumly parodies and the spicy bruats I hauled in and cooked over the campfire were unforgettable-pure-awesomeness.

The next morning, the ladies slept in while Chumly, Kyle and John went off to explore the lakes to the east...I decided to climb Grand Mountain just to the north (great views). Once we regrouped, we all headed back out...Chumly, John and I took the 1 mile side trip to the first Grant Lake (Chumley climbed 500' up to the second). Kyle guarded our treed packs from a nearby marmot until the girls arrived then hiked out with them. I was the first to return from Grant, so I solo'd out again on the return trip back. Was awesome timing for each of us returned to the vehicle within a few minutes of each other..

We again crashed in Vegas at my friends house and with the "semi-late" evening arrival, I was grateful that I didn't go out for a spanking that night, (although I think 9L was upset about missing..uhhh...ignor this last paragraph...what happens in Vegas, yada)

I think this hike was a definite highlight and I would highly recommend the Ten Lakes area to anyone interested.
Named place
Named place
Halfmoon Meadow
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squatpuke@gmail.com

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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