Hoover ➜ Emigrant Wilderness ◆ 10 Days ◆ 35.6 Miles
Tower Peak was our goal. The intent and desire was there. However, it was a matter of conditioning, or really lack of it. We hiked to the ridge above Helen Lake and took in the spectacular vistas and snapped some shots, but it was to not be in the cards for this trip. Our first few nights were spent at Helen Lake exploring the surrounding lakes and soaking in the crystal clear night sky. Helen, Bonnie, Stella, Harriet, Cora and Dorothy Lakes are nestled together in the border between the Southern tip of the Hoover Wilderness and the Northern tip of Yosemite Back Country Wilderness. They are named after Colonel Forsyth daughters. An early military figure in the struggle between animal grazing and the governments desire to protect the character of the land for future generations. The scenery is spectacular, the fishing wonderful and wildlife passes you by from the scampering Marmot to the majestic Golden Eagle.
We accessed Snow Lake via Bond Pass from Dorothy and took a quick side trip to Quartzite Peak. From here you have views down range into Emigrant Wilderness and the Pacific Crest. There is an old mining road that wanders up to the highest point. The only disappointing part of our trip occurred during this leg, as one of our members lost his camera. Fortunately Santa was good to him this year, and we are pretty sure he will hang on to his camera with a bit more passion. Well, Snow Lake lived up to its name, as on the first night we awoke to that wonderful silence that engulfs your senses. Not to mention the biting cold. The fishing was a pleasant surprise and the weather turned for the better as we left for the next stage of our sojourn.
On the Way Out
There is always a thrill when we head to Emigrant Meadow Lake and it's 'Top-Of-The-World' feeling. Rising over the crest to view the lake and Brown Bear pass is an experience that is best served with brisk mountain air and soothing sunshine blanketing your body and soul. Our next challenge was the move from Lost Lake to Kennedy Lake, our yearly pilgrimage to our first backpacking destination. This entails a 1600 ft drop down a deer trail which is not for the faint of heart. It is a matter of keeping your senses, keeping your balance and not looking down!!!!!!! Well, we made and spent a peaceful night. The rest of the trial is etched in our psyche as we have ran it at least 20 times in the past 12 years. Back to Kennedy Meadows and the end of this adventure. There will be more to come.
May our paths & errands meet
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