Yosemite Backpack

24Aug11

My son and I just went with another dad and son on the kids first ever backpack. It was an ambitious hike to Glen Aulin in Yosemite National Park where we camped for 2 nights. The kids did not carry much at all, but it was almost 6 miles in and out. My son came down with a cold Saturday night and on Sunday his asthma was acting up, so I carried him out part of the way (it is uphill on the way out). Pack on my back and kid on my front I was drained by the time we reached the car.

The Glen Aulin trail is absolutely beautiful – it follows the Tuolumne River down through a lush canyon and spectacular waterfalls surrounded by granite domes and peaks. Saturday was spent hiking a short distance further down the canyon through fields of vibrant wildflowers, attempts at fishing, and lazily playing in the cold snow-melt water.

There are High Sierra tents at Glen Aulin, but we stayed in our own tents in the backpackers section. The camp is quite busy because of the High Sierra tents, the fact that the trail is part of the Pacific Crest Trail, and many people use it as a base camp for day hikes. There are bear bins if needed (we did because we had more food than space in our bear barrel – and yes, we had a bear in our camp – Saturday night it came sniffing my sons backpack just outside of our tent where I had it stashed so I could get to my son’s meds if needed – after that I moved his backpack away from our tent!) and a water faucet.

Yosemite is a bit of a drive from our home, but it really is spectacularly beautiful and there are a ton of wonderful hikes. It was super nice to be in the mountains again. When backpacking things just change – you become less aware of yourself (hunger, sleep deprivation from adjusting to altitude…) and more aware of everything else. We left the car at around 4:30 and arrived at camp around 7:30 Friday night, and the sunset was stunning. And people were so friendly and very impressed by what our boys achieved.

Next time I plan on a more leisurely backpack with time to rest and soak it all in along the way.



One Response to “Yosemite Backpack”

  1. 1 David Spring

    I am so impressed with the four of you. That hike to Glen Aulen is a long drag — longer uphill returning.

    But YES it is quite beautiful and restoring. It makes sleeping amidst the bears easier. Glad the pack got moved away from your tent.


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