John Muir Trail Day 2: In the Shadow of a Cathedral

Lupine flowers in front of Cathedral Peak

Just the Facts

From Little Yosemite Valley to Cathedral Lake
Camp: Upper Cathedral Lake, elevation 9,424 ft
Miles: 12.6 miles
Total Miles: 23 miles
Passes: Cathedral Pass at 9,703
Elevation gain and loss: 3,494 ft up
Weather: sunny and warm but not as hot as yesterday we were above 9,000 feet most of the day.
Daily Neet Beat

Today we started off with little sleep. Seems the roving ranger patrols in Little Yosemite Valley were kept busy last night with keeping the bears out of the campground. We could hear the ticking of their tracking devices get louder and closer together and then shouts of “bear” and the crack of a spray gun or from pellet shots. This went on half the night. Not exactly a wilderness experience but we will have more of that days ahead.

We got out of camp around 6:30am and headed up the hill. Made it to camp early today, around 2pm. We could keep going but would need to camp in the established area of Tolumne Meadows if we do. Our camp was at a beautiful lake, Upper Cathedral Lake, with towering glorious peaks around it. At least at 10,000 feet it was a little cooler. We got to clean up and stare across at “Cathedral Peak”.  Man, it really looks like a cathedral. This is God’s country.

Photos of the Day
An unusually large plagioclase mineral in granitic rock.

Cathedral Peak is aptly named!
Stand off at Cathedral Lake
The beautiful Sierra Tiger Lily


  1. You weave an entertaining story Kerrie. It is easy to get excited along with the two of you as we travel vicariously along. Can’t wait for the future installments!

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