High Sierra Camp Loop Hike - Day 5
An edited version of my adventure on the High Sierra Camps Loop appeared in the second issue of Sidewalk - A hiking and backpacking magazine
|Trip Date: 08/25/2014
Distance: 8.3 Miles
Vertical Gain: 3000'
Group Size: 6
Hike Rating: Easy Moderate Hard Strenuous
GPX for this trip
|Merced Lake just before sunrise.|
|This little guy ran back and
forth at me on the log I was sitting on, apparently looking for a
handout that he never got.
|Everyone gathering in the cold morning for the ritual of hot drinks before getting a huge breakfast.|
|Our group headed out from our favorite campsite of the entire trip.|
|Merced Lake HSC is apparently
a center point for a number of trails through the backcountry, which
explains why it is also the largest of the High Sierra Camps.
Our destination of Vogelsang HSC was a misleading 7.6 miles.
With the elevation gain of over 3000' it seemed like much
|Phil making his way up the first of a series of switchbacks on this trail.|
|At this point on the trail we had our last look at Merced Lake, and Half Dome just barely visible in the distance.|
|There weren't many level spots
before Fletcher Meadows, but we enjoyed them when we found them.
|Coming up on the impressive Babcock Dome. These domes out of granite are formed when the pressure from the molten rock that created them continues to push upward, hence their tendency to constantly have rockfalls as they break a little bit at a time.|
|At the high point of the climb up to Babcock Dome was an impressive view of the entire Clark Range to the southwest.|
|Brent took care of the sweeper job for us today!|
|We followed Fletcher Creek up most of this trail, and there were many waterfalls cascading down around us as we headed up, up and up.|
|Getting to Fletcher Meadow provided us with beautiful scenery and over a mile of level hiking. It was well appreciated.|
|Brent and Phil navigating their way carefully across Fletcher Creek at the east end of the meadow.|
|Vogelsang Peak is distinctive and soon came into our view, but it sure looks a lot different from afar.|
|After Fletcher Meadow, the trail takes off up once again, climbing steadily over the last couple of miles to the last High Sierra Camp we would stay at.|
|Past this section of trail is the pass that we would be heading up to get to our campsite at 10200' elevation.|
|Our campsite a little ways off from the HSC location, but very nice with a lake just a few hundred feet away.|
|Looking at Vogelsang Peak across Fletcher Lake.|
|The appropriately named "Choo choo train mountain" to the north of our campsite at Vogelsang.|
|Our group at Vogelsang HSC waiting for dinner and our last evening meal of the trip.|
|The food was so good and so plentiful on the trip that I gained 2 pounds despite the 51 miles of backpacking we did.|
|GPS Track of the full hike.|