Gaylor Lakes, Yosemite

View of Middle Gaylor Lake from the top of the ridge separating the lakes basin from Tioga Road.




I had driven past the trailhead to the Gaylor Lakes many times over the years but had never stopped and actually made the hike. Dumb -- it's a short hike to a pretty spectacular (if frequently visited) high country basin.




The trailhead couldn't be easier to find. It's literally next to the Tioga Pass entrance to Yosemite National Park in a small parking lot. It's a steep mile hike up and over a ridge to get to the middle of the three lakes. And then it's easy hiking to either the lower or upper lake.

You could easily pass the better part of a day hiking, fishing and photographing the basin -- as well as climbing Gaylor Peak, accessible from the ridge. More info here

I ran into some pretty intense weather on my hike. It was cloudy with storms in the distance when I started out and got increasingly dark with some accompanying thunder as I ping-ponged between the middle lake and upper lake. When the skies finally opened, some other hikers and I had to hunker down under some trees for 15 minutes until the rain and likelihood of lightning subsided enough to scramble back over the ridge to the trailhead.

The top photo was taken on the way in -- I was just behind a very nice National Park Service ranger. The second and third photos were taken at the middle lake and the final photo was at the outlet of the upper lake. All photos were taken with my Nikon Df and either the Nikon 50mm 1.8 lens or the 18-35mm 3.5 lens.

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--S.H.

The photos above are ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere or reproduced without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved.