Hiking Yosemite National Park
by Suzanne Swedo (Falcon Guides)
© 2016 Suzanne Swedo/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Did this as start of incomplete John Muir Trail trip. Its a beautiful valley with a lot of nice fish in the river. The conditions this summer were particularly rough and there wasn't any "trail" up Donohue. It was microspikes on, and go straight up the snow. If the conditions were better this would be a perfect introductory backpacking trip for smaller children; particularly by reaching the pass on a day hike.
Lyell Canyon is a beautiful and easy hike. We camped about 9 miles from the trail head and did a day hike the next day to Donohue Pass. We also did a scrambled up Kuna Creek to the meadow above it one day. However, it was very cold - 28 degrees one night and 17 degrees another.
The first 15 miles is excellent trail on relatively flat terrain. Most of the elevation gain is in the last 4 miles. Recent flood and avalanche activity have left the first 1/2 of the climb is pretty rough shape, but easy to find and doable. The bridges are decent and fords are pretty easy. The view of Mts Lyell and McClure are great as are the eastern glaciers. From the meadow to the pass is easy uphill, but there are many routes to the pass.
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