May 12, 2012
Total distance: 2 miles
The unmarked trail to Carlon Falls began in the Stanislaus National Forest on the north bank of the South Fork Tuolumne River. The trail entered Yosemite National Park through a metal maze.
I hiked alone through the shady forest on my way to Carlon Falls. Spider webs strewn across the trail tickled my face as I broke the invisible snares.
The sandy trail bordering the river led to a private beach.
It turned away from the water then led steeply uphill along an eroded hillside, down a slippery slope and back towards the water.
The closer I came to the falls, the harder it was to see a clear path. Climbing over boulders and rocks, I forged my own way.
Scanning the area, I eventually found a barely visible animal trail and followed that up to the next level. The granite near the water’s edge was smoothly polished.
Looking up, I could clearly see the trail that I missed. Returning was much easier when walking on the correct path.