June 1, 2012
Total distance: 11.6 miles
The walk to Glen Aulin was Andrew’s and my first trip for the year to the high country. Glen Aulin means “beautiful valley” in Gaelic. The area is breathtaking and appropriately named.
Soda Spring, a naturally carbonated spring was near the trailhead. Also nearby was Parson’s Lodge, a stone lodge built by the Sierra Club in 1914.
It’s a flat trail to start leading through a partly wooded area. We arrived after the snow melt but saw one tiny patch slowly defrosting in the shade.
When we reached the lush, green meadow beside the lazy moving Tuolumne River, we saw mule deer running to and fro. I counted seven marmots too. Above the meadow and trees, there was a distant view of the snow-capped peaks of the Cathedral Range.
The only wildflowers we saw were patches of phlox. We crossed boulder-strewn granite fields with cairns that led the way. The dry granite sparkled in the sunshine. We crossed the rushing Delaney Creek on a downed log and walked through many seasonal streams.
We walked beside a series of cascades rapidly flowing downhill.
We traversed two bridges over the river and came close to Tuolumne Falls whose spray cooled us on this warm day. The power of the falling water was incredible.
The hike ended at the closed-for-the-season to reopen soon, Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp. We sat by White Cascade pool and had lunch.
Andrew thought about getting into the water, and at certain times you can, but it was much too fast-moving on this day. We had the trail to ourselves all day long until we left. Then we passed about 30 backpackers making their way down.
Another glorious day in paradise!
Hiking distance 11.6 miles