Eye of the Earth

September 25, 2016
Tenaya Lake to Lower Sunrise Lake
Roundtrip distance:  7.5 miles

Just a week into autumn and I strolled over beaten earth heading to Sunrise Lakes.  The trail was easy to start: flat and wide.  The fall colors had my spirit soaring.

Loved this colorful area.

After a dry summer, the stream crossings were mere puddles easy to jump.

Even the flowers near the streams were dry.

The path narrowed and led into the dark forest.  Wind blew freely through the trees.  My pace slowed when the trail became a tangled mess of roots and rocks.

Beginning to climb.

The climb was slight at first, a granite staircase led the way.  It became harder rising 1,300 feet before leveling off.

There were many sections of stairs to climb.

I was encouraged to keep climbing when I passed a group of winded millennials.  Being much younger, I figured they would pass me once they caught their breath, but I never saw them again.  As I climbed above the tree line, the view opened up to mountains of granite.

Mt. Hoffman


At two and one-half miles, the trail leveled and stayed steady eventually leading somewhat downhill to the lakes.

Approaching lower Sunrise Lake.

Sunrise Lakes are a group of three small lakes on the way to the High Sierra camp.  The lower lake was a gorgeous blue eye of the earth and I had it all to myself.

Mt. Hoffman in the distance.

I walked around its shore and found the best spot to sit for lunch.  A breath of wind ruffled the water.  Trout jumped for the fun of living in paradise.  Dragonflies skimmed the water’s surface with singing wings.


The early autumn sun warmed my shoulders while I sat.  Squirrels romped over the rocks oblivious to my presence.  One brave rodent even grabbed my water bottle and chewed on it.

Climb a tree, it gets you closer to heaven. –Anonymous

Alas, my time at the lake amidst God’s creatures came to an end.  I ambled back to the car.

Heading back.

On the drive home, The Rivieras blasted through the radio singing, “Well they’re out there a-havin’ fun in that warm California sun,” the perfect lyrics to describe the day I had in Yosemite National Park.

14 thoughts on “Eye of the Earth

  1. Great photos–and what a great day you had! I could not physically do the walk myself, so love that you let me tag along. I was out on a little trip last week to find some fall colors. I was in Fresno, heading home to Bakersfield but decided to take the scenic route through Yosemite and over Tioga Pass. I did not really stop but loved the fall colors along the way! I will post some photos on my blog soon. Have a great fall.

    Liked by 1 person

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