Twilight and alpenglow at Cathedral Peak, Yosemite. The forest quiets down; all is serene.
After crossing over the Donahue Pass at 11,000 feet and leaving Yosemite behind, the John Muir Trail winds down into the Ansel Adams Wilderness. At this point, you see your next destination ahead: the entire Ritter Range towering over Island Pass and Thousand Island Lake yet to be revealed.
There is a sense that you have crossed over into a new realm – almost a spiritual sea change from the stark granite rocks of Yosemite through the verdant moraine valley and into the towering snow-covered spires.
On the John Muir Trail in the Ansel Adams Wilderness
In the Ansel Adams Wilderness
Along the John Muir Trail on the way to Thousand Island Lake
Along the John Muir Trail
The timing of our first backpacking expedition on this particular section of the John Muir Trail couldn’t have been better in terms of the weather, the clouds, the water, and the green growth as Spring finally arrived in the high country.
This is taken on the back side of Cathedral Peak on the way down into Tuolumne Meadows. I particularly like the split foreground/background attention areas with the stunted pine growing from the rock near us, and the famous jagged double teeth of Cathedral Peak in the distance.
This is one of my all-time favorite photographs taken in one of my all-time favorite places. We were coming down from the plateau at the summit of Donahue Pass, out of Yosemite and into the glacial moraine at the beginning of the Ansel Adams Wilderness when this vista presented itself: just right with a cloud shadow right over the Minarets, silhouetting them in front of the roiling sky.
The Minarets are those distant sharp peaks to the right of center in the background that are named for the architectural minarets they resemble.