Yosemite 2010 Day 0

Day 0 Summary: Get to Yosemite, camp in the Tuolumne Meadows Backpackers campground, get our final preparations completed, climb a dome, and have one last hamburger and bowl of ice cream.

We left San Diego at about 2am, headed north to Yosemite via the eastern side of the Sierra on 395. Morning is the best time to drive this route, as the view of the mountains is fantastic, and made us more excited than ever to get hiking. We got to the park about 11am and went straight to the Wilderness Center in Tuolumne Meadows, where we converted our trailhead reservation into a bona-fide Wilderness Permit. Oh yeah!

Mount Whitney from Lee's Frontier Gas Station, heading up the east side on highway 395
Mount Whitney from Lee’s Frontier Gas Station, heading up the east side on highway 395. Sorry, Whitney, but Yosemite’s calling!

Ellery Lake above Lee Vining, with the Dana Plateau and Mount Conness in the far distance
Ellery Lake above Lee Vining, with the Dana Plateau and Mount Conness in the far distance
Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center, where we picked up our backcountry hiking permits
Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center, where we picked up our backcountry hiking permits

We were hiking out the next morning, so we set up our “Day 0” camp in the Tuolumne Meadows Backpackers Camp. As it was still early, we did the tourist thing and drove around near Tuolumne Meadows. We visited the old CCC building, ate a burger at the grill, and then parked the car for the week near Lembert Dome. As long as we were there, we climbed partway up the slope of the dome and enjoyed the view. Traffic was insane all around Tuolumne Meadows, typical of Yosemite on a beautiful summer day in August. We could hardly wait until we were hiking in the woods, far from all the crowds. We walked back to our campsite, ate dinner, and went to bed early, as we had to catch the “Backpackers Bus” at 8:45am the next morning back at the Lembert Dome parking lot.

Lembert Dome and the Tuolumne River from the Tuolumne Meadows Campground
Lembert Dome and the Tuolumne River from the Tuolumne Meadows Campground
The former Civilian Conservation Corps building in Tuolumne Meadows (CCC)
The former Civilian Conservation Corps building in Tuolumne Meadows
Vicki climbing the ever-steepening lower granite slope on Lembert Dome
Vicki climbing the ever-steepening lower granite slope on Lembert Dome
Our campsite in the Backpacker's Campground in Tuolumne Meadows
Our campsite in the Backpacker’s Campground in Tuolumne Meadows

 

For more Day 0 photos and videos see my Flickr Page.

For an interactive topographic map including our GPS tracks see my CalTopo Page.
Onward to Day 1