Suffice it to say that this is a place you should visit, if you're ever in Mammoth Lakes at any time, or in Yosemite during the summer months, when Tioga Road is open. (Just don't get atop the tufa to get better photos, a la some douchey photographer I saw around. There are signs around asking people not to do that! It's an environmentally fragile area. Yeesh!)
OK. Next, we (the royal "we," I suppose) were off to Yosemite, with plans to at least finish one hike, this one of the Gaylor Lakes trail. I'd read about this one in printed and online guides, suggesting that it was wildly overlooked, and gorgeous. It was also, I knew, right past the eastern entrance and, as such, was far less likely to be smoky or hazy.
What I saw was overwhelming, even if the hike initially proved more strenuous than I ever expected. I couldn't stop, though, once I got going. I had to see what was over the ridiculously steep hill I was climbing (600 feet in half a mile, or so I learned later), at over 9,000 feet. Verdict: WORTH IT.
First, some shots from the trail, and up the hill.
2018, Ray Mikell