We arrived in Tuolumne at 4:00 pm and we decided to try this quick hike before dinner. Since this is a popular trailhead, I’ve always ignored it, only to discover that I’ve been missing a beautiful basin of subalpine lakes. When we arrive at the first lake it‘s deserted, proving that even a popular trailhead can provide some solitude. Shad delights in the early evening light, which makes for wonderful photographs. The rays of refracted sunlight crystallize the blue water.
The basin stretches out before us like a welcoming soft, green carpet. We decide to head north up to Upper Gaylor Lake to explore the mining ruins in the area. The remains of Dana Village still linger even though the site was abandoned over a hundred years ago. We find old mining holes, now filled, where men desperately searched for silver, disintegrating cabins and odd pieces of machinery. At the top of Tioga Hill, we glance back the way came and have a peaceful view of Gaylor Peak and its lakes, settling in for their evening rest.