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Guide to Tuolumne Meadows Trails (1960) by Allan Shields


VII. YOUNG LAKE

(4-strenuous all-day, 1800 ft., 12 miles).

Young Lake is situated northeast of Ragged Peak, and at its base, half surrounded by lodgepole forest, half by talus slopes from the nearby ridges of granite. In addition to Young Lake, there are two other lakes above it well worth exploring. Fishing is good. Camping is permitted, and you may want to pack in to spend a night or more. See the Ranger for a campfire permit. From Young Lake, Mt. Conness displays itself splendidly.

Directions: Follow the Dog Lake trail to the junction near Dog Lake (p. 183). Dog Lake makes a convenient and beautiful resting spot on the first leg of your trip and is only a short distance from the junction. At the junction, turn left onto the trail. There are a series of moraines to climb and descend, followed by Moraine Meadow just prior to reaching the base of Ragged Peak. After crossing this point, the trail drops down to intersect the one that comes up from the Glen Aulin trail (Tuolumne River). Follow around the base of Ragged Peak on the trail to the lake where you will find campsites.

To return, make a circle trip by taking the trail which joins the Glen Aulin trail. In other words, after leaving Young Lake, moving around the base of Ragged Peak, instead of following the trail back up to the point of land below Ragged Peak, turn right. The trail is definite all the way to the Glen Aulin “highway” where you turn left, and soon find yourself at the Sierra Club property. Though somewhat less varied, the route may be reversed by starting at the Sierra Club property on the Glen Aulin trail. The climb is the same, but easier to make along this trail.

Special Features: This entire trip presents a good opportunity to observe the effects, recent and long past, of the needleminer moth destruction of the lodgepole forests. Across Moraine Meadow you will travel through a new forest of young trees. Notice the many fallen trees of the old forest.

When you have ascended the point below Ragged Peak, before descending, walk out far enough to enjoy the commanding view of the region.

There are two additional lakes above and east of Young Lake which are interesting to explore. The climb and distance however will add considerably to a one-day hike (see your topographic map.)

A rewarding and strenuous addition to your trip can be made by ascending, from Young Lake, to the saddle between Ragged Peak and the ridge just east of the Peak. Though the route is steep, the view of Mt. Conness, Roosevelt Lake (just west of the base of Conness), and back down on Young Lake make this worth undertaking. Follow one of the water courses down to the Dog Lake trail. They all cross it.

Roosevelt Lake is not feasible to attempt on a one-day trip. It involves a considerable descent and climb. However, on a two-day trip this would be one of the best choices for additional exploration.



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