Trail from White Wolf Campground to Lukens Lake

Park Ranger giving a talk among the many beautiful wildflowers.

Park ranger giving a talk among the many beautiful wildflowers.

It was the height of tourist season that August in 2008, when Dan and I decided to take our chances with Yosemite National Park.

Most people when they visit Yosemite, drive right to Yosemite Valley. Beautiful as it is, the summer heat lingers on in August. All year long, throngs of people with their different modes of transportation, clog up the valley floor with noise and confusion.

We wanted a taste of Yosemite’s wild beauty; but we wanted some peace, too.

Park ranger showing a trail marker carved into a tree.

Park ranger showing a trail marker carved into a tree.

That is why that summer we elected to camp high above Yosemite Valley at White Wolf Campground, located near the top of Yosemite Falls.

Delicate wildflowers located on the trail.

Delicate wildflowers located on the trail.

Our second camping experience together, we spent a very dark, moonless night in the woods. Even the stars were blocked out by the towering evergreens. It was too dark to even see my hand in front of my face!

I thought I heard a bear growling in the night, only to discover by flashlight that it was someone snoring in a neighboring tent. (Since then, I’ve been scheduling nights in the woods around a full moon.)

Cow parsnip

Mariposa Lily

Despite this little blip, the next morning was gorgeous, full of sunshine. Ready to go exploring, we took advantage of a ranger-led hike which started from the White Wolf Campground and ended at Lukens Lake. This leisure walk went through the woods on a 4.6 mile, round-trip path.

Much to our delight, it was still spring in August at 8,000 feet elevation, so some wildflowers were in bloom. There was also a very unique fungus growing on the ground called the “Sulphur Bracket Fungus.” The picture here shows Dan’s boot (size 12) next to this giant fungus.

Sulphur Bracket Fungus

Sulphur Bracket Fungus

One of the most interesting things on this trail, was a green meadow that was actually a bog. Our guide took us out on the meadow and we all jumped up and down. The springy ground squished softly under our feet.

Lukens Lake

Lukens Lake

Lukens Lake itself was beautiful. Because this mountain lake invited calmness and peacefulness, I knew this was exactly what we were looking for in Yosemite that summer. We sat on a log and soaked up all its stillness.

Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.” Job 37:14



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