- Expedition: Jun 3-8, 2007
- Gardena Boys and Girls Club and Oaklank Urban Releaf Program
- Yosemite National Park: Old Big Oak Flat to Eagle Peak to Yosemite Falls
For our last WildLink expedition of the school year, we were joined by WildLink veterans from the Gardena Boys and Girls Club as well as newcomers from the Urban Releaf program in Oakland.
WildLink would like to thank the Richard Iglehart Wilderness Foundation for their generous support for making this expedition possible. It is the final of four Richard Iglehart memorial expeditions slated for this year.
Our small group of ten started out on a cool and cloudy day from the historic Old Big Oak Flat trailhead and found ourselves surrounded by wildflowers, head-tall ferns, and even walking through clouds. We were joined for the morning by Juliana and Gary from the Associated Press, so look for an article on our experience in your local papers! We hiked for about four miles and 1,000 of elevation gain that first day before making camp above Cascade Creek for the night.
Our second day began with some quick downhill along the crumbling pavement of the Old Big Oak Flat Road before our trail split off north in the direction of Ribbon Meadow. This difficult section of trail took us up another 1,600 feet of elevation. Along the way we saw spectacular views to the West, looking out on the Merced River Canyon, the foothills of the Sierra, and all the way across the Central Valley to the faint Coastal Range Mountains in the distance. After achieving our high point at 7,700 feet, we headed down with fast, strong legs towards Ribbon Meadow and completed our last uphill of the day just after Ribbon Creek. We were rewarded with a breathtaking view of the southern cliffs of Yosemite Valley, a peek of Bridalveil Falls, and El Capitan standing in front of us. That night it got considerably colder and even snowed a bit on us while we cooked dinner!
Our third day we enjoyed some morning reflection time on the spectacular summit of El Capitan, which is believed to be the largest single rock in the world. We wrote sensory poems, enjoyed the heat of the sun, and got some nice group pictures before continuing our hike towards the Three Brothers. We added a little icing to the cake by also achieving the summit of Eagle Peak that afternoon! At 7,779 feet, we could see virtually the entire wilderness area of Yosemite National Park. Replenished by the view, we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening hiking all the way down the Yosemite Falls trail, arriving at the Valley Floor just as it got dark. A long way to travel in one day!