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  • Writer's pictureKatie Nerod

A Quest for Bread: My Backpacking Journey to Young Lakes in Yosemite National Park

Hello my fellow Loaf getters! I am here to tell you about my fantastic journey into the beautiful wilderness of Yosemite National Park. For those of you who do not know, Yosemite is a park in California that is famous for its stunning views, and that one yelp review described as, "The trees block the view and there are too many grey rocks". Clearly, they don't find loaf in nature. I, on the other hand, have found an abundance of bread in this park and keep finding new parts of the park that take my breath away.

On my most recent trip to Yosemite, I went backpacking to Young Lakes with my friend, Courtney. It was 8 miles both ways and felt like the perfect amount of challenge for me. Courtney, who had just completed the John Muir Trail ( a 211-mile hike), acted as though it was a walk in the park.

This is Courtney, backpacker extraordinaire.

The best part about this trail is that the scenery was always changing and breakpoints down the way. We first walked through a meadow and then passed through an area that was just a wide stretch of flat rock and a series of mini boulders that reminded me of giant snowballs.

Once we climbed to a high enough altitude, you could see some of the Sierra mountains and the endless expanse of Yosemite. This was one of our many break spots for a snack of power beans, cheese, and of course, bread.

Eventually, we got to the first of three lakes that are considered the young lakes and it was BEAUTIFUL. The water was clear, there was nobody around, and the mountains surrounding us were stunning.

We set up camp at the top of the third lake because and altitude sickness was beginning to set in for me. At around 10,000 feet, this elevation was playing all kinds of tricks on my body and made my head feel like someone tightened a tourniquet around it. I even threw up a little and in classic "leave no trace" style packed out my puke bag. Despite feeling terrible, I managed to wander over to the nearby viewpoint for the sunset and I am so glad I did. There really are worse places to be puking than the side of a mountain.

All in all, I rate this journey as 4 out 5 slices. Great challenge, great views, tough altitude sickness.

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