Day 67: Island Pass and Donahue Pass

We woke up with the plan of going 17 miles, which would get us up and over Island Pass and Donahue Pass and camp near the Lyell Fork in Lyell Canyon. We got a good start for the day, leaving camp around 7:30am.

We reached Island Pass, which is more of a hill than a pass, by about noon. Thousand Island Lake was just below Island Pass and that was the highlight of the day for me. It was a really cool, sprawling lake with tons of little islands scattered throughout the lake. We went on a few miles from Island Pass before eating lunch at 1pm at the low point between Island and Donahue Passes.

After lunch, we set off to get up and over Donahue Pass before the ever greying sky started dropping any rain or snow on us. We reached the top of Donahue by 4pm, which was just in time. The north face of the pass was relatively clear of snow, with just a few little snow fields to navigate. We got down to our chosen camp site, which was just about 2 miles or so from the top of the pass, around 5:30pm. We realized once we got there that the location was too high in elevation to have a camp fire (the elevation for fires in Yosemite drops from 10,000 in the other parks to 9,600). We decided to press on for another mile and a half to drop down further and have a campfire. We still arrived at our new camp location before 6:30pm and had a delightful fire before heading into our bags for the night. We only have about 9 miles to reach Tuolumne Meadows tomorrow so we are in no real hurry since we have to wait unti Monday morning to pick up our mail package. I imagine we will get up when we both feel the urge to get going and cruise down the canyon to Tuolumne for lunch.


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