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Hiking to Dana Lakes with Cloud Reflections and a Closer Look at Dana Glacier

I headed back up to Dana Lakes with some friends and one of our party hiked up to Dana Glacier while I sat and watched those clouds roll by, casting beautiful reflections in the high mountain lakes. I thought you might like to see those pretty clouds.

Where: Ansel Adams Wilderness, Inyo National Forest
Distance: 5.22 Miles
Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
Elevation Range: 9,651′ – 11,144′
Date: July 21, 2014
Maps: Falls Ridge and June Lake Topographic Quads

There were just a couple of clouds in the sky when we started our hike from Tioga Lake, casting their reflection for us as we walked by the inlet to the lake.

Dana Clouds 2

When we reached the lower of the Dana Lakes, I could not believe my eyes. Wow, what a contrast in colors with the blue sky, white clouds and blue lake. These photos were not enhanced in anyway.

Dana Clouds 3

Dana Clouds 4

Dana Clouds 5

Not too shabby at the second of the Dana Lakes.

Dana Clouds 6

Dana Clouds 7

By the time we got to the upper and largest of the Dana Lakes, the wind was blowing just enough that we didn’t get any reflections. . .but we had the Dana Glacier to look at.

Dana Clouds 8

While we were eating our lunch, watching the lake, the clouds and the Dana Glacier, Forrest was motivated to get a closer look at the glacier, so he walked along the edge of the lake, up and along the moraine to see it. Rick and I were much too lazy, so we sat and watched him. As he got closer and was silhouetted against the glacier, it was very clear how large that snow and ice covered area was. I will definitely need to do this next time.

Can you spot Forrest’s silhouette?

Dana Clouds 9

Dana Clouds 10

Dana Clouds 11

We headed back down along the eastern side of what was an old side of the glacier’s path, taking a look at the small lakes along the way and how the rocks in this area were much different from the type that we had been seeing earlier that were carried and polished by the glacier.

Dana Clouds 12

Dana Clouds 12.5

Dana Clouds 13

We hiked cross country until we met up with the trail that goes up to Dana Plateau, then followed that trail back down. The beautiful columbine was still blooming!

Dana Clouds 14

We made it back to the car without needing to pull out our rain gear. We had only friendly clouds on our hike, not a drop of rain.

Dana Clouds 15

Dana Clouds 17

Dana Clouds 16

Even though I had hiked up to Dana Lakes a couple of weeks prior to this hike, the clouds were so beautiful that I wanted to share them with you. It also shows how different the same hike can be, whether it is the change of seasons or the special element that clouds can bring to the scenery. I didn’t include as much detail on how to get to this hike or the history as I usually do but you can access that information on my prior Blogs on this hike located at the links below.

One comment

  1. Lovely area, wonderful; adventure! Been all of the way to the Upper Dana Lakes a few times. The colors are something out of the Aegean Sea, the columbines beautifully contrasted against the multi colored, the views coming down to the mountains above and beyond Tioga Lake gorgeous. Thanks for sharing your adventure!

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