September 5-12, 2019.   Sierra North.   The first gallery in this set is also listed under Yosemite Frontcountry.   A night at the Bridalveil Creek Campground (with an interesting excursion to Taft Point), followed by a six night, seven day backpacking loop. In at the Mono Meadow trailhead, down to Illilouette Creek, up the creek almost to Merced Pass, east on the Red Peak Pass Trail and ultimately into the drainage of the Triple Peak Fork of the Merced. From there, down the Triple Peak Fork and the main stem of the Merced to Nevada Fall, then back to the trailhead via the most direct route. Nights along Illiloutte Creek, at Lower Ottoway Lake, near the junction of the Red Peak Pass and Triple Peak Fork Trails, along the Merced about a mile above Washburn Lake, along the Merced just above the Brunnell Cascades (near the footbridge), and the along Illouette Creek a bit less than 3 miles from the trailhead.

I've only been near Red Peak Pass once before, and like the Benson Lake loop earlier this year, it was in 1982! It just sort of worked out that 2019 turned out to be a partial redo of two trips from that year. Back then, I and two Sierra Club friends, Cliff Hawkins and John Moore, went up to the Ottoway Lakes from Glacier Point. Red Peak Pass was still snowed in so it was an in-and-out. I've been eyeing a return with the full loop over the pass for years. I recall donating money to the Yosemite Conservancy (then the Yosemite Fund) over a decade ago to support trail reconstruction here. Last year I was all set to go -- I had a permit reservation -- until the Ferguson Fire closed the area. I finally made it.

Although going over Red Peak Pass was new, I was along the Merced five years ago, although only as far as Merced Lake. That trip offers an interesting comparision since part of the area has burned in the interim. See Yosemite: LYV and Beyond - April/May 2014. The Merced River section of this trip also came within a few miles of my 2016 trip out of Tuolumne Meadows into the Vogelsang area.
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