Ottoway Lake, Yosemite

Illilouette Creek to Ottoway Lake – Backpacking Red Peak Pass Day 2

Map of Loop

Curtis & I hiked Red Peak Pass in Yosemite for 5 days and 4 nights. It was 50 miles of mountains, lizard push-ups, rivers, and lakes. Check out the blog post detailing each day’s ups, downs, and tips: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5

Or continue on to read of day 2’s adventures…

From our camp along Illilouette day two would again take us 8-9ish miles, but with considerably more elevation gain , to lower Ottoway Lake. Starting hiking up the trail towards Merced pass lakes we began to appreciate our slow hiking/late start the day prior, as it seemed with every step towards the Merced Pass Lake area the mosquitoes became more present. Meaning we picked a supreme place to camp last night, without many bugs!

As we traveled up we could see red peak in the distance, although were not completely certain of which route the trail was going to take us around it. This view in the distance was much more satisfying than that of Merced Pass Lake, which turned out to be more a swampy low lying area, then a lake. Perhaps because it was July in a low water year the “Lake” was not a lake? Anyhow Illilouette creek was the last good source of water we had to will up before we hiked up to Ottoway creek and then Ottoway Lake.

But let me tell you about Ottoway Lake, now that is a real lake! Amazing, there are fish literally jumping out the water to greet you. Cold, clear, and surrounded by mountains – it is the real deal. Perhaps it is the Michigander in me, but I always seem to enjoy camping along lakes.