Miles: approx. 14
up/down: approx. 4000/500 feet
We continued on the Merced River trail out of camp and quickly got out of the burn and to Bunnell Cascade, now no more than a trickle. It must be mighty impressive in the spring. Continuing up canyon the granite walls were inspiring. Soon enough we were in Echo Valley.
We turned north on the Echo Creek trail and ascended a granite wall following the creek and past many gorgeous granite domes. Our goal for the day was a cross-country trek to Nelson Lake. At the split of the trail and Echo Creek we should have followed the creek but the lower section looked full of downed trees. Looking at the map it appeared we could follow the trail for another mile plus the turn up Cathedral Fork Creek, cross a ridge, and end up a couple miles below Nelson Lake on Echo Creek. Big mistake. We made it but the going was very slow and difficult. We ended up quitting a mile below Nelson Lake in a lovely small meadow beside a creek. Enough was enough.