When the first wild bear I ever saw up close wandered past my backcountry camp, I grabbed my camera and shot pictures like mad. Bears appear to Yosemite tourists all the time yet had somehow eluded me during my first several years of park visits. Unwisely, I followed the bruin as I finished a roll of film and even loaded another.

My fellow forest-dweller didn’t like it and let me know with a snarl and sudden step in my direction. The bear’s bluff charge nearly made my heart leap out of my chest. I got the message and backed off, a bit wiser than before.

View More: http://mydjp.pass.us/yosemite-trip-2015

The sun sets on a summer day at Shadow Lake.

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Backpackers trek past Split Mountain in Inyo National Forest.

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Only backpackers get to see views like this at Desolation Wilderness.

View More: http://mydjp.pass.us/yosemite-trip-2015

The author and companions relished a visit to Ediza Lake in Ansel Adams Wilderness.

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