Townsley Lake Yosemite National Park – Located between Fletcher and Parsons Peak in the Vogelsang Region lies Townsley lake, one of my favorite Yosemite Lakes in the High Sierra. Townsley Lake has similar qualities to so many Yosemite Lakes with crystal clear blue waters, rocky and sandy lake floor, grassy and rocky shores lines, tremendous photo angles and for what I understand great fishing.
On my recent visit the the thing that made Townsley stand out I guess is the backdrop and location of this lake sitting at 10353′ townsley is at the top of the tree line and is dressed in granite mountain peaks, lush green grasses and plenty of wildlife.
With no official trail to Townsley lake visitors typically come up from fletcher Lake below. over the years human use trails are present for some of the climb upto the lake and a gentle waterfall on coming out of townsley into Fletcher is a beacon of sorts for those looking to see the above Fletcher. the Range (Ranger Dan) that we met at Fletcher Lake told me that Townsley was popular fishing lake and many of the trails are developed over the years from visitors carrying their fishing gear. The second way to Townsley is to climb out of the south edge of Evelyn lake in the Basin and cross over a high Alpine Bluff and down into townsley on a rather gentle slope. This bluff is bigger than it looks on the map but has an amazing vantage point for the region. You wont see the lake until the last minute before you descend so you will just need to head for the tall peaks. The Climb out of Evelyn is no easy chore so bring water and snacks.
Just above townsley lake on the far east shore is another unique lake experience. hanging Basket Lake is found after a rather steep scramble up a granite rock field into a bowl located a few hundred feet above. Hanging Basket is a deep Cold almost glacial lake that is cupped by granite and provides one of the quietest places you may ever visit. The water is extremely cold so caution for swimmers. They wont hear you scream for help from up here.
Camping is allowed around townsley lake so backpackers can decided to skip the Vogelsang base Camp area and continue up to townsley Lake. the trees here are shorter and dwarfed a bit for the heavy winters and the only flat areas far enough away from water to be legal would seem to be at the far east side of the lake. The northshore hillside has some rock croppings where tent locations might be found. As a hammock camper trees were plentiful on the North hillside but size of trees were inconsistent, so finding perfect location might take so searching.