Christine Ryan

Neither struck by lightning nor eaten by bears.
Photograph by Christine Ryan

For most of August, Yosemite National Park—heck, the whole Sierra range—was pummeled by the kind of thunderstorm, complete with hail, that I associate with summers back East.

So, a few weeks ago, when three friends and I hiked the trails linking Vogelsang, Merced Lake, and Sunrise High Sierra Camps, we spent a lot of the time worrying about being struck by lightning. (Spoiler alert: we weren’t.) What we didn’t worry about so much? Bears invading our tent cabins in search of cookie crumbs and forgotten lip balm. Here’s why: The park’s strict put-everything-even-remotely-edible-in-a-bear-locker policy is working. (See here for more on the bear-diet study that proves this conclusion.) Which doesn’t mean you can relax and bring your trail mix to bed with you. The only thing worse than squashed raisins in your sleep sack would be a visit from the one bear that didn’t get the memo.

The view from our tent cabin: not a bear in sight! Photograph by Christine Ryan

Tent cabin #1, at Yosemite's Sunrise High Sierra Camp. Photograph by Christine Ryan

You May Like