This photo was taken at Olmstead Point, along Tioga Road. At the overlook, there was a stretch of this smooth flat rock which makes a pretty stable walking surface (much better than slippery granite rocks.)
The flat surface of these rocks is the product of glaciers from the last ice age. These ice masses polished the rock as they moved through the valley, creating the smooth flat surface that is seen today. Sand and other abrasive elements pushed against the rocks under the weight of the glaciers and created the marks that are visible on the rock's sirface. These marks indicate the direction the glacier was moving.
While driving around you can see wild animals crossing the road, so you have to be very careful.
We had been very lucky on this trip as we had some really god chances to see them
Located next to the Inyo National Forest, this monument is known for its 60 foot basphalt columns which were made by volcanic eruptions and glaciers.
There are 21 campsites that are open from mid- june to mid-october. Plenty of hiking.
Located off CA. 203, and 40 minutes from Yosemite NP.
There is plenty of backcounty hiking and recreational things at this National Forest.
White water on Kings River as well as Giant Sequoia groves.
There are 1500 campsites and food service. Forest is open all year long and campsites from May to October.
We arrived in Yosemite Valley at 5 am because we had no reservations and we were told to come early to try to catch a cancellation but with 36 people in our group we didn't get that lucky. We were told to go check out a campsite, 45 minutes away from Yosemite Center, called Tamarack Flats, it was a long way down (3 miles) on a rocky road but we found the perfect spot for our entire family. It's a first come, first serve site, very quiet, with no water but a toilet. The rangers were very strict about locking the food at night because of the bears, (the provide you with a bear safe container on the site), we were told it's $100 per cooler if not in a bear safe container.
These vertical granite walls surround the valley. They are pretty striking, especially in summer, when they appear as masses of bare rock, untouched by snow or any visible greenery associated with plant life.
The U shaped valley is the product of glaciers which approached the valley during the last Ice Age, approximately one million years ago. The glaciers created the high overhangs at the summit of these walls. In the spring, waterfalls from snowmelt cascade down the valley walls where glacial runoff once descended.
The best moments in any national park are those found off the beaten path, away from the masses who congregate at the visitor center and the scenic overlooks. The real beauty of a park, or any place of natural beauty, can only be captured in the silence of a stolen moment.
Its tough to find your moment in a brief visit to Yosemite. If you were to strap on a backpack and hike into Yosemite's wilderness, you'd surely find a spot of your own. But when your trip is restricted to the paved portions of one of our most popular parks, solitude, for even a moment, is at best a challenge and likely an impossibility. But there are spots, high and far on a less popular trail, where you can find that moment. Like all great things in life, you'll have to work harder to get it here. But if you hike or climb just far enough, that moment can be yours.
Taken near Olmestead Point, which isn't close to the highest spot on Tioga Road, but its still thousands of feet above the valley. If you look carefully, you can see the rear view of Half Dome in the distance.
Although Bodie is one of the more popular ghost towns, it's still not very crowded. It's the best preserved ghost town in the United States and has a lot of history behind it! Don't miss the Bodie Cemetery near the parking lot either. The ghost town is a state historical park and is often not accessible in the winter due to snow. When there, don't venture off into the hills. Hidden abandoned mines are everywhere! Bodie is located off U.S. 395 on the east slopes of the Sierra Nevada, north of the entrance to Yosemite. The first part of the highway to Bodie is paved, after that it's a good gravel road to the parking lot. Where, the pavement ends, look for tire ruts heading off the north side of the road toward a rocky hill. It's a long trek, but from the top of that hill you can get your first good view of the ghost town alone in the valley below! While about 85% of the town burned to the ground in a major fire long ago, you can still tour a stamp mill, a house or two, and peak into a methodist church, fire station, gas station, and several other buildings.
This photo was taken from an overlook on Tioga Pass Road. The road climbs to its highest elevation at about 9,000 feet, and provides some nice views.
The original inhabitants of Yosemite, the Miwok, referred to the valley as Ahwahnee, which, loosely translated, means "place of gaping mouth." Standing on Yosemite's high road and looking down into the valley, its easy to see how it got this name.
Everything is so green, the crisp morning air, it's wonderful. It really pays off to get up very early in the morning and enjoy Yosmite. A few hours later this place is unrecognisable. Tourist busses are parked here, and lots of people are around. Nothing can beat this moment of tranquility, sigh... wish I was there right now.
Mariposa is a town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada that usually thrives off its position on Hwy 140, one of the principal routes into Yosemite Valley. In 2006, a large rock slide covered the road between the town and the park; pretty soon, it became empty. We passed by Mariposa on our way to Oakhurst and the South Entrance of the park. It is a typical Gold Country town, with souvenir shops and a very western-looking main street (Hwy 140).
While the majority of people show up to Yosemite during the warm summer months, it is worth visiting in the winter. Even if you don't ski. There are dozens of miles of trails open to snowshoers all over the park. The weather usually isn't too cold, and the roads are well maintained to get to the trailheads.
It is a unique way to see the park. Taking off with just the crunch of snow under your shoes, the landscape is changed into a tranquil environment of snow and ice. The pine trees literally drip with drifting snow, and the air is crisp as you plug along the trail. You can visit the redwoods or the higher alpine passes of the valleys; the whole park is your playground. And since there are fewer people present, you have more of the park to yourself.
The Tuolumne area has numerous alpine lakes and ponds along various trails. These areas make a great place to take a dip and unwind a little. It helps refresh you after hours on the trail, and feels invigorating. The lakes are cold, so be warned... make sure there's enough warmth in the day and sunlight to be sure and dry off. But it can be a wonderful compliment to a hike through the upper regions of the park. Give them a try, whether you dip a toe or go all-in!
We pulled over here on our first evening in the park, simply because it looked so peaceful and pretty. Travelling from the valley, it's located on the right hand side of the road just before arriving in Wawona. It's by a (comparatively) small, bubbling little river, and there's a campsite, some picnic benches and a pebbly beach. There's not a lot here, and I'm not aware of any trails near here, but if you're looking for somewhere away from the crowds, then this is a good choice.
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