Starting from Happy Isles toward Vernal Falls, you'll pass a nasty avalanche site. Turn left, and start climbing along the right edge of the rocks. If you keep an eye out, you'll catch a path that later veers off to the right and climbs the mountain diagonally. This is the Sierra Point trail, abandoned in the 1960s. It's not in great shape, and you'll have to do some climbing on all fours (it used to be the steepest trail in Yosemite, I believe), but closer to the top, rocks piled like stairs do remain, making it easier both to climb and to recognize the trail. Careful though--some steps are now quite loose. Once you make it to Sierra Point, the view is beautiful, and the guardrail remains intact.
I'm leaving out a couple of the best pictures because they're on the overview page.
The California Mining and Mineral Museum located at the edge of Yosemite National Park offers a look at the California Gold Rush with exhibits of minerals, rocks, gems, and historic artifacts. This museum also presents the history of mining in California. The museum is located just south of the town of Mariposa on California Highway 49. The place is specifically located at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds.
We were redirected here to Mariposa from Oakhurst after unable to enter the park because of bad winter weather conditions. Mariposa is a mountainous town located at the edge of Yosemite National Park at the intersection of California Highways 49 and 140. This town has the looks of the old west with saloons and old, wooden buildings. There are some museums here, including a mineral and mining museum. Stop at the tourist info center in town for more information.
It's about a two hour drive from the valley but well worth the trip. A very beautiful drive and some nice hikes once you get up there. Since it's high elevation, bring a jacket as it can get cold up there. The trail to Parsons Lodge and Soda Springs is a fantastic walk, not too long or hard. Beautiful views along the way.
This photo was taken from Glacier Point. That's Half Dome just across the way. From this vantage point, its hard to believe that thousands of hikers make it to the top every year.
This is an easy trail of about 4 or so miles roundtrip. The smooth flat surface of the dome makes for easy and efficient hiking.
Pothole Dome is located just west of Tuolumne Meadows. In the winter, this area is covered in snow. But in the heart of summer, the snow has melted, leaving lush meadows in its wake.
Just off Highway 120, in northern Yosemite National Park, is one of the lovliest lakes anywhere. Tenaya Lake is an alpine lake, like Cathedral Lake, but much easier to access.
Rangers and workers have some old but nicely located residential homes just west of the Yosemite Visitors Center complex.
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