Alpine Meadow, Yosemite National Park
As we traveled the Wawona and Glacier Point Roads, this verdant alpine meadow suddenly appeared from the thicket.
We saw a deer run across the road in front of us, but a busload of tourists spotted a bear in the same area. How disappointing--we wanted to see one, too!
An Alpine meadow is 'located above the treeline of a mountain and is a high-altitude grassland plant community in an alpine climate.'*
Alpine meadows can be found in Yosemite off Tioga Road, west of Tioga Pass and at Tuolumne Meadows in the high country.
Yosemite Valley can get crowded in the summer, but that's only if you stay in the parking lot, the Village, or the hotels/campsites. Once you wander into the Yosemite Valley floor, you have the Valley all to yourself. The meadow is always full of surprises. No wonder for centuries artists have been coming here seeking inspiration. And it's pretty safe too -- you'll be guided by all the world class waterfalls and domes around you. It's hard to get lost on the Valley floor.
Follow the self-guiding trail to appreciate the majestic Yosemite Valley. Better yet, forget the guiding trail. Just wander freely around the Valley floor to enjoy the meadow, the waterfalls, the pine trees, and the surrounding granite temples.
The photo shows Yosemite Valley meadow. I don't quite remember where I took the shot. Enlarge the photo and there's Royal Arches at the right of the picture, so it's probably taken somewhere between the Ahwahnee Hotel and the North Pines campground.