Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Yosemite Falls, Olmsted Point, Tuolumne Meadows and the Tioga Road


This is my fourth and final post for now about our trip to Yosemite National Park in California. This is what we saw of Yosemite Falls when we visited at the end of the month of August, 2010. It was just a trickle of water and not the thunderous waterfall it is in the spring, when all the heavy snow melt occurs. Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest in North America and fifth highest in the world with a total drop of 2,425 feet.



You can watch this short video to see what the famous Yosemite Falls looks like in Spring and also to see some of the other natural attractions in the park.


A close up of the late summer falls from the park's new viewing point.


A closer zoom in of the late summer conditions of Yosemite Falls  Considering the temperature in the Yosemite Valley was in the 90's that day I was surprised to see any water flowing at all! 
One advantage to visiting the park in late summer, however, was that there were less visitors and it was very easy for us to drive throughout the park without traffic delays. About 4 million people visit Yosemite National Park in a year as it is one of the most popular parks.

Our son had visited Yosemite National Park a few years ago and told us that the views approaching the eastern entrance to the park were spectacular and not to be missed, so we decided to leave the valley and drive to higher elevations towards the east.


We passed this gnarled old wind swept sequoia tree along the way and had to stop to take it's photo. Just imagine all the severe weather conditions it has survived!


 We stopped at the beautiful Olmsted Point overlook.


Informational placard about Olmsted Point. Please click on once to enlarge, and then again when it opens on a new page for easier viewing. All photos will enlarge this way.


Olmsted Point, along the Tioga Road, looks down on Yosemite Valley from the east--and from a very different angle. You can see Clouds Rest and Half Dome in the distance.


Half Dome is one of the most prominent peaks seen from Olmsted Point when looking west.


Tenaya Lake as seen from Olmsted Point looking towards the east.


Notice Fairview Dome at the bottom right, which we will see again in an upcoming photo.


Tenaya Lake is a magnificent High Sierra lake surrounded by granite domes, lodgepole forests, and Yosemite's vast wilderness. It is the largest lake in Yosemite's front country.


Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite's high country, traversed by the Tioga Road, offer some of the Sierra Nevada's most rugged, sublime views.  At an elevation of 8,600 feet above sea level it is the largest sub-alpine meadow in the Sierra Nevada.


It is 55 miles, approximately 90 minutes by car, from Yosemite Valley via the Tioga Road. Many miles of trails radiate from this area and it is a primary wilderness threshold for hikers.


The Tuolumne Meadows area is graced by the winding Tuolumne River and surrounded by majestic peaks and domes.


Pothole Dome is a granite dome on the West side of Toulumne Meadows that shows interaction of the last ice age. In particular, the stranded, rounded boulders from a glacier that has long since retreated, and the water-eroded "potholes" provide evidence of two ways that water can interact with granite


Here is Fairview Dome again, which is by far the largest of the many outstanding domes in the Tuolumne region.


Lembert Dome is another granite dome rock formation that soars 800 feet above Tuolumne Meadows.

Due to the high elevation and snow accumulation the Tioga Road is closed to vehicle traffic during the winter and spring, but a visitor center, lodging, camping, food service, and gasoline are available in Toulumne Meadows in summer.


We drove out the East Entrance of Yosemite National Park on Tioga Pass. The elevation at this point is 9,945 feet altitude.


We continued driving east outside the park.


We passed Ellery Lake, with an elevation of 9,538 feet.


An interesting informational placard along a turn out on the road about the building of Tioga Road. Please click to enlarge.


The views along the road of the rugged terrain are spectacular!


Another turn out overlook on the Tioga Road.


A close up of the interesting informational placard showing the length of Tioga Pass and Road as it travels into Yosemite National Park.  At 9,945 feet it is the highest automobile pass in California. Constructed in 1883, and 1910, it is a civil engineering marvel and called one of the most scenic mountain roads in all of California!


If you look closely you can see the Tioga Road continuing along the base of the mountain to the left.


We drove along Tioga road to Mono Lake. Mono Lake is the largest natural lake completely within the state of California. Once endangered when water feeding it was diverted toward the Los Angeles basin, it lost half its volume in the 40 years before an agreement was reached to save it.

At this point we turned around and returned to Yosemite National park and actually drove to see the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and the O'Shaughnessy Dam, but that will be a blog post for another time in the future.

I hope you enjoyed seeing this portion of Yosemite and the Tioga Road, a view that is not as often traveled as much as the western portion of Yosemite National Park is. Yosemite is truly one of the most beautiful parks in the American national park system, and one of most preserved untouched wilderness in our country.

I'm linking to Susan's "Outdoor Wednesday" on her blog A Southern Daydreamer, and Cathy's Adventure Express on her blog A Bit of the Blarney. Please visit Susan and  Cathy today to see their posts and the links to all the blogs participating today.

I'm linking this post to Jenny Matlock's "Alphabe Thursday." The letter this week is "C" and I can't think of anything better than the state of California and it's gem, Yosemite National Park!


I'm also linking it to Claudia's "Friday Finding Beauty" on her blog Dippity Road, and Sandi's "Friday Favorite Linky Party" on her blog The Whistlestop Cafe.

Please visit all these wonderful blogs and join in all the fun!





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59 comments:

Pondside said...

What a wonderful trip that must have been. The views were picture-perfect. One of the photos had me thinking that there was a woman in shorts walking on a snow field - then I enlarged the photo to see that it was smooth rock. California is truly an amazing state!

Annalisa said...

Wonderful!
An amazing and breathtaking landscape!
I love the photos- as always!
great post, thank you for sharing!
Annalisa

Linda said...

Great photos as usual! My husband and his brothers took a brothers camping trip to Mono Lake a couple years ago.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Pat, this scenery at Yosemite is just plain drop dead gorgeous. I've never seen anything like it. Here where I live in the mountains of North Carolina we have a lot of waterfalls, but nothing quite as spectacular and as steep a drop as Yosemite Falls. Just amazing.

Can you imagine being the first person here and stumbling across the incredible beauty of this place?
Sam

Ginny said...

Gosh, these are all eye-boggling!! I love Half Dome, and also the strange snow with the square cracks all over it, that is odd. Maybe my favorite is that old weatherbeaten tree, fantastic!! The beauty of age and hard times, all in that picture! Did you go on the new trail the video talks about? The one that leads right to the base of the falls? I am really enjoying following you, becuause you lead me to wonderful places!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I'm so glad that you shared all of this beauty with us, Pat.... I am also glad that you LABEL things so that I can go back and see some of these again sometime.. I hope we can visit Yosemite in the future. It is truly one of the most gorgeous areas of this country...

Thanks again.
Hugs,
Betsy

Old Kitty said...

Wow. What can I say Pat - beautiful pics and amazing historical facts about this FANTASTIC park!! Thank you for the clip on Yosemite Falls! I love that anecdote about Judy Garland and Lucille Ball singing and playing the piano and annoying guests in the hotel! LOL!!!

Oh but those Domes are beautiful!! My goodness - pure granite!!! They're beautiful!!!

Well done you for going all the way up - the views are spectacular and it's always great to visit less visited places. The Tioga Road is a marvel. And I'm so glad the Mono Lake has been saved, restored and is now preserved. Phew I feel quite exhausted now! LOL!

Thank you so much for sharing!!!

Take care
x

Claudia said...

What a spetacular country this is. Thanks for the reminder. (Oh - and just saw the Shel Silverstein quote - used it widely in my teaching artist days).

Elettra said...

have done just a great experience, congratulations

nanny said...

I was going to tell you which picture I liked best but they were all so breathtaking that I couldn't pick one!!! I can't wait to go there and refer back to your pictures for places that I do not want to miss!!! What a great vacation!

Farmchick said...

I hope to take a trip to Yosemite one day, so I really enjoyed this post.

myletterstoemily said...

oh my goodness! such glorious
beauty captured by your camera.

thank you for the amazing trip!

Marites said...

such a very beautiful, impressive, imposing place Yosemite is. You were capture its beauty quite well. The gnarled sequioa tree is really impressive. have a good week!

steviewren said...

More magnificent views. You guys were so lucky to travel through Yosemite. I'll look forward to seeing the rest of the trip another time.

Kathleen said...

Amazing! And all that hiking made me hungry! Thanks for the cookie recipe! :)

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Such a glorious place that must have been to visit...thanks for sharing these beautiful photos...they are amazing!!!

Vee said...

Incredible! I was surprised to learn how many miles you drove on this scenic drive. I'll have to come back when I have more time and enlarge each photo. They are breathtaking.

Lisa@GrandmasBriefs said...

That photo of Tenaya Lake from Olmsted Point is incredible. Thank you so much for sharing all the photos from your trip. I now have another must-see destination on my wish list!

Sheila said...

I enjoyed seeing the trip through your camera's lens Pat. America's National Parks are your nation's treasures. We really enjoyed the documentary series on PBS earlier this year. It's wonderful you have a husband who share your spirit of adventure!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Wow what incredible pictures! Breathtaking.

Jocelyn
http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com/

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

Wow, your trip was amazing!!! You guys really saw some pretty countryside on your trip out west. I have loved every minute of it and have actually felt like I went with you all. You have shared some wonderful pictures. Thanks so much!! Love & blessings from NC!

Cheryl D. said...

Spectacular pictures! I can't believe I've lived in California my entire life and have never been to Yosemite. It looks unbelievably beautiful!

Light and Voices said...

California here I come.....!
Joyce M

Melanie said...

Such a stunning and varied landscape. The Tywi Valley in Wales has similar bolders left from the ice age but now as big. These days they usually have castles on them such as Dryslwyn
http://www.castlewales.com/dryslwyn.html

GrandmaK said...

Again wonderful. Absolutely beautiful! Hoping you will link it to Adventure Tour Express. Cathy

Allie and Pattie said...

Pat, how gogeous! I may come back and wander this post agin while recovering- these pictures could make anyone feel good!
xoxo Pattie

Tracy said...

These sights have me thinking of "purple mountain majesties..." GLORIOUS views, Pat! How I would love to see it all for real... one day, have to! In the meantime, thank you, Pat. :o) Happy Day ((HUGS))

EG Wow said...

The park is magnificent! Great photos!

Jeanne said...

Hi Pat, the park post makes me want to go there more than ever. Smile. I loved the video as well. What a magnificent place. Your photos are awesome. The falls was definitely more spectacular on the video in the spring. Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip with us.
Hugs, Jeanne

Donnie said...

I'm sorry to see the trip pictures end. I have really enjoyed your adventure.

Oliag said...

I've enjoyed taking this trip with you! You have really made me want to go to California for an extended vacation!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Thanks for taking us along on your tour. California has so much to offer!

We came so close to seeing some of those sites several years ago. We took highway 395 north from Death Valley...passing by Mono Lake and the east entrance to Yosemite as we carried on to Carson City. Some day we will explore!

Jo said...

that landscape is simply amazing ... i have never seen anything quite like it ... i really like the shot of the meadow ... just gorgeous ... what a wonderful trip you took!

Jingle said...

love these breath taking mountain views...
way to go...
super cute c post...


here is mine;
http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/5971/

all that i am said...

I'm a displaced California girl..
born in Van Nuys...but raised in the East... thanks for sharing your trip...beautiful travelogue

Judie said...

It has been so many years since I have been there, but the beauty of waking up to the site of those fall has never left me!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Ginny..to answer your questions...
Yes, my husband and I did go on the new trail under Yosemite Falls..I took the close up photo there. We were sad it was almost dry but as it was late summer we expected it.
The "strange snow" is rock! There was no snow in the park when we visited in August! It is granite that is bleached and cracked by weather. Take another look if you have a chance :)

Annesphamily said...

Pat you should be a travel guide! You are such an exquisite writer and the pictures you post are always so awesome. I love stopping by. Have a great week and come visit me soon. Anne

Gattina said...

Gorgeous ! I haven't seen as much as you but still I remember well this beautiful place !

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Pat dearest,

YOSEMITE is up my neck of the woods, or at least in the same state I was born and raised in! Lovely pictures and memoires of a vacation well enjoyed, I'm sure! Thank you for coming by via Cathy's blog....do come again if you like a twist on French things and interesting photos and sketches! My husband was born in the Bronx....I love NEW YORK! Have a great day, Anita

My name is PJ. said...

Gosh, I hate to sound trite and say the mountain vistas are majestic and breathtaking, but nothing describes them better!!!

Debbie said...

Pat your pictures are so beautiful!!~ I can't get over how gorgeous Yosemite is. It really makes your in awww of it all. Growing up in Buffalo, Niagara Falls was a car ride away. That is beautiful too....thanks for sharing.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

These pictures are wonderful. I love that I get to go on this virtual trip!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I was in Yosemite earlier this fall and it truly is one of God's blessed places.

Beautiful pics!

Lisa said...

Gorgeous beyond words.
I see you have FB networks. I shall follow you there as well.
Jus thave to get there and figure it out. I too have FB .I need to add the wiget.
Thank you . I shall be following you too. Have a beautiful day

Sue said...

I have taken photos of many of these same places. But they don't even come close to yours.

Amazing photography of an amazing place.

=)

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What an amazing, beautiful place and your photos are just awesome! I love that half dome formation.

merrilymarylee said...

Your photos are simply. . . AWESOME! Lovely scenery!
I will not be going out there for any rock climbing. Yowsah!

I love the photo of that battered old tree.

Where are we going next?

Lily Hydrangea said...

wow! awe inspiring stuff Pat! thanks again for sharing so many of your beautiful photos with us. I can't wait to go to Yosemite.

Sarah said...

Such amazing vistas! You have been wonderful to share all these beautiful photos of your trip. Those blue skies are gorgeous! ~ sarah

pam said...

Hi Pat....I LOVE mountains and have never gone into the mountains of California. The rock features there are stunning.

Twyla and Lindsey said...

What gorgeous photos! You make me want to take this trip! Have a nice weekend! Twyla

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Hi cute thing!
WOw... is an understatment.

You have some wonderful shots here.

I have often thought--- back in the days of the early settlers... did they have the understanding at how awesome everything was... or did they just look at the rugged and dificult teraine?

Amazing--- Hugs to you too!
Claudia

H said...

I could never tire of beauty such as this! Wonderful post!

Gracie said...

WOW those are stunning photos!!!

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Incredible!! What a fabulous trip Pat! Your photos are so great it's almost like being there. Thanks for taking us with you!!

Hugs, SHerry

Jenny said...

Pat! What an incredible photographic diary you shared here. You take the most amazing pictures. And always of the things I would take pictures of if I was there (although mine would be nowhere near the calibre of yours!)

I love that we can enlarge the pictures and feel like we are truly in the setting.

Thank you for letting us tag along on Alphabe-Thursday and for sharing your wonderful travels with us.

A+

Porch Days said...

The photos are wonderful. Magnificent country. I really enjoyed this post.
Nancy

RNSANE said...

I really must take a few days and go to Yosemite. It has been forty years since I was there, with the love of my life, the doctor I date when I was in nursing school and for a few years after he finished his internship and began his residency. We would come to CA so he could do his two weeks active duty at Oakland Naval Hospital which he chose because I loved San Francisco so much. We went to Yosemite twice and to Tahoe twice. I've gone back many times to Tahoe but never to Yosemite and it is so beautiful there. Your pictures are beautful!