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!