Day 12 – Yosemite Day 2

I spent the morning in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia.  These are the largest organisms on the planet.  There are trees that are taller, and there are trees that have larger trunks, but these have the combination that provides the largest volume.  They are ginormous!

What I thought was going to be a quick jaunt through the forest to look at a couple of trees, turned into an all morning, something like 6 mile hike.  It was worth it though as I made it to Wawona Point overlooking Wawona Valley.  Pretty nice view.

From there I headed over to the Glacier Point drive and stopped off to hike the Sentinal Dome.  That was just a leisurely 2 mile hike to the top of Sentinal Dome, and oh boy, was it ever worth it!  Sentinal Dome is on the south rim of Yosemite valley and gives you a panoramic view of the entire valley and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains.  This is the place to see it all.  I could have spent all afternoon there, but nature calls, as it were…

I finally made it out to Glacier Point and what do you know, more great views.  From here, the only major feature not visible is El Capitan and since it’s lower down the valley wall then the Sentinal Dome, the surrounding mountains aren’t visible, but spectacular shots of Half Dome are easily had.

By this time, it was 4:30 and time to start the drive back to the campground.  Yosemite is such a huge park, 1.2 million acres, at least  6 separate entrances and seemingly endless possibilities.  This is definitely someplace everyone should see and I’ll definitely be coming back.  I want to hike to the top of Half Dome, but didn’t have the time on this short visit.

Day 11 – Yosemite NP

I drove from Mammoth Lakes up to the Tioga Pass entrance on the east side of Yosemite.  Along the highway were great views of the mountains on the east side of the park.  That side of the park is at an elevation of about 8000 feet and the peaks are not too much higher and still have some snow cover.

I drove through the park and stopped at Pothole Dome, just a little (compared to some others) lump of granite.  I scrambled up to the top – maybe a couple hundred feet and snapped a few pictures of the meadow below.

From there I headed down to Yosemite Valley which is the center of the park and contains the primary points of interest in the park; El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite and Bridalveil Falls.  It’s simply gorgeous.  I got some good pictures – to be posted soon.<br /><br />By the time I watched the short film about the park at the visitor center, it was time to head to my campground.  As I was unable to reserve a space in the park, I had to stay at a KOA outside the park.  Unfortunately, the most direct route to the campground was closed due to a rockslide.  So I had to take the long route, out the south end of the park and back around.  It was about 2 and half hours from Yosemite Valley.  The west side of the park is about 4000 feet below the east side.  Where the east side was nice and cool yesterday, it was hot on the west side – back in the upper 90s.  It’s cooling down nicely now that the sun has gone down though, so it’s not too bad.

No power, at my campsite, but this campground has a TV room – with AC.  So that’s where I’m sitting and working on my website updates tonight.