Thursday, December 29, 2011

Finally! Yosemite National Park



Yosemite Falls


For 20 years I have been waiting to get to Yosemite National Park and I FINALLY made it!  What I found out was that 2 days is just not enough time to see even a decent portion of what this park contains.  I also found out that the largest portion of the park is back country which I may never get to see.  
Tenaya Lake
My main goal was to get to the Valley Floor and see Yosemite Falls and Half Dome.   From Mono Lake to the Falls was over a 2 hour drive with a just a few stops but we made it by mid-morning.  After all that driving, Yosemite Falls was hardly flowing and there was a lot of smoke in the air from a controlled burn in the park.  People were plentiful!  Parking was not.  Dog was allowed to walk up to the base of the falls. This is one of the only trails dogs are allowed on .  She was happy to greet all the folks along the trial on the short jot from the parking lot to the base.
Tenaya Lake from a distance
I stayed at Mono Lake which is on the east side of the park and east of Tioga Pass rather than driving my rig over the pass and staying in one of the Tuolumne Meadows campgrounds.  The pass was steep but is certainly doable in a rig.  The Tuolumne Meadows campground has a wonderful location but also had some deeply rutted roads, plus it was a quite cold up there at the end of September.  I was happy with my choice.  

I found Lake Tenaya between Tuolumne Meadows to be great a lunch spot.  I found the drive up to the Saddle Bags Lake (not far outside the East Yosemite entrance) to have great mountain views with a lot less people.  Yosemite and the Saddle Bags area both begged much more exploration, but will have to wait till another year!

Dog checking out the Saddle Bags area


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