Yosemite NP, California

On our way south we stopped to visit Yosemite National Park. We stayed in Chowchilla, off of Hwy 99 at The Lakes RV and Golf Resort. October 31st was a beautiful fall day to drive to Yosemite for a wonderful hike in the Park. When we headed up the Valley where we stopped to watch the climbers on El Capitan. The we headed further into the park and did the Mist Trail to the top of Vernal Falls, a 3 mile hike featuring approximately 600 stone steps, some up to 1 foot high. The Mist Trail is one of the most popular short hikes in the Park following the Merced River, starting at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley, past Vernal Falls and Emerald Pool, to Nevada Falls, a 7 mile out and back hike. We hiked along the Merced River, a tumultuous mountain stream, with enormous boulders, some the size of a house. As we climbed the 600 stone steps we were awarded with fabulous views of Vernal Falls. Continue reading

Tioga Pass and Yosemite National Park

After leaving Mammoth and the June Lake loop we drove route 120 to the Tioga Pass, 9,943 ft; a mountain pass in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and the highest highway pass in CA. It serves as the eastern entrance for Yosemite National Park during the summer months. Tioga is named after Tioga Mine, and Tioga is named for an Iroquois term meaning “where it forks.” It was a spectacular winding road with amazing mountain views all the way over the pass. At Olmsted Point lookout we had our first view of Half Dome in the distance. The granite crest rises more than 4,737 ft above the valley floor and is a spectacular sight to see from a distance. Continue reading