It all starts with this. We left Fresno for the long and beautiful drive through Yosemite, and up and over the mountains. Jeff had been reading about routes and was really hoping that we could travel the Tioga Pass road, because this road is known to be one of the most scenic in the country. The Road opened exactly a week before we arrived!
El Capitan- foreground left and Half Dome- center rear
Bridal Veil Falls
Jeff could not resist a walk on the underwater path. The water was so cold it hurt!
Here is a view of an area that burned 20 years ago. You can see why Smokey gets pissed off when you are careless with fire in the forest!
Ahh here is Smokey now!
Tioga Pass (el. 9,943 ft. / 3,031 m.) is a mountain pass in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. State Route 120 runs through it, and serves as the eastern entry point for Yosemite National Park. It is the highest highway pass in California and in the Sierra Nevada. Mount Dana is to the east of the pass. There are several trailheads into the Yosemite backcountry which begin at Tioga Pass, including the trail to the Gaylor Lakes to the west/northwest, and the rough trail to the summit of Mount Dana. Dana Meadows is immediately south of the pass alongside the highway, as the pass itself is roughly angled north/south as opposed to east/west. Dana Meadows contains several small lakes.
This pass, like many other passes in the Sierra Nevada, has a gradual approach from the west and drops off to the east dramatically, losing more than 3,000 ft (914 m) by the time the road reachesU.S. Route 395.
Tioga Pass is named after Tioga Mine, whose name originated in New York: "Tioga" is named for an Iroquois and Mohawk term meaning "where it forks".
The pass is subject to winter closure, due to high snowfall, normally from around the end of October until the end of May the following year, though these dates are subject to considerable variation. In heavy snow years, the road usually closes in early-October and could open as late as mid-July. In light snow years, the road could be closed in December and open as soon as April.
Where is all this water coming from?
Yep- 70 degrees and snow!
This is why California is awesome!