Tales From The Camping House

Tales From The Camping House

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tioga Pass To Mono Lake And Back Again

Today we were heading to Tioga Pass. It is the highest paved road in the Sierra Nevadas

First, we had to stop by the Yosemite sign and have our picture taken.

We began our climb. Snow was still on the side of the road which usually doesn't open until May.

As we made our climb, we admired the snow on the mountains.

We stopped by the side of the road to catch this little waterfall. Next stop was the
the Olmsted Overlook for a great view of Half Dome. That's it in the middle, a little to the left.

A closer view. We read a sign that said if you looked with binoculars, you could probably see climbers that looked like a trail of ants. We saw them with our binoculars.

I zoomed in with the camera and there is the trail of people in the middle, a little to the left.

We stopped at Tenaya Lake to admire this alpine view.

We made it to Tuolumne Meadows with snow covered mountains surrounding the large sea of green

We stopped to eat our picnic lunch and this Stellar Jay watched us carefully hoping we would drop some crumbs.

As we passed over Tioga Pass, we stopped again to see this view, the mountain was a much darker brown than the others reflecting into the water, making it a darker color.

There was one more lookout with another gorgeous view.

We made our way through the pass stopping at a convenience store for something to drink. We realized we had cell coverage so we made phone calls, checked e-mails, and I was able to post two blogs.

While we were sitting there, I took this picture of a gull and thought that was strange seeing it there.

We also had this view of Mono Lake. I told Jim it looked a lot like The Great Salt Lake. When we went into the store, we found out it was a salt lake. We saw postcards of some neat formations and asked if they were nearby. They were only about 5 miles down the road. We had to see them.

Mono Lake dropped more than 45 vertical feet when water was diverted to Los Angeles from 1941 until 1982.

We went to the South Tufa Trail. When calcium rich springs flows up from the bottom, it bonds to carbonates in the lake water. Together, they form calcium carbonate, a type of limestone. This solid material builds on itself, gradually forming a tufa tower. When the lake levels drop, the tufa towers are exposed. It looks like a coral reef.

The shapes coming out of the water give you an almost out of this world experience.

The sun was just right and there was no wind causing reflections in the water.

Everywhere we went, there was a different view.

They were so different from anything we have ever seen.

It was truly a day of differences, from the alpine lakes and snow to a sandy seashore in high desert.

It was getting late and we knew we still had to go back over Tioga Pass. We headed back without any other stops making it back to the Yosemite entrance.

It still took another hour and half to get back to the rig from this entrance, but what a wonderful day we had!


  1. Another one of my favorite places! If you have time to hike, check out Twenty Lakes trail behind Saddlebag Lake. So glad you are enjoying your time in Yosemite!

  2. Wow, you made it to Mono Lake! That is such an interesting place. The last time we were there in 2011 or early 2012, we hiked the South Tufa Trail. It was about 35 degrees and very windy. We were shivering a lot even though we thoroughly bundled up. If you want, you can read the blog from then: http://travelbug-susan.blogspot.com/2012/02/not-tofu-tufa-feb-7-2012.html