Tioga Road is a scenic drive through Yosemite's High Country which offers several vista points, waterfalls, lakes, hiking opportunities as well as the unforgettable Tuolumne Meadows. It is a great escape from the crowds of the valley and is usually open from June through September. The drive also takes you to some of the last great undeveloped land of the west.
Mariposa Grove is the largest Sequoia grove in Yosemite National Park. Its most famous resident 'Grizzly Giant' is estimated to be 1900-2400 years old, and is the 25th largest in the world. Abraham Lincoln famously protected these trees on June 30, 1864 as an Act of Congress. Stunning trails wind through this enchanting forest of gentle giants.
Tuolumne Meadows is the serene and stunningly beautiful alpine meadow of Yosemite's High Country. At 8,600 feet, it can be reached by the scenic Tioga Road in the summertime where the Tuolumne River flows among draping peaks. The meadows mark the northern border of the largest stretch of road-less wilderness in the continental United States allowing you to escape in solitude.
Vernal Fall in Yosemite National Park drops a stunning 317 feet along the Merced River. The falls can be accessed from base to top by a strenuous 2.4 mile hike along Mist Falls Trail where a refreshing mist will soak you alongside a mirage of rainbows. Visit in the Spring and Early Summer for a roaring dance of water.
Tunnel View overlooking Yosemite Valley is one of the most iconic scenes in Yosemite National Park. Its vantage point includes breathtaking views of El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall and the Half Dome. Late afternoon light through sunset is the best time to photograph this lovely vista. If arriving to the park from Wawona Road, this stop is also the first view of the valley making it a famous spot.
The Ahwahnee Hotel is a National Historic Landmark in the heart of Yosemite that has been providing visitors luxury since 1927. Gilbert Stanley Underwood designed the hotel to blend in with the Sierra Nevada. The Great Lounge and Great Dining Room provide visitors with a space to relax while admiring original paintings, tapestries and rugs. Ahwahnee will take you back to a simpler time of National Park travel as you explore the surroundings where Charlie Chaplin, Lucille Ball and Judy Garland once stayed.
Mirror Lake is a seasonal lake in Yosemite National Park that peaks in the Spring after a great snow melt. An easy, 2 mile round trip hike takes you to the base and is a great way to see what Yosemite looked like thousands of years ago when an entire lake covered the valley floor. In the summertime, it becomes a giant green meadow.
Glacier Point is probably the most beautiful spot in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at 7,214 feet. Located more than 3,000 feet above Yosemite Valley, the vista provides jaw dropping views of the iconic sites including Yosemite, Vernal and Nevada Falls and the prominent Half Dome. Glacier Point Road takes you to the overlook and is a beautiful drive.
El Capitan is one of the most iconic rock formations at Yosemite National Park. This granite monolith rises 3,000 feet straight up from the valley floor. One look will leave you breathless.
At 2,425 feet, Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in Yosemite National Park. Water passes through three gorgeous tiers before making its final plunge to the ground. It is one of the most iconic sights of the National Park Service and the 6th tallest in the world.