Following on from my last post about our first day in Yosemite here are the photos from our second day in the park. Again, I took hundreds so believe me this is the edited version. We managed to fit a lot in to day 2, it was definitely our busiest day, which also meant a lot of time in the car. You may need a cup of tea for this one…
First stop on the drive into the park was back to Tunnel View, the famous Yosemite view point, to take a few photos in a different light. It was our last stop the previous day, as the sun had disappeared behind the mountains and a few clouds were about, so I fancied taking some photos first thing as well. This time we took a few ‘insta’ photos too, I don’t think I’ll ever make that type of travel blogger!
On the way back down into the Valley we stopped at the Bridalveil Falls trail, which is a quick and easy half mile round trip to the base of the falls. It’s a lovely waterfall that does usually have some water year round, although not quite the thunderous flow it gets in spring.
We took the road back out of the Valley without heading to Yosemite Village and stopped by the road near El Capitan. Before going away we had been recommended to watch a Netfilx documentary, Valley Uprising. It’s about the history of rock climbing in Yosemite and was absolutely fascinating. We looked for climbers on the face of El Capitan, but they were so tiny you could only actually see them through the camera with my close up lens, zoomed in and magnified!
You can just about see 2 climbers stood on a ledge in the photo above. I can’t believe that 3 days later there was a deadly rockfall on El Capitan, it’s so sad and just goes to show that nature can be so unpredictable.
We had decided that we would spend most of Sunday driving up the Tioga Pass. This is a road that goes all the way from the west to the east of the park, and at some points gets up to 10,000ft. The road is closed from around October/November to April/May as the snowfall makes it impassable. It had actually been closed on the Friday due to recent snow, so we made sure we saw it as we won’t get another chance.
The drive is amazing, climbing up through the mountains, through the trees and along some pretty terrifying edges, but the views you are rewarded with are incredible.
It was much cooler up here, almost freezing and there was still a lot of snow by the road from the snowfall the previous week.
We stopped at Olmsted Point, a view point which looks down on the Yosemite Valley from a completely different angle. You can see Half Dome in the background from the other side, which makes it not quite as recognisable.
We carried on a few miles to Tenaya Lake, an alpine lake surrounded by huge granite domes typical of Yosemite, and yet another beautiful place to take pictures.
We carried on to the Tuluome Meadows and after a quick stop for lunch, we made our way back along the Tioga Pass as we wanted to get to Glacier Point (about 2.5 hours away) in time to see it in the light and the sunset, allowing for a few more stops along the way.
As we were going past Tunnel View again, we quickly stopped to see it in a different light. It’s amazing how much of a difference the time of day makes!
We carried on up the mountain to Glacier Point, about an hours drive from the Valley floor, again driving by some pretty scary edges. It’s another road that is closed due to snow throughout the winter so we had to do it in this trip. It was totally worth it, the views from up there are breathtaking. You are almost eye level with Half Dome, and you can look down on Vernal and Nevada falls. It is so surreal seeing them from above.
We actually didn’t end up staying at Glacier Point for sunset as it was FREEZING, so we made our way back down the mountain. As the sun was setting the sky looked amazing so we stopped to watch the sun go down.
On the drive back out of the park we passed El Capitan again, but as it was dark we could see tiny little lights up the rock face! Obviously climbers who were spending the night there which is awe-inspiring. We stopped to watch for a while, I couldn’t catch much with my camera but I’m going to share a photo anyway.
Yet another amazing/incredible/breathtaking day in Yosemite! I’ll be back soon with a roundup of our last day in the park, and my tips and advice if you are planning a trip.