California weather is very unpredictable to me. During the afternoons it will be hot like the summer, but early in the morning I feel like I have woken up in winter. We started our day off early in Mariposa and then hit the road to get back into Yosemite National Park to arrive at our first stop the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. We visited the redwoods in Muir woods, but we wanted to check out the sequoias to see how they measured up. The main grove of Giant Sequoias (Mariposa Grove) was closed for renovation that is why we chose to visit the smaller Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. The hike down into the grove was about 2km downhill and then 2km back uphill to the the top. I will say walking down you don’t think it is that bad, but going back up ends up being a bit steeper than you remember. Overall I thought it was worth it to see the Giant Sequoias! I will let the photos speak for themselves to show you how big these trees really are.
Over the course of the day we were to travel across Yosemite National Park and end up in Bishop, California where we booked our next hotel. After visiting the Giant Sequoias we hopped back into the car and headed in the direction of the Tioga Pass. Here are a few pictures of the scenery as we were driving across the park.
Our next stop was the magnificent Tenaya Lake! The water was crystal clear, but very cold!
Next stop Tuolumne Meadows! At this point the temperature has dropped quite a bit hovering around the mid 40s, since we are at about 8,700 ft above sea level! There is still some unmelted snow lurking around in some spots. The meadow was very beautiful and in the distance we were able to see some wild deer grazing.
After going through Tuolumne Meadows we continue to climb in elevation until we hit 9,943ft above sea level! It is absolutely freezing up here at this point and I am refusing to get out of the car because it is so cold. The Tioga pass is a road with no guard rail that hugs the side of the mountains until you reach the bottom. It was a little scary because it looks like a rockslide could happen at any minute and wipe of out the road. Patrick drove with caution and we made it down to the bottom safely.
The Tioga pass was not a road I think I want to go onto again, but I will say the view of Mono Lake when your coming down is breathtaking. We stopped at the Mono Lake boardwalk since we were running a bit ahead of schedule.
We left Mono Lake and continued our drive to Bishop. The overall scenery was a bit boring and the highway was dead. Once we hit Bishop we checked into our hotel for the night to rest up because tomorrow we were headed for Death Valley!