This year I marked something big off of my Bucket List — summiting Yosemite National Park’s famous Half Dome! Al and I had applied for permits a couple of years in a row, and 2019 proved to be our lucky and unlucky year. Lucky in the sense that we got permits, unlucky in that Alex wasn’t able to climb it with me due to the ruptured disk in his back. My brother, Jim, stepped up to the plate last minute, though, and breezed through the hike with me like it was nothin! It was a little reminiscent of that time I told him he was running a 13 mile Spartan Race with us on one of his visits … 😉
We spent four days in the park and camped at a nearby HipCamp site. I took a ton of photos, and instead of trying to jam them into one long post or four semi-long posts, I thought I’d just share a couple of short picture-posts this week instead.
So first up, I’m actually sharing two bodies of water right outside the Eastern Park Entrance, that we decided to stop at before heading into the park. The Eastern Entrance is definitely a further trek than entering through the Southern/Western end … but Tioga Road is an absolute dream in the Spring and Summer and it’s 1,000% worth the extra mileage.
Mono Lake, located in Mono City, is a saline lake that formed more than 760,000 years ago. Although it has extremely high salt levels, it still houses an extremely hearty ecosystem that provides habitats for two million migratory birds who feed on the brine shrimp that thrive there. Perhaps what makes Mono Lake unique (and popular among Instagrammers) though, is its Tufa Towers. These “towers” are made up of limestone and calcite and they stick up out of the water at all different heights. It’s definitely worth checking out for an afternoon if you’re in the Yosemite area!
Tioga Lake is a small glacial lake that sits just a few miles before the Yosemite NP entrance. This lake is a popular place to fish and kayak, picnic, and camp. We hope to camp here next spring/summer and to bring some rented stand up paddle boards with us! It was pretty wild to see so much snow in the beginning of July!
stay tuned this week for more gorgeous Yosemite views!
thanks for stopping by!