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Jerry Pillarelli | profile | all galleries >> Travel and Nature >> US Travel >> California >> Yosemite National Park – California >> Yosemite National Park – Tioga Road – California (2018) tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Yosemite National Park – Tioga Road – California (2018)

Images along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park – Northern California, taken in July 2018.

Heading over the Tioga Road through a granite domed area of Yosemite National Park to the north of Yosemite Valley I was on my way to visit Devils Postpile National Monument on the east side of the Sierra mountain range. I had hoped for better but the smoke was still pretty thick and by the time I got to Olmsted Point all I could see were shadowy outlines of massive mountains and granite domes. I remember thinking, ‘that must be an amazing view’ and a wave of sadness came over me. Not today.

After my visit to the national monument I encountered a rainstorm that followed me north to the beginning of the Tioga Road at the entrance to Yosemite Park. As the rain stopped I now had clear views of some of the sites I missed on the way up here earlier in the day. The Tuolumne Meadows and the magnificent granite domes and rugged mountains to the west were now visible and a valid subject to be photographed. Blue patches through the clouds actually started to appear as I arrived at the banks of Tenaya Lake. I got out and shot some pictures and marveled at what I could now see; things that were not there earlier in the day. It was like I was in a completely different place even though it was the very same road I was on just hours before. My enthusiasm was soaring and I was anticipating what else I might be able to see down the road. Knowing that Olmsted Point, one of the most celebrated viewpoints on the Tioga Road, was just around the corner I hopped back in my car and eagerly drove off. It would only be a minute or so before my heart would fall off a cliff steeper than any drop-off in this park. Smoke. Filling the valley in the distance in front of me; the valley that is just north of the Yosemite Valley. As I approached Olmstead Point I could see that there were a handful of people there looking into the valley and probably feeling the same way I was, disappointed. I took a picture of the smoke filled valley and then noticed that the pavement here was dry. It didn’t rain here; it didn’t rain on the west side of the Sierra Range. It rained on me but it did not rain on the Ferguson Fire. I guess I had about an hour or so of hope and happiness. I knew that a short rainstorm wouldn’t be able to put out a 21,000 acre fire but if it could’ve cleared the air for just another 20 miles or so, for just another hour or so, then I could’ve at least seen the entire length of the spectacular Tioga Road. It was not to be and my heart sank again. At a pullout just a few miles down the road I stopped to try to make lemonade out of the lemon I had been given, taking a picture of the shadowy trees partially shrouded in smoke. Rolling down the road deeper into the smoke, I wished I was heading the other way; out of the gloom and into the light. I had that for a short while and it felt great but that feeling already seemed like a distant memory. Smoke, thick grey smoke was all that lay before me.
Pond in Dana Meadows steams after a rainstorm along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Pond in Dana Meadows steams after a rainstorm along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Rain pours down on a boulder field in Dana Meadows along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Rain pours down on a boulder field in Dana Meadows along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
The Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
The Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Cathedral Peak along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Cathedral Peak along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Lembert Dome along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Lembert Dome along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Lembert Dome as seen over the Tuolumne Meadows along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Lembert Dome as seen over the Tuolumne Meadows along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Pothole Dome on the edge of the Tuolumne Meadows along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Pothole Dome on the edge of the Tuolumne Meadows along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Fairview Dome (9,728 ft.) along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Fairview Dome (9,728 ft.) along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Granite peak along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Granite peak along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Large granite outcropping along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Large granite outcropping along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Tenaya Peak (left) and granite outcropping along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Tenaya Peak (left) and granite outcropping along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Close-up of Tenaya Peak along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Close-up of Tenaya Peak along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
A granite peak viewed over the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
A granite peak viewed over the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Large granite Dome along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Large granite Dome along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Granite mountain ridge with Tenaya Peak on the right along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Granite mountain ridge with Tenaya Peak on the right along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Trees grow from cracks in the granite domes along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Trees grow from cracks in the granite domes along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
View of Cathedral Peak from along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
View of Cathedral Peak from along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Cathedral Peak close-up from along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Cathedral Peak close-up from along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Close-up of Tenaya Peak from along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Close-up of Tenaya Peak from along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Granite outcropping along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Granite outcropping along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Tenaya Peak viewed over Tenaya Lake along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Tenaya Peak viewed over Tenaya Lake along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
View over Tenaya Lake along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
View over Tenaya Lake along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Glacier erratic boulders along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Glacier erratic boulders along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Tenaya Peak as viewed from Olmsted Point along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Tenaya Peak as viewed from Olmsted Point along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Granite dome high over the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Granite dome high over the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Polly Dome (left), Pywiack Dome, Medlicott Dome (center rear) and Tenaya Peak along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Polly Dome (left), Pywiack Dome, Medlicott Dome (center rear) and Tenaya Peak along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
View of Polly Dome (left), Pywiack Dome and Medlicott Dome from Olmsted Point along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
View of Polly Dome (left), Pywiack Dome and Medlicott Dome from Olmsted Point along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Close-up of Pywiack Dome from Olmsted Point along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Close-up of Pywiack Dome from Olmsted Point along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Smoke creeps up to Clouds Rest Peak (9926 ft.) from the Yosemite Valley along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Smoke creeps up to Clouds Rest Peak (9926 ft.) from the Yosemite Valley along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
The valley below Clouds Rest Peak fills with smoke as seen from along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
The valley below Clouds Rest Peak fills with smoke as seen from along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Erratic boulders deposited by glacial retreat next to the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Erratic boulders deposited by glacial retreat next to the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Trees grow from the side of a granite outcropping along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Trees grow from the side of a granite outcropping along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
A tree growing from a crack in the granite along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
A tree growing from a crack in the granite along the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Smoke blankets hills and forests along the southern end of the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Smoke blankets hills and forests along the southern end of the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Trees stand shrouded in smoke along the southern end of the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park
Trees stand shrouded in smoke along the southern end of the Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park