We spent a second day at Yosemite yesterday, which was day 9 of our Epic Road Trip- Our Late Start to Summer. We had already done Glacier Point and Yosemite Valley on our first day at Yosemite: Yosemite- How to Hit the Highlights in One Day. We took day 8 of our trip off to regroup before moving to our next desitnation (Pahrumph, NV for our visit to Death Valley). Yesterday, for our day 2 of Yosemite, we decided to drive through Yosemite to see all the sights along Tioga Road. This road meanders through the mountains of Yosemite from west to east, covering a large portion of the park. The highlight on this road is Tuolumne Meadows. We stopped numerous places on the way, but I will touch on the top three spots along Tioga Road, so you know where to stop on your visit.
We stopped to see some other sights along the way which came highly recommended and here are the top three along Tioga Road for your visit to Yosemite:
1. Olmstead Point
Olmstead point is a viewing point right along Tioga Road. No hiking needed to see this incredible view into Tenaya Canyon. You can see the north side of the half dome from this point. Here are pics from this stop.
2. Tenaya Lake
This beautiful lake is located at over 8,000 feet elevation along Tioga Road. The water was crystal clear, but cold. There were still plenty of visitors in the water swimming though! My kids waded in and would have liked to swim I am sure, and they would have been shivering ice boxes afterwards. We did some hiking along the lakeside and enjoyed the views. Brielle worked on her Junior Ranger Badge by picking up pieces of garbage we found along our hike. If I had a week to stay at Yosemite I would spend an entire day at this site as it is so peaceful, yet spectacular!
3. Tuolumne Meadows
This is the main attraction along Tioga Road. They have a visitor’s center here, along with a great deal of marked trails for hiking. We got out and hiked to Soda Springs and beyond. It was a beautiful day and we learned about some of the history of this area of Yosemite. This is a great place to hike in my opinion, whether you want to do 1.5 miles or 13 miles, they have hikes for everyone! We found ample parking up at the Stables Parking lot as well, it was a hidden gem of a location that provided easy access to the Soda Springs trail. We even saw a ranger on horse coming out from the stables and onto the trail on our return hike. The kids were thoroughly impressed. He stopped for a lengthy conversation with us too. They have the nicest rangers at this park of all the parks we have visited!
While we were in the Tuolumne area of Yosemite, Brielle finished up her Junior Ranger book. The ranger was so nice to make conversation and go through all of the pages she completed in the book. After she was sworn in, he announced her as the newest Junior Ranger to the entire packed visitor’s center and they all applauded for Brielle.