Yosemite National Park, CA
Roads Less Taken
Sunrise High Sierra Camp, copyright
Keith S. Walklet/Yosemite Consession
Those who limit their stay to Yosemite Valley are missing some of the best parts of this Rhode Island-size park, all easily accessible by car:
- Glacier Point
This towering promontory overlooks Yosemite Valley from 3,214 feet up, a truly exhilarating view. The Badger Pass Ski Area, on the road to Glacier Point, offers downhill and cross-country skiing.
- Mariposa Grove
Located near the park's south entrance, this is the largest stand of giant sequoias in Yosemite and home of the Grizzly Giant, one of the largest of these trees in the world. Nearby Wawona and its Pioneer Yosemite History Center are a history buff's delights.
- Tioga Pass
At 9,945 feet on the park's eastern edge, it's the highest motor vehicle pass in California. Just west is Tuolumne Meadows, the largest subalpine meadow in the Sierra Nevada. (Note: Tioga Pass and Tuolumne Meadows close November 1 through mid-May.)
- Hetch Hetchy Reservoir
Visitors to this reservoir in the little-visited northwest area can easily cross O'Shaughnessy Dam on foot (3,814 feet across) and hike one mile beyond to the junction with Rancheria Fall Trail, enjoying views of the reservoir and two waterfalls tumbling into its waters.
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