California Fly Drive Destination
Map of location
The map to the right is interactive. Hold your mouse pointer over the highlighted places and they will be identified.
Some of the places shown have a web page and can be accessed by clicking on them.
When I look back on our one visit here, I realise it was all too rushed and we did not give ourselves a real chance to see what can be seen. Having said that we mightily enjoyed our drive through from the Tioga Pass north east entrance, across the Sierra Nevada and back up the Yosemite valley before leaving the Arch Rock west entrance.
From Mono Lake to the east, the road up though the Tioga pass rises steeply and as you cross the top of the Sierra Nevada range the huge rock formations and lakes at the side of the road offer amazingly scenic views. The altitude is such that the pass is closed by snow from early winter to early summer.
As you drop down the western side of the Sierras the road becomes hemmed in by forests with breaks in the trees offering tanalising glimpses of Yosemite Valley as you approach. Once you reach the valley floor the vista opens up with impossibly beautiful views of Bridal Veil Falls, El Capitan and Half dome the classic scenes of Yosemite. Take more time than the few hours we did, I have promised myself I will go back one day to see more.
Look at full size picture courtesy of
Site visitor post 12.12.01
Tip – Make sure you plan your visit so that the Tioga pass is open if you are entering the park from that direction – it is (apparently blocked by snow to quite late in the year)
Tip – Book in advance for Curry village – you will not find a vacancy by turning up. Don’t expect canvas luxury- it really is a back to nature experience !
Tip – Think about the order you visit the sites and where they are situated e.g. the early morning visit to Bridal Veils was spoilt by the fact that it is on the south side of the valley and the sun was behind the falls obscuring a lot of the splendour. It would have been better to have visited in the afternoon when the sun would have passed by.
Tip – Don’t be fooled by the guidebooks telling you that a particular waterfall is ‘only 5 miles from the valley floor’. It is hard work to Vernal falls (even worse, I imagine, if you plan to hike onto Nevada falls, particularly at the end of the walk/hike to the top of the falls. Nevertheless it is quicker coming down (it took twice as long going up as it did coming down ! Probably 2.5 hours up and 1.25 hours down).
E-mail me with any questions