Lee Vining, CA
The eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park is only about thirteen miles from Lee Vining. So on Friday we headed into the park for a little hiking.
Rte-120 goes right next to a number of beautiful lakes as it goes up and over Tioga Pass at 10,000 feet of elevation.
About twenty miles from the entrance to the park we turned north on a narrow, but paved road and drove two miles to the May Lake trailhead.
The trail to the lake is only a little over a mile, but it goes up all the way and is a bit rough in a few spots.
As we gained elevation the views began to get interesting.
At the end of the trail the view of May Lake is quite impressive.
May Lake was our original destination, but we knew if we could get a little higher we would be able to see Yosemite Valley and the famous Half Dome. We knew the trail continued to the top of Mt. Hoffman so we decided to continue up a ways to see if we could find a good vista point.
We hiked up over the first rise and found the view to the south blocked by the mountain. The trail in front of us was rocky and steep but we thought that if we could get up to the two pines pictured below we would have the view we were looking for, so up we went.
We reached the pines and found that we still had no view to the south, but as we turned around we found the view of May Lake to the north to be spectacular.
OK, we came this far, we may as well keep going. There has to be a southerly view somewhere up there!
Finally, we came to a flat area with the view we sought. We could clearly see Clouds Rest Peak to the southeast and Half Dome to the south.
After enjoying the view at 9,700 feet we carefully made our way back down the trail.
We had another short hike planned, but the extra hiking up to the vista point was enough for one day.