Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tioga Road and Mono Lake

After a tiring Half Dome hike, the second day in Yosemite was spent driving on Tioga road all the way upto Mono lake.  Tioga road has got innumerable lakes, some of them along the road and some could be reached after a hike.   It also houses many vista points (Olmstead point being the famous one) , trail heads and the famous Tuolumne Meadows.  The section of Highway 120 in between Big Oak Flat Road and Highway 395 is Tioga road and this section is closed during winters.  We did an easy drive stopping at many vista points and lakes, while our final destination was Mono lake.  By the time we reached Mono lake, it was about 2 in the afternoon and sun was shining hot and bright.  We entered the lake from South Tufas which has an entry fee of $2 per person.  We grabbed some beers and watermelon to the lake which is about 15 min walk from the parking.  The specialty of Mono lake is gigantic Tufa columns (somewhat like stalagmites) and its special eco-system of brine-shrimp and alkaline flies which forms major food source for birds.  We spent about an hour and a half at the lake guzzling beers and finishing watermelon under the burning sun, before starting our journey back.  

I was quite disappointed in terms of photography for the day was extremely bright and with no traces of cloud, the sky looked very boring.

Half dome from Olmstead Point on Tioga Road

Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake

Tufas at Mono Lake

Tufas at Mono Lake

Tufas at Mono Lake

Tufas at Mono Lake

Tufas at Mono Lake

Tufas at Mono Lake

Tufas at Mono Lake
 
Tufas at Mono Lake

Tufas at Mono Lake

Tufas at Mono Lake

Tufas at Mono Lake

Tufas at Mono Lake

Elery Lake

Trace of snow even in summer around Elery Lake

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