Sunrise at Glacier Point

yosemite head
June 13, 2004 - Photos from a road trip around Hwy 108, down Hwy 395, back over Hwy 120 and down into Yosemite Valley

Saturday around noon I left the house and got up to Kennedy Meadows around 5pm for lunch, but did not hike up the death trail as I was running out of time. The plan was to drive up Hwy 108, over Sonora Pass at 9,400 feet, back into the high desert down Hwy 395 past Mono Lake, back into the mountains on Hwy 120, over Tioga Pass at 10,000 feet, spiral into Yosemite Valley for a sunrise viewing of the valley from Glacier Point, and then back out Hwy 120 and back home. My overnight camp was just outside the park in a commercial camp spot where I slept in the flat bed rack on top of my truck.

I mostly wanted to scope out the areas behind Sonora Pass and Tioga Pass, as I have never been back there. Is it worth the bother? Yes, probably. It is all scrub brush desert between 7k and 8k feet with dry mountains, very pretty with snowfall covering. This past weekend it was just scrub and dirt. As you go down into the desert on Hwy 108 you will pass a military training ground at 8k feet - must be fun to be them - there was a crew of troops with full, very heavy looking, packs and rifle marching up the mountain…just like the Grand Old Duke of York!

Oh, The grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men;
He marched them up to the top of the hill,
And he marched them down again.

And when they were up, they were up,
And when they were down, they were down,
And when they were only half-way up,
They were neither up nor down.

Mono Lake: Stop complaining about how those damn bureaucrats flooded Mono Valley and ruined the place. The water is good for the California Gulls the way it is, the extreme environment of the rather salty water keeps the riff raff out...and tell LA to stop taking all the water.

Once I passed over Tioga Pass about 7pm, I hit the Yosemite National Park high mountains and all of the lovely small lakes and meadows (Tuolumne Meadows, Cathedral Lakes, etc). And all of the blood sucking mosquitoes. I stopped once to have a look at the map and could see them swarming outside the truck - literally swarming - thousands of them. Going 35mph down the road you could see clouds of these vampires. It was really messed up - I could not have any windows cracked open for fear of infesting the passenger compartment.

Once I got into Yosemite valley Sunday morning (Glacier point and then into the valley itself), the mosquito problem was essentially gone - I needed to use DEET for my death march up to Vernal Falls, but the blood-bugs were not really out in full force. It appeared the problem was really in the wet areas in upper Yosemite.

The sunrise at Glacier Point was well worth the effort of waking at 4am and driving for an hour and a half to arrive at Glacier Point at 6am. The sky was already lit up, but the sun had yet to crest the mountain range.

Copyright © 1988-2012, Eric Anderson Photography - Images may not be reproduced without prior written permission