© Courtesy of ronnybas - Fotolia.com
Yosemite National Park's Tioga Road provides a 47 mile scenic drive through forests and past lakes, meadows, and granite domes from Crane Flat to the Tioga Pass. Several turnouts along Tioga Road rewards visitors with spectacular, broad vistas. Tuolumne Meadow is a massive, open subalpine meadow surrounded by grand domes and majestic peaks. Lembert Dome, located near the meadow and north of the Tioga Road, offers a breathtaking view of the Tuolumne Meadow and the surrounding peaks. The trail to the top of Lembert Dome is short, but steep. Olmsted Point, located along Tioga Road, offers visitors a chance to look down on Yosemite Valley from the east, as well as from a quite different angle.
Visitors to the park have the opportunity to explore the natural and human history of Tuolumne Meadow with a visit to the Parsons Memorial Lodge, where Robert Underwood and John Muir first had the thought of establishing Yosemite National Park. From the Tuolumne Meadow Visitor Center or Lembert Dome parking area, the lodge is an easy one mile hike. Near Parsons Memorial Lodge is Soda Spring, carbonated, cold water that bubbles out of the ground. The spring is sheltered within a historic log can enclosure. Soda Springs can be reached via a short walk from the Lembert Dome parking area.
There are also lakes in the area where visitors can enjoy other recreational activities. Siesta Lake, found along Tioga Road, is an alpine lake that is great for swimming or picnicking. Tenaya Lake is also popular among guests for swimming and picnicking, as well as for kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding.
Wawona wasn't part of Yosemite National Park until 1932, however, the grand mid-elevation basin has hosted several activities and people for centuries. The basin also contains many other natural features. The area was once home to Native Americans, then became the site of a flourishing settlement and main thoroughfare for people traveling during the late 19th century to the Yosemite Valley.
The Pioneer Yosemite Visitor Center provides opportunities for visitors to walk across a covered bridge, explore historic buildings, and watch horse-drawn carriages. Stage rides are also available and some of the buildings are open for demonstrations during the summer. Guests can also visit Chilnualna Falls, which is made up of five broad cascades that slide over and through huge granite formations above the Wawona area. The falls flow year-round, with flow at its peak in May. A strenuous trail offers visitors a chance to see the cascades in several locations along the hike and provides hikers with far-reaching views that overlook Wawona.
More beach, honeymoon and last minute resort ideas: Chicago, Places to Visit in Alaska, Things to Do in Charlotte, Orlando, Day trips from Chicago