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Posts tagged yosemite national park

Yosemite’s Tunnel View with a full moon

photomerge yosemite tunnel view

Yosemite National Park under a full moon

Last month’s trip to Yosemite had us staying south of the the valley, which meant a different approach than the one I had always taken before from the San Francisco Bay Area. When you come in from the south you experience “tunnel view”–made famous by Ansel Adams. We happened to be leaving the valley to return to our lodgings just as a nearly full moon rose above the scene.

El Capitan Meadow

yosemite ryan al el capitan meadow

El Capitan Meadow

Although you can see El Capitan in El Capitan Meadow, the views are excellent all the way around so today’s photo is not of El Capitan but is the view west from the meadow. Ryan and I are in there, but with a wide angle lens we sort of get lost in the scenery.

Cruising through Yosemite

yosemite driving through valley

You don’t normally get a pic of your own car on the road, but we had friends with us in Yosemite over spring break, and when I took this photo I was in their car.

California Tunnel Tree, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park

ellie california tunnel tree mariposa grove yosemite national park

Ellie (all 6′ 1″ of her) showing that the California Tunnel Tree opening is over 9 feet high

There were once three tunnel trees in Mariposa Grove. One was natural and still exists (the Clothespin Tree). The Fallen Tunnel Tree (AKA The Wawona Tunnel Tree) is the most famous and was the first carved by humans, but it fell in 1969. The California Tunnel Tree (AKA Pioneer Cabin) was carved by humans in 1895 and still stands today*. Getting there involves a short hike from the parking area. You can no longer drive through it like you could a hundred years ago.

When we arrived at 9:30 a.m. there were only about a dozen cars in the Mariposa Grove parking lot and the grove was peaceful. By the time we left at about 11 there were tons of tourists in the grove and a line of cars waiting for parking spaces.

Sunset from Wawona Road

yosemite sunset from wawona road

Yosemite sunset

I purchased The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite by Michael Frye as a reference on my recent trip to Yosemite. I’m sure this would be a fantastic guide if you are going to Yosemite by yourself or with other photographers, but none of the suggestions really work if you are with a family–especially with kids. The book primarily tells you when to photograph the key spots in Yosemite. Those times, of course, break down to morning and evening for best lighting conditions.

What those traveling with families quickly find out, however, is that families want to be sleeping and/or eating during sunrises and sunsets–not setting up the perfect photo. We stayed at Tenaya Lodge which was actually about an hour away from the Yosemite Valley so I couldn’t just hop in the car and drive to the valley for sunrise or sunset photos while the family slept or ate, or they would have been stranded without a car.

Today’s photo came just before sunset as we were heading back to Tenaya Lodge to eat. It was the closest I came to a sunset or sunrise photo during our three days in Yosemite. The Yosemite Valley was actually behind me (several miles, no view from here) to the right when I took this.

Yosemite Falls

yosemite falls

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls through the trees