Yosemite take 2. On our last visit to Yosemite we were hindered on where we could go due to the fires. So this time we hit the spots we were unable to last time and decided to do some easier hikes, see Glacier point and explore the area near Mono Lake.
Our first day we hiked around Glacier point to Sentinal Dome and Taft point. We parked at the Sentinel Dome & Taft Point Trailhead which offers limited parking so I suggest you come early. We headed right on the trail and hiked about a mile to Sentinel Dome. Sentinel Dome is one of the many domes in Yosemite, but this one is easily hiked to and has some great views of the valley and Half Dome. As you continue on its about 2.5miles to hike to Taft Point. Taft point is a very popular spot in Yosemite. It has views of the valley including El Capitain and Yosemite Falls. From Taft point it is a 1 mile hike back to parking. I highly suggest you bring water on this hike. You can get some great photos at Taft Point.
For some lighter trails we walked to Bridalveil Falls, a 0.5 mile round trip walk on a paved path. This is a heavily trafficked path but gets you close and personal with Bridalveil falls. Next we did the Mirror Lake Trail. A mile walk to the lake and you can see Half Dome. This one gets very crowded especially when it is warm out since it is basically a swimming hole. We brought our hammock and had a picnic by the river. That night we decided to head to Glacier point for sunset. Here you can watch the suns light move up the dome as the sun sets.
We took one day to venture away from the valley and headed over to Mammoth. We stopped at Mammoth brewing company for lunch then went to Mono Lake. Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve is run by California state parks so there is a small fee to see these tufa towers. There is a path that leads you out to the lake and around the calcium-carbonate spires formed by interaction of freshwater springs and alkaline lake water. After visiting this we decided to be adventurous and drive around the lake. Little did we know that the dirt road was more of a 4×4 off roading experience that took way longer than the 30min we had estimated.
After we got around the lake we then headed to Travertine hot springs. Not hard to find but very secluded. The main hot springs are a few pools that feed from one stream. We came around dinner time and a group was just leaving so we had the whole place to ourselves for almost an hour before a new group came. A wonderful spot to watch the sunset as you soak in the hot water.
Being our second time to Yosemite I feel there is still a lot that we have yet to do or see around here. I am sure we will be back.