San Diego, CA
Tree At Olmsted Point Yosemite National Park California
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© Christine Till
This is Yosemite! It may not be the towering cliffs of granite or the thundering waterfalls but this is the vast wilderness that makes up the bulk of Yosemite National Park and is just as impressive as the typical post card shots from the Valley far below. Here atop the rocks, trees root into the cracks inking out a living between the ancient granite slabs. To live here builds character that can easily be seen.
Olmsted Point in Yosemite National Park has a small parking lot at a bend in Highway 120, the only road through the Park west to east. This lets you stop and wander around this fascinating rockscape. The terrain is of stone terraces etched with cracks and grooves, with the occasional erratic boulder tossed in. A few shrubs and trees eke out a toehold in the crevices of this stark landscape. If you go just a little beyond the sidewalk and venture out onto the granite you can have the experience pretty much to yourself.
Millions of people have probably seen this boulder, but fewer have paired it with the background tree scratching out an existence amidst the rugged stone. These hardy trees thrive sprouting out of the rocks scoured by glaciers of anthing resembling soil in the high elevations of Tioga Pass in Yosemite National Park.
The Olmsted Point viewpoint is probably the most comprehensive one along Tioga Road. You get to see interesting cracks in the granite with orphaned granite boulders (called glacial erratics) strewn amongst isolated jeffrey pine trees. You also get an unusual view of the back side of Half Dome as well as a postcard view of the largest natural lake in the park - Tenaya Lake.
February 5th, 2013
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