Yosemite National Park to Death Valley, CA

On Monday, August 19th we left from our extended stay in Tahoe for Yosemite National Park.  We spent 2 days driving through Yosemite which is best characterized by its massive granite cliffs among many other things.

Driving the Tioga Road, Yosemite
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Driving the Tioga Road, Yosemite

Teyana Lake, Yosemite
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Teyana Lake, Yosemite

Tenaya Lake climbing area of Yosemite
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Tenaya Lake climbing area of Yosemite

Olmsted Point
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Olmsted Point with Half Dome in the distance

View of Half Dome from Olmsted Point
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View of Half Dome from Olmsted Point

El Cap and Half Dome in the distance while driving the Tioga Pass
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El Cap and Half Dome in the distance while driving the Tioga Road

El Capitan, a 3,300 foot face may be the most popular climbing destination in the world. We stopped off at El Cap a few times to check out the parties climbing the face and also hiked into the base of the most popular route, “The Nose”.

El Capitan
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El Capitan

The base of "The Nose", it will be climbed one day by this boy!
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The base of “The Nose”, it will be climbed one day by this boy!

El Cap and Half Dome in the background
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El Cap and Half Dome in the background

The 4,800 foot Half Dome, Yosemite Valley
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The 4,800 foot Half Dome, Yosemite Valley

We’ve been so lucky all summer as the weather has been amazing.  We’ve had typical mountain summer weather since we left VA and nights have been really cool.  Our lowest temp was 42F back in Bear Tooth Pass!  Well, all that is slowly changing : ( as we’ve made the turn south and out of Oregon we’ve really started to feel the heat.  Yosemite may be our highest temps of the summer so far when it reached 97F here.

It's a hot day in the Valley, 97F!
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It’s a hot day in the Valley, 97F!

Between Yosemite and Death Valley we stopped over at Owens River Gorge to do some climbing.  The Gorge is a steep 10 mile canyon on the upper Owens River in Eastern CA and has evolved into a popular climbing area.  The descent into the gorge was pretty steep and took us about 20 minutes to get into in and out of it.

Starting the descent into the Gorge
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Starting the descent into the Gorge

Gearing up to climb in the Gorge
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Gearing up to climb in the Gorge

From Chocolate to Morphine, Owens River Gorge
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From Chocolate to Morphine, Owens River Gorge

The storms are brewing around Bishop
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The storms are brewing around Bishop

Views around Owens River Gorge
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Views around Owens River Gorge

After Owens River we made our way to Death Valley National Park.  Located in CA and NE, Death Valley contains a diverse desert environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons, and mountains. It is the hottest and driest place in North America.  Inside the park is Badwater Basin, the 2nd lowest point in the western hemisphere at 282 feet below sea level. During our drive through the park, temps topped out at 109F! It was very hot!!

It was even hotter in Death Valley, actually topped out at 109F!
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It was even hotter in Death Valley, actually topped out at 109F!

Beginning our drive through Death Valley
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Beginning our drive through Death Valley

The Devils Golf Course, Death Valley
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The Devils Golf Course, Death Valley

Badwater Basin, 2nd lowest point in Western Hemisphere, 282ft below sea level
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Badwater Basin, 2nd lowest point in Western Hemisphere, 282ft below sea level

Cool rock formation in Death Valley
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Cool rock formation in Death Valley

Zabriskie Point, Death Valley
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Zabriskie Point, Death Valley

So many National Parks in such a short span of time has been overwhelming and exciting. We will definitely return to some of them in the future to spend more time, hike new trails, and get some climbing in on the classic routes.  For now, we’re making our way to Las Vegas and Red Rocks National Conservation Park.

~Cathy

 

 

 

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One thought on “Yosemite National Park to Death Valley, CA

  1. Amazing….I really have no other words for these unbelievable views. I hope you make an old school photo album of all these adventures. (The albums you can actually touch & turn pages…lol ;) .
    Miss you guys. Xo

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