The East Entrance of Yosemite

Since our campground at Mono Lake was just a few miles from the east entrance of Yosemite, we felt that at the very least we had to drive up to the park entrance. I’m certainly glad we did because it might have been the most beautiful drive of our trip, though I’ll have to admit it was also the hardest to photograph.

I’m always disappointed the way tall cliffs are reduced to six inches tall in a photograph, but if you click on these shots and see them at 1280, you can see how tall the cliffs are in relationship to the cars parked beside the road.


In other words, I was pretty happy with how this picture turned out and was also happy with this shot of a lake near the top of the pass. It is composed of six different shots, first joined together in HDR, then the final three shots joined together to show the whole lake that was impossible to capture with even my 17mm wide-angle lens.


My favorite shots, though, weren’t shots of mountains or lakes but, rather, shots of trees that reminded me of the Bristlecone Pine we had seen the day before.


The altitude combined with rocky soil means that any tree up here is going to have to struggle to survive, and these three trees show the character that results from such struggles.


If I were going to caption this last shot I would label it “precarious,”


since it seems a miracle that the tree hasn’t fallen off that cliff. Luckily, it had sense enough to lean into the mountain and not trying to look over the cliff at the beautiful lake below. Otherwise, it would have been labeled “driftwood.”

2 thoughts on “The East Entrance of Yosemite”

  1. It’s been almost 25 years since I saw the east entrance of Yosemite. Your photos capture the stunning and truly awesome sense of expansiveness and rocky beauty. Love the trees and their endurance.

    1. Thanks, robin. My photos probably look better when you have personal memories to draw from. What a magnificent entrance to California, even more beautiful than the Siskiyou entrance.

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