TravelWest Coast USA

Day 10 – Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite

Reflection on Las Vegas

As you might have gathered these blog posts are being written in date order but refer to our trip which we took in September i.e. before the terrible events of the last fews days in Las Vegas.  For someone who does not live in the US its impossible to comprehend the logic of allowing there to be so many guns in the hands of individuals.  All we can do is hope that at some point in the very near future those in government see sense or rather have the courage to stand up against the vested interests.  Until then all we can do is offer our sympathies to those impacted.

Saddle up!

The last few days have felt like a bit of a rush. Partly because we’re spending a lot of time in the car navigating from place to place but also because we’re discovering places where we’d really rather spend some more time.  Of course, we were bound to like Mammoth – it’s a ski town, in many ways similar to where we live but with a totally different character.

We enjoyed our night in Mammoth and now we’re spending the morning with a two-hour horse ride to one of the main points of interest in the area, Rainbow Falls. We’re not experienced riders, far from it, but it’s really nice to get outside with someone else doing all the work!  We did our ride at the Red’s Meadow Resort and Pack Station and we’re glad we did.  They’re about 45 minutes outside of Mammoth which puts them right in the backcountry and we were double lucky as we’re riding at the end of the season so there’s only four in the group (and we are three of them!).  Our guide tells us that in busy periods they can have up to 22 which doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.  Anyway, its two hours of gentle walking with the horses and (for me) an opportunity to stretch my stiff hips!

Rainbow Falls is amazing (we do like a waterfall) and aside from Rainbow falls the other thing to see in Mammoth in the summer is Devils Postpile apparently it’s a “geological marvel” that represents the “world’s finest examples of columnar basalt”.  Indeed it may do and if you are in the area its worth stopping by (it’s not far from Rainbow Falls) but it’s not singularly spectacular as some of the other things have been so far on our journey.  I think if you appreciate the science then it’s for you.

Disappointment in Yosemite

We would have liked to spend some more time in Mammoth but we have an appointment in Yosemite so we need to head off.

As we planned this trip we had mixed feeling about spending a lot of time in Yosemite.  We live in such a beautiful mountain area that we don’t have maybe the same enthusiasm that other might have.  Nevertheless, we’re going to spend a night that and fully planned to spend our time at the major sights and look out points.

Maybe sensing our trepidation as we enter Yosemite (East Gate) the weather has turned slightly so some of the views are a little underwhelming compared to those we’ve enjoyed in other places.

It gets worse.

As we head over the Tiago Pass and start the drive down towards the Yosemite Visitor Centre, not only do we have some clouds but worse still the park is completely covered in a haze of smoke from local wildfires which reduces visibility to a couple of hundred meters.  The resultant haze extends for miles and miles so we’re not really able to see much at all.  It’s certainly not the image we had when planning the trip and probably the most disappointing part of our trip so far.  We decide to abort our planned sight-seeing and head straight for our accommodation at Evergreen Lodge.  The place is highly recommended and while the idea is good (and the website looks very tempting) ultimately its position in the park means premium prices for very average accommodation.  Nevertheless, the people are very nice and everyone seems to be trying hard but the rustic cabins are not really up to our expectations (in this price range).

As we check in it’s confirmed that the pall of smoke is caused by numbers of isolated wildfires.  So overall a day that started really well and finished quite poorly but on a long trip that’s to be expected and we’re really looking forward to the “City” part of our trip.

One thought on “Day 10 – Mammoth Lakes to Yosemite

  1. Enjoying the blog so far! We also stayed in Yosemite in late August for two nights. The fires were just getting going so our visit wasn’t spoilt. When exiting the park enroute to Napa we could see the smoke further south and that it was going to be an issue in the coming days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *