"I invite you to join me in a month's workshop with Nature in the high temples of the great Sierra Crown beyond our holy Yosemite. It will cost you nothing save the time and very little of that, for you will be mostly in Eternity." John Muir letter to Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1871.
Yosemite's 'High Country' along the Tioga Road is a photographer's paradise for the alpine geology, flora & fauna. This is the first article in the series on photogenic places along the 58 mile long road, Highway route 120, starting at the west end at Crane Flat and ending in the east at Lee Vining, the junction with Highway 395.
The Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias is located half a mile east of Crane Flat, the junction of Big Oaks Flat Road and Tioga Road, and about 15.4 miles from Yousemite Lodge in the Valley. After a wet winter, Crane Flat meadows are filled with wildflowers. Crane Flat has a large 166 site campground with rv spaces, which serves as a good base camp for exploring the west side of Tioga Road.
The Tuolumne Grove's Sequoias area is not as large as Sequoia National Park, but less visited, and in winter snow adds different details for the photographer. In spring usually in late May, the dogwood tree blooms are attractive, and in autumn their leaves change to red and gold colors.
A designated hiking trail loops 2 miles through the forest with a 600 feet elevation gain on the return portion. A camera wide angle lens is recommended, and varying camera angles helps with the giant Sequoias.