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Photographing Yosemite: Digital Field Guide by Lewis Kemper

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24.1. Why It's Worth a Photograph

Tuolumne Meadows is the largest sub-alpine meadow in the Sierra Nevada Range and sits at 9,000 feet elevation. Located at the east end of the Tioga Pass Road, the meadows are the hub of activity for the High Country. From here, you have easy access into some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in the park. Tuolumne Meadows is easily accessible from May to November. The Tioga Pass Road usually opens around the Memorial Day weekend and closes sometime in November when the first big snow falls. If you are a hardy skier, you can access the area in winter.

Many trails lead out of Tuolumne Meadows and take you into the backcountry of Yosemite National Park. The meadows themselves are beautifully surrounded by peaks and domes, creating a nice framework for your images. The Tuolumne River meanders its way through the meadow offering many photographic opportunities. In late June and early July, the meadows are filled with wildflowers and then turn a golden brown in late summer. The river can rush with water in June and diminish to a small flow by late summer. Wandering and photographing in the meadows is especially good at both sunrise and sunset. Just taking a short walk out into the meadow along the river rewards you with many different photographic opportunities.

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