Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Indian Rock, Yosemite

What could be better than a day hike in Yosemite on the day AFTER Labor Day!?!  I hit the road very early, but got delayed most of 40 minutes by maintenance on the Tioga Road.  Still I was on the North Dome trail to Indian Rock before nine o'clock.  The first section of the trail is though very dense forest; soon it opens up to my favorite kind of hiking.

There were only a few backpack cars at the trail head and NOBODY on the trail.   Many, many chipmunks though!

And a dolphin!?!

The Indian Rock trail branches off three miles out the North Dome trail.  The rock is not visible from this junction and while the sign says only three tenth of a mile, it's a hard climb to the top from this first glimpse of the arch.

Indian Rock is the only natural arch in Yosemite.  It was formed when the rock was cracked by many, many years of water freezing and thawing.  You can see the chunks of granite that tumbled out from under the arch just below and to the right.

Recently several shots of Half Dome framed by the arch have been floating around the Internet.  Not for me though, it is a bit of a rock scramble up the back side and requires a higher powered camera than mine!

By ten people finally started appearing on the trail,  a total of EIGHT on the whole hike back, couldn't believe it. 

This neat fungi growing on a yellow pine caught my eye in the morning sun on the hike out.

On the way home,  a first sign of fall.

Looking for a place to relax and have lunch, I pulled into the Porcupine Flat campground.  What a lovely little hideaway.  I paid my $5 and spent a couple hours relaxing in a site by the creek.  So many birds!  Definitely will be adding this one to my favorites list.