Mammoth Mirror - Winter Sunset, Tioga Lake, Yosemite
Taken at Tioga Lake near Yosemite National Park on November 12th, 2013

While running down the east side toward Death Valley for a workshop I lucked into a great sunset over the Yosemite high country. A recent storm had left snow above 9,000 feet and the high peaks above Tuolumne Meadows were particularly striking. The skies were clear over Lee Vining as I drove south on Highway 395 but more or less on a whim I turned east on 120 and began the long incline up toward Tioga Pass. As I lugged up the grade some fast moving clouds blew into view from the west and I could see gold light streaming through the sky. I had hoped to make it all the way to Dana Meadows before the good light hit but when I reached Tioga Lake the flood of rich light through the clouds was too good to ignore. I jumped out of the car and hurried down to the lakeshore where the calm evening had stilled the lake to a mirror’s smoothness. Once the initial burst of golden light had faded a rich pink filled the sky above Mammoth Peak and the Kuna Crest. I zoomed in to create simple scene of those lovely distant mountains framed by the closer snow-capped mountains on either side.

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