The mountain area of Yosemite around Tuolumne Meadows was almost like a completely separate park from the valley. It's about a 90 minute drive, gaining several thousand feet of elevation, so you have plenty of time to ponder the range of nature you are seeing. The season up here is even shorter, as it takes much of summer for the snow to melt. It never gets hot, but as I learned first hand, bring plenty of bug spray: anywhere with water has lots of mosquitos. The little town of Lee Vining just down from the eastern park exit has a few great local eateries.