Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

Next up on the journey, one of the most visited and popular parks in the country… Yosemite National Park!  Yosemite is full of waterfalls, valleys, giant sequoias, rivers, wildlife, huge granite cliffs and rock formations, and more.

With all these amazing things, they also bring ALL. THE. PEOPLE. In case you haven’t noticed, Mike and I tend to shy away from the crowds, and we were here during prime vacation time. We arrived at sunrise, as it’s proven to be the best way to avoid crowds and actually get parking at popular areas. But at Yosemite, the roads, trails, and camping areas are poppin the moment the sun is up. 

However, despite all the people, we had a great quick visit to Yosemite. We headed into the park on Big Oak Flat Road from the west. We headed into the touristy of all spots; Yosemite Valley. We got our first glimpse of El Capitan when the sun first started hitting it… I can see the allure for rock climbers here! Simply stunning and calling to be conquered. 

We were going to do some of the hiking in the Upper Pines section, but the road was closed and the shuttles weren’t running yet. So we headed to the Yosemite Falls area and enjoyed the solace and nature, with only a few dozens of people.

On the road out of Yosemite Valley, we stopped at Inspiration Point and a few other viewpoints on our way to Glacier Point which is the view of Yosemite. It was breathtaking; one of those awe inspiring places like the first time you see the Grand Canyon, or Harry Potter world. 

Our last section was the southern part of the park; Wawona. We went to the Pioneer History Center where we watched a blacksmith demonstration, looked at old timey building, and marveled at the genius and sturdy construction was back in the day. 

Recommendations

  • If you want to really explore this park,  you should plan on at least a couple days here with a lot of advance planning, especially if you’re going in the summer when the lodge and campsites will book up. 
  • Utilize those shuttle busses! The roads are a little confusing to be honest; lots of one-ways and loopy loops. 
  • If you’re active and would prefer to not be by people; there are SO many activities. Rafting, backpacking, biking, fishing, and of course, rock climbing. 
  • If you don’t mind being around a lot of people; there are also SO many activities. The Yosemite Newspaper had pages and pages of events; guided hikes, tours, ranger programs, art classes, historic presentations, volunteering, and more. 

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