Sunday, June 19, 2016

Yosemite National Park

Sequoia National Park (really Three Rivers, CA) is disappearing in the rear view mirror and we're on our way to Yosemite National Park.  It's about 9 am.  Fairly prompt for us.  The distance will be about 175 miles.  El Portal , CA will be our home for the next three nights.  El Portal is no more then a gathering of a very few businesses on the southwestern side of Yosemite NP.  We arrived about 2 pm. Our campground, Indian Flat RV Park, is nothing special but it will satisfy us just fine.

After we get settled we head for the park.  It takes around 45 minutes to get to the park, through the gate and well into the park before you start to encounter the premium attractions.  In one of the visitor center movies we watched, a park ranger stated that it's the water that brings the energy to the park. Mostly, I must say he's about half right (they didn't know to confer with me).  As you enter the park the Merced River, which flows adjacent to the road, is RAGING! This sucker, propelled by snow melt, is screaming out of the valley.  It's a beautiful sight!

Now for the other half.  As you enter Yosemite Valley the massive rock walls of the valley appear.  I mean really really massive rock walls.

And over some of these walls pour some of the most impressive waterfalls you'll likely ever see.

Bridalveil Falls

Lower Yosemite Falls

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls

Nevada and Vernal Falls (from Glacier Point)
So I'd say it's the combination of water, coupled with the rock walls, that produce the energy, or better yet, the aura of Yosemite NP. Phew, that was some exhausting verbiage!  The two most accessible falls, which means easiest to view, are Yosemite and Bridalveil. Both required a modest hike, really no more then a stroll.  Both will get you a little wet from their spray and both are marvelous (darling).  Other highly notable waterfalls include Vernal and Nevada. If you look closely as you travel through the valley and beyond , you'll see other, less notable falls finding their way over a ledge.  I must point out that we were there maybe at the peak of the waterfall season. It's my understanding that, by late summer, these waterfalls largely disappear.  So day one was a success.

The next morning we started our day at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center. Another clarification. Summer is a very very busy time at Yosemite.  Busy means there are a zillion people everywhere.   Busy means you'd better get there early or you'll be struggling to find a parking place.  Busy also means that you must be patient.  But we got in without incident and on with our day. We spent a fair amount of time at the visitor center then caught a shuttle to hike to Mirror Lake.  We didn't pay attention to the shuttle routing so we enjoyed the first 17 stops equaling about an hour before we got to the trail head. Brilliant!  Yes?  The hike was a bit of a dud. There were some pretty views, any outdoor exercise is good, but the lake was maybe a glorified pond.  We then went home, took care of the dogs and headed back to the park with our bicycles.  That worked out very nicely.  There are miles of paved bike paths that wander through the park.  They carry you through busy areas as well as out to the middle of nowhere.

So we enjoyed a wonderfully pleasant evening just tooling around the park.  As the sun was setting I did have some anxiety about figuring out where I parked the truck but obviously enough we prevailed.

Our last day at the park was primarily devoted to making our way to Glacier Point. During the busy season, during the busy part of the day, they only allow you to drive two thirds of the way then you must board a shuttle.  It was all quite easy. Glacier Point is summed up in one word VIEWS!  Really stunning views!

We stayed at Glacier Point a couple hours, got back on the shuttle and returned to Yosemite Village. The Village includes the primary visitor center, hotel, and numerous stores.  Had to get a T-shirt. You know, we may soon be naked.  Oh yes, and a bag of chips!  Enjoyed a pleasant evening, worked on the blog and looked forward to moving on to our next stop - San Francisco.

Thanks for reading.


1 comment:

  1. We have not made it to Cali or Yosemite but after seeing your pics we can't wait to get there. Love riding our bikes and will definitely be checking out the bike trails! Safe travels!