Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Yosemite: A Photographic Tour

Three years ago (time flies!) I had the amazing experience of going to Yosemite National Park and it's launched a forever love affair with America's natural wonders.  If you are looking for a perfect getaway where no passport is needed but you'll still feel like you've entered another world, then Yosemite is for you.  What, you don't like camping?  Me either.  They have several nice (if pricey) hotels within the park for people like me that don't count stiff cots in a tent with resident wasps, deer mice parasites, and public showers as suitable shelter at this age in life.

So many waterfalls to enjoy, and many of them are easy hikes.  Lower Yosemite Falls is friendly for families and older visitors, and walking up the trail you get the great view of the double waterfall of both Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls.
This view is of Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls from a much longer day hike -- stay tuned and I'll detail that path in full in an upcoming post!

Even just walking around on the canyon floor is rewarding.  That's me by the tree.  At 5'3"I'm short, but still.

And views of the famous Half Dome are around every turn.  At some angles it looks like a piece of the moon fell down onto earth.

Getting There:  We rented a car and drove from San Francisco which is a little over 3 hours.  I would highly recommend choosing the least stressful person as the driver because the road up to Yosemite's entrance is incredibly steep and winding.  I was a nervous wreck as a passenger; if I was driving I probably would have turned around.  Plus as a passenger you get to fully enjoy the breathtaking view that is rounding that last bend and discovering the full splendor of being inside the park.  It's like a moment that has it's own John William's soundtrack.

Cost: $30 per vehicle to enter, good for seven days

Tips: Bring food!  We stopped at Target before we left to stock up on trail mix, water (note in California you have to pay an extra disposal fee for bottled water purchases), and snacks.  That way you are equipped for your day hikes with munchies and can save inflated park food fees for your full meals. For your hiking attire, wear layers.  Depending on the time of year it might be quite chilly when you start your hike in the morning and then be brutally warm as you get out of the trees in full sunlight during different parts of your climb.  If you have a backpack you can carry layers, water, snacks, and your camera without worry.

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