Yosmite National Park

Awesome views from Glacier Point.

Trip Report:  20060729

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The Trip

We elected to stay in Mariposa since it was the closest room that we could find to Yosmite. We wanted to stay at Fish Camp, but there were not rooms available; Mariposa was the closest town, but it was about an hour away. Kathleen managed to get a room, but we did not know that the highway to Yosmite was closed due to a land slide and therefore we would have to drive an extra 120 minutes to get to the park. I considered bailing out on Yosmite alltogether, but in the end decided that we had come this far and therefore we should go "no matter what". So, despite the road closure, we decided to go to the park, but we would have to go south first, then north to the Fish Camp enterance. From there, we would attempt to go to Glacier Point and then to the Yosmite valley.

Mariposa was a nice little town. I did not expect that it would be situated in rather steep hills. The town is below the hotel.

We did not expect the line to get into the park. It was about 30 minutes to get to the guard shack, but it as worth it. Not suprisingly, there were tons of folks in the park. Yosmite is one of the most popular (if not the most popular) national parks.

A view of Half Dome from Glacier Point. Several waterfalls on the Merced river are visible on the right. The view from Glacier point, to use an overused word, is breathtaking.

A zoom view of the falls. The map is not clear as to the names, but these could be Vernal and Nevada falls. But whatever the name, they are big. The whole Merced river goes over the edge. Given that this is summer and there has been minimal rain, the flow is suprisingly big. I am sure that in the spring, the falls are awesome.

A zoom view of Half Dome.

Yosmite Falls as seen from Glacier Point.

Tenaya Canyon and Half Dome.

Vernal falls in context..

A view of Yosmite valley from Glacier Point. The high clouds cast mottled shadows on the valley floor several thousand feet below.

Another view of the Yosmite valley from Glacier Point. Yosmite falls is visible in the center of the frame.

A small meadow next to the Glacier Point road. The green grass was so lush. As I walked away from the roadside, I discovered why -- the whole place is a bog. I am guessing that the ground is sufficiently wet that it kills the trees, but the grass loves it.

While slogging across the meadow, I came upon this fellow hard at work.

I couldn't resist a shot looking directly up. The blue sky, white clouds and the dark green trees made an interesting contrast.

Bridalveil falls. One of the great things about this waterfall is that the path of the water changes due to the winds. Here the plume is in the center of the channel, but seconds later it was into the trees.

Kathleen very much enjoyed the drive in the park. She even went topless.

Looking to the southwest from the valley.

Looking east into the main branch of the Yosmite valley. The meadow was great, but learning from the last experience with muddy shoes, I decided to stay on the side of the road.

After we had our fill of Yosmite, we hot-footed it to the Bay area. We had a dinner appointment with Jessica and her roommate Hannah. There the girls mug for the camera in Mossimo in Walnut Creek. I was having my own "estrogen fest".


Yosmite, despite the large number of folks, is a great place. The views are spectacular and well worth the trip. My only suggestion to other travelers is to make your lodging reservations early since demand is high. We nearly got shut-out, but due to Kathleen's persistance, we prevailed. Also, mid-summer has a lot of haze in the air, resulting in washed-out photos (like these). The locals suggested to come in the fall or spring for clearer air.

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