Yosemite National Park embraces a great tract of scenic wildlands set aside in
1890 to preserve a portion of the Sierra Nevada that stretches along
California's eastern flank. Ranging from 2,000 feet to more than 13,000 feet,
the park encompasses alpine wilderness, groves of giant sequoia trees, and
Yosemite Valley, which may be the world's best known example of a glacier-carved
canyon. The dramatic scale of its waterfalls, rounded domes, massive monoliths,
and towering cliffs has inspired painters, poets, photographers, and millions of
Getting there ...
Yosemite National Park is one of our favorite places to visit. We have been
there so many times, and we still enjoy the variety in the park very much.
We were invited to join my friends to camp in the Yosemite Valley over the
Memorial Day weekend, but we decided to skip camping to stay in the Yosemite
View Lodge in El Portal so we could have hot showers and more comfortable
The First Day ...
- Mariposa Grove
We drove into the Yosemite via Route 41 from the South. We stopped
by the Mariposa Grove to hope to see some big trees. Unfortunately,
the parking lot was so full that we could not find any open spots at all.
- Glacier Point -- Badger Pass
||Our next stop was Glacier Point, which was
supposed to open for the season on this weekend as reported in
the news. However, when we got to the Badger Pass, we were
re-directed to its huge
parking lot and waited there for some traffic control.
The weather started to change rapidly and began to snow really
hard. Eventually the cars moved again, but instead of
going up to Glacier Point, we were directed to go back down
because the road to Glacier Point was closed for the weekend!
- Tunnel View / Valley View
We stopped before the tunnel and walked toward to a flat area where it
gives a different angle of the iconic tunnel view. Then we entered the
valley which was full of blooming dogwoods.
The Second Day ...
- Early morning in Yosemite Valley
As usual, I got up early and went out to the valley to take pictures.
The cloudy day was perfect for a forest scenery especially when dogwoods
flowers were everywhere.
- Vernal Fall
The main plan for this Yosemite trip was to hike to Vernal Fall and Nevada
Fall as Woanyu and I did in 1995 before we had any kids. It is about 1000
feet elevation gain to Vernal Fall. The last section of Mist Trail is
a series of steep granite
stairways over 600 steps with tremendous amount of waterfall spray that
cast a beautiful rainbow
when the sun was up.
- Nevada Fall
We continued to go up to Nevada Fall after a short lunch break at the top
of Vernal Fall. After a short walk, my left leg began to have a
muscle cramp, and I had to sit down several times to
massage my legs. The
weather began to change rapidly: it started with a drizzle and light rain,
and became small snow flakes as we climbed, and then turned to real snow as
we continued up. After we reached the top of the Nevada Fall, the sky
cleared up from time to time that we could see how fast the cloud moved in
and out. On the way down, we picked a longer but less steep route
(John Muir Trail). We entered the cloud again as we hiked down, and
instead of snow, we had hail falling
this time. My knee started to hurt really bad that I had to walk
slower and slower. Linus and Iris went ahead to hike on their own pace, and
they waited for us at the trailhead for more than 5 minutes. After
about 7 hours (and 7 miles round trip), we finally completed our mission for
The Last Day ...
- I did not have plan for today. I still decided to drive to the
Valley to enjoy the early morning cool air and warm light.
Going Home ...
We began our way home after breakfast because Linus had an orchestra
rehearsal in the afternoon. Although we had been to Yosemite so many times, we
were still talking about our plan for the next visit on the way home.
Yosemite is always a fascinating place to visit and explore again and again.
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