The second stop on our great U.S.A. road trip took us south to Yosemite National Park, one of the oldest national parks and one of the most re-visited. Encompassing 1,200 square miles, the park stretches as far as the eye can see…and then some.
Most of the tourist action takes place in Yosemite Valley though, and that’s where we headed first. From the valley you’re surrounded by 360 degree views of massive granite domes thanks to nature’s fascinating and eerie geological evolution. I was in awe of it all.
This spot above is one of the most photographed in the park for its scenic view of Half Dome beyond the Merced River. There’s not a bad spot in the valley for a photo, and Ansel Adams was a big fan. You can visit a gallery dedicated to his photography in the park to see how he brought Yosemite to life for those who couldn’t see it for themselves.
And this giant rock above is El Capitan, known worldwide among rock climbing fanatics. You may have seen photos of crazy people hanging off the vertical face because they like to climb it. I don’t understand it, but I was impressed by it. While there, we saw two groups climbing up through our binoculars. Pass.
Yosemite offers over 800 miles of hiking trails within it’s borders. We tackled a whopping three of them during our trek to Vernal Falls along the Mist Trail. The 1,000 foot elevation gain led to these spectacular views and compensated for the short distance.
On the way out of the park we made one last stop at Glacier Point for some of the most expansive views of Half Dome.
Not too shabby, Yosemite, not too shabby.
Know Before You Go:
- Find all the details to make your visit a success on Yosemite’s official website here.
- Yosemite is very family friendly and accessible to all levels of outdoor enthusiasts. The park offers free shuttles to various hot spots around the park, bike rental, and plenty of hiking options from beginner to advanced levels.
- Yosemite warrants more than a day and could keep you busy for at least a week. We stayed two nights in Curry Village cabins.