Yosemite National Park sits around 160 miles east of San Francisco, California. The park spans over 1,200 miles and was first protected in 1864. For that reason, plus all the beautiful photos we’d seen online and in books, it was high on our list of places to see on our Californian road trip.
In this post I wanted to share notes from our day as well as a lot of photos. Trust me, the photos don’t do it justice; I’m not sure any photo could really do the justice. The place is beautiful; the air felt so fresh there, it’s scenic and you could spend weeks there and really only scratch the surface. Sadly we only had one day; how I wish we’d had more.
We stayed at Tenaya Lodge, which sits closely to the South Gate of the park; about a 15 minute drive in fact. The lodge was one of our favourite stays of the holiday; while the food was expensive, it was a really cosy location and we had the best nights sleep in the comfiest of beds. Everything was themed really well and it felt like a safe and warm place to be.
As I mentioned, we had very little time so once we came into the park, from the South Gate, we drove through the roads through to the first spot of the half dome. Everyone stops there, you can’t miss it. We took it as an opportunity to walk up high to get the best view we could.
Walking up I caught this snap of Stu against one of the many tall trees – hopefully that gives some perspective as to how impressive the woodland is in the park.
After that we carried on, stopping along the way to see some of the waterfalls. When we got to Curry Camp it seemed like quite a touristy area. It worked for us, because of the lack of time, but how I wish we’d had more time to go off track. We then walked some of the sign posted tracks to get some further views.
And came across this beautiful spot. We met a lovely American man who offered to take our photo for us and told us he couldn’t work out if we were English or Australian. This happened a lot on our trip!
Gorgeous views and, at this point, very little people around. The sun was shining so while it was a little cold, it was so pretty and we were happy to walk lots and enjoy the scenery (such a stark contrast to the cold and wind in San Francisco the day before!).
I won’t lie, I love the above photo I took. I had no idea how it’d turn out but I think I caught the moment really well.
We’d read a lot about all the wildlife at Yosemite National Park and while we didn’t see any bears (very disappointing, haha), we saw lots of interesting birds on the trees. This was the moment where I realised I really do need to buy a zoom lense! This little character was chirping away to his buddies. I love his orange wings.
Couldn’t resist, here is our hire car in the snow. Snow! In April! In California! I’m so pleased we got to see a bit of snow; they’d had some the weekend before we got there, so we were quite lucky.
I would definitely like to go back to Yosemite National Park. If I were to make a recommendation I’d suggest go for a week – camp, hike, enjoy Tenaya Lodge and take a drive up to Lake Tahoe – in the north of the park. Unfortunately it was too far away for us, but hey, there’s always next time.
Certainly one of the highlights of my holiday and a place I hope to see again one day.
Have you been to Yosemite? Perhaps you could share your experience below? Hopefully this will become a useful place for anyone planning a trip there.