Yosemite National Park

After returning from Moab, I was still in a traveling mood and Yosemite National Park was still high on my list of “must see” destinations.  I found pretty cheap flight and a hotel outside the southern entrance in Oakhurst and was on my way.

There’s not much I can say about Yosemite that hasn’t already been said. It’s simply an awe-inspiring and iconic experience.  I spent Friday checking out Yosemite Valley and hiking to the top of Yosemite Falls, drove down to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks on Saturday, did a little hiking up at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir on Sunday, and hiked in the Mariposa Grove Monday morning. Before heading back to San Francisco for Tuesday’s flight, I drove back into the Valley for some final “gawking”.  All-in-all, a pretty good 4 days.

Like Moab, I don’t think this will be my last visit to Yosemite. Next time, however, I think I’ll plan far enough ahead to stay within the park – possibly in one of the campgrounds. I’ll also go just a little later in the year so that all the roads will be open (Tioga Pass and all the higher roads were still closed). I’d also like to climb the “cable route” up the back of Half Dome. Some things just can’t be done on the “spur-of-the-moment.”

I’ve always heard about the incredible crowds at Yosemite and most of the Park staff I spoke to said this was pretty typical.  I’m sure it get worse than what I saw, but the people are just part of the experience – you just deal with it.  You certainly shouldn’t allow the crowds to keep you away.  It’s just too beautiful to pass up.

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