Yosemite National Park Journals

Adventures in Yosemite National Park

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A September 2002 trip to Yosemite National Park by Adventures With Adam

Yosemite Falls Photo, Yosemite National Park, California More Photos
Quote: This journal is based on two visits to our country's most spectacular national park, Yosemite.

Adventures in Yosemite National Park

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Overview

Yosemite Falls Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
Of the 20 or so US National Parks I've visited, Yosemite is by far my favorite. Few experiences compare to your first view of Yosemite Valley's granite walls from Inspiration Point--with El Capitan on the left, Half Dome on the right, waterfalls cascading down both sides. The valley is the park's centerpiece, a hiker's paradise and probably the most beautiful place I've seen in this country. But other sections of the park demand attention as well: Tuolumne Meadows and Tioga Road to the north and the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias to the south.Quick Tips: Yosemite receives 4 million visitors annually, but I've managed to avoid the busiest times by scheduling both my visits for September wh...Read More

Lower Pines Campground

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Hotel

Lower Pines Campground Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
Best Things Nearby:Views of Half Dome and North Dome. Stores, restaurants, and showers at Camp Curry.Best Things About the Resort:Not as large as Upper Pines across the road, so more manageable to get in and out of your site. Good proximity to stores and other visitor services.Resort Experience:Few national park experiences compare to crawling out of your tent and awakening to the great granite walls that surround you in Yosemite Valley. However, camping here is so popular that it takes some planning to experience it. Campsite reservations are an absolute must. The National Park Service website (http://reservations.nps.gov/) makes reserving easy--if you a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

Lower Pines Campground
Yosemite Valley along the Merced River
Yosemite National Park, California
(800) 436-7275

Ranger Talks

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Attraction

Quote:
No one visits national parks for the nightlife. So, is there anything to do in Yosemite after sunset besides sing around the campfire? Nightly ranger presentations held at several locations in the park (primarily Yosemite Lodge and Curry Village) provide lots of information to enhance your knowledge and appreciation of the park. I attended three presentations during my stay. The first program taught about the birds of Yosemite. Most visitors, while they are busy gawking at the scenery, miss spotting a lot of the park's rich and varied bird life. A slide show accompanied the talk, as well as recommended viewing places for the various species. Riparian birds such as blue heron can be found ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

Ranger Talks
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park, California

Driving Tioga Road

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Attraction

Driving Tioga Road Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
It's hard to leave the beauty of Yosemite Valley, but other sections of the park deserve a look. I took a worthwhile ride over Tioga Road to view the northern section of the park. As you leave the valley, head north on Big Oak Flat Road. Gas up when you get to Crane Flat; fuel stations are scarce in the park and all that up/down mountain driving tends to burn gasoline faster. Out of Crane Flat, turn right on Tioga Road. On the first part of the ride, you'll be winding through a heavily forested area. (Watch for deer--several bounded in front of my car here.) You'll feel the elevation rise as you head east--the valley floor is at about 4,000 feet while Tioga Pass (highest point on the roa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

Driving Tioga Road
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park, California

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail Hike

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Attraction | "Yosemite Falls Trail -- Part 1"

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail Hike Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
Part 1 Standing at the base of the Yosemite Falls, the country's tallest, it doesn't look possible that a trail leads to the top. But there is a great path that snakes around and brings you up 2,700 feet from the valley floor to the brink of the falls. The hike begins at Sunnyside Walk-In Campground. The shuttle bus stops here, so no need to drive to the trailhead. This is your last chance to use a restroom before starting on the trail. Otherwise you'll have to do as the proverbial bear does. Almost immediately, the trail rises steeply over a series of switchbacks. Don't despair -- the whole ascent is not like this. After a mile or so, you'll get to catch your breath at Columbia Rock and...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail Hike
Sunnyside Camp 4 near Shuttle Stop #7
Yosemite National Park, California 95389
+1 209 372 0200

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail Hike

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Attraction | "Yosemite Falls Trail -- Part 2"

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail Hike Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
Part 2 While eating my sandwich, yogurt, and fruit on the top of North Dome, I examined my trail map and saw I could make a loop hike out of this instead of retracing my steps past Yosemite Falls. It would be over 18 miles for the entire loop -- a large undertaking considering all the ups and downs -- versus 12 miles for the out-and-back hike. But I still had some daylight ahead of me and was feeling revived after lunch, so I decided to tackle it. (Don't try this unless you have plenty of water remaining.) I returned to the North Dome trail heading east and was soon back in the forest and moving away from the valley rim. The feeling here greatly differs from the valley rim trails: no gran...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 15, 2004

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail Hike
Sunnyside Camp 4 near Shuttle Stop #7
Yosemite National Park, California 95389
+1 209 372 0200

Mariposa Grove

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Attraction | "Sequoias of Mariposa Grove"

Mariposa Grove Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
As if spectacular Yosemite Valley weren't enough, Yosemite National Park offers another of nature's greatest wonders: the giant sequoia trees. They can grow as tall as a 25-story building and live as long as 3,500 years. Coastal redwoods grow taller and bristlecone pines live longer, but no tree has greater volume. These are the world's largest living things, and they grow only on the western slopes of the Sierras at elevations of 5,000 - 8,000 feet. The Tuolumne Grove of sequoias, near Crane Flat, is closest to the valley, but Mariposa Grove at the park's south end is more impressive with more, older and bigger trees. It lies just over 30 miles south of the valley, but allow more than an ho...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 23, 2004

Mariposa Grove
Mariposa Grove
Yosemite National Park, California 95389
209/372-0200

Top of Half Dome Hike

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Attraction | "Half Dome Trail"

Top of Half Dome Hike Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
This is the mother of all Yosemite day hikes, the ascent of Half Dome. Get an early start (like 8 a.m.) and pack plenty of food and especially water. Take the valley shuttle bus to Happy Isles (stop #16) then find the Mist Trail, which runs along the Merced River. After about 1.5 miles, you'll cross a footbridge that offers a view of your first stop: Vernal Falls. The trail ascends to the top of the 317-foot falls, then another footbridge takes you back across the Merced. The impressive Liberty Cap dominates the views in this area. Soon you'll come upon spectacular Nevada Falls -- 60 stories tall. A series of switchbacks puts you at the brink of the falls. Signs at the tops of both cascad...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 26, 2004

Top of Half Dome Hike
Happy Isles Shuttle Stop #16
Yosemite National Park, California 95389
+1 209 372 0200

Wildlife in Yosemite

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Story/Tip

Afternoon of the Fawn Photo, Yosemite National Park, California
Quote:
As developed as Yosemite Valley may seem with its hotels, stores, restaurants, and museums, you are in the wild here and are likely to see wildlife. Bear warnings abound, especially in the campgrounds, where bears are known to frequent the dumpsters. I heard loud noises in the campground in the middle of the night when I had to use the bathroom. However, I saw no sign of bear anywhere. You probably would have more luck spotting one in the backcountry, which is probably the only place in the park you might encounter a mountain lion, the park's other large mammal predator. Check with a ranger for safety information about encounters with these animals. You will very probably spy mule deer--so-...Read More