Yosemite National Park Journals

Yosemite - It's Spectacular!

An October 2004 trip to Yosemite National Park by Foxboro Marmot

Quote: Yosemite's been described by John Muir and photographed by Ansel Adams, but words can’t describe it, and pictures can’t capture it. It’s the Holy Grail of the environmental movement. See it for yourself, if possible, in the spring or early summer, when the waterfalls are running full.

Wawona Hotel

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Hotel

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A combination of high prices and low availability for lodging in Yosemite Valley led me to booking at the historic Wawona Hotel on the south side of the park. Some rooms share a bath; as big spenders, we took one with a private bath. The total cost was a bit over $180 per night. "Historic" should have been the tip-off. Generally, "historic" means rundown, tired, or not up to today’s standards. Certainly the 125-year-old Wawona Hotel qualifies as historic. There’s a complex consisting of the main building, an annex, and four small cottage buildings. All have quaint wooden porches that amplify the sound of footsteps and make any wheeled luggage sound like a freight train. There is no t...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on January 17, 2005

Wawona Hotel
Route 41, Curry Vlg South Entrance
Yosemite National Park, California 95389
(209) 375-6572

Yosemite Valley Stable

Attraction | "Horseback Riding at Yosemite"

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Yosemite Stables Trail Ride 209/372-8348 Capsule comment: Share two hours of trail dust with flies and flatulent mules! All right, you deserve more information. The stables in Yosemite Valley offer 2-hour rides into Tenaya Canyon ($51 per person), 4-hour rides with views of Vernal and Nevada Falls ($67), and on Sundays only, an all-day ride to Half Dome ($94). We figured that maybe the ride would take us someplace we’d be unlikely to hike, so we signed on for the Tenaya Canyon ride. According to the National Park Service map, "Hiking in Tenaya Canyon is dangerous and strongly discouraged." Perfect! Our first surprise was that the horseback ride turned...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on January 17, 2005

Yosemite Valley Stable

Yosemite National Park, California

Sentinel Dome Trail

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Attraction

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Sentinel Dome isn’t much more than an easy mile hike from the Taft Point Parking Lot on Glacier Point Road. We timed our walk to have a backpacked dinner at the top and watch the sunset. The trail is a gentle up and down until reaching the dome itself, a rounded granite bubble. The 8,100-foot elevation made the last scramble up a bit of work for us sea-level dwellers, and the slick rock underfoot made it important to keep looking down. That only made it all the more spectacular at the top, where we could catch our breath and look around. And looking around took our breath away again! The only thought that came to mind at first was, "Wow," followed by, "Did I just say that out loud?" On...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 17, 2005

Sentinel Dome Trail
Off Glacier Point Rd.
Yosemite National Park, California 95389

Taft Point Hike

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Attraction

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Taft Point is 1.1 miles away from the Taft Point Parking Lot on Glacier Point Road. It’s an exposed rock that overhangs Yosemite Valley below, almost directly across from El Capitan. From the cliffs, cathedral spires and the valley entrance are visible to the west. Across the valley you can see Yosemite Falls. At least you could if you came earlier in the year. During our visit in the fall, it was dry. The walk is easy, trending slightly downhill most of the way. Naturally, coming back it’s a slight uphill. As the path winds through the woods, be sure to look for wildlife. We were surprised to see deer grazing about 20 feet away at one point, and later, grouse standing stock-still not 5...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 17, 2005

Taft Point Hike
Off Glacier Point Rd.
Yosemite National Park, California 95389

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The trail starts at the Happy Isles shuttle bus stop, with a gradual uphill walk into a narrowing canyon along the Merced River. About a quarter-mile in, there’s a second canyon that opens up to the south. We’re told that Illouette Falls can be seen at the far end, but it was dry when we hiked. It’s a 0.75-mile walk to the footbridge over the Merced River, which offers a great first view of Vernal Falls. Many people use this as a turn-around point, and many also appreciate the water fountain and restrooms on the far side of the bridge. Cross the bridge and continue up the Mist Trail. It’s another 0.75-mile from the bridge to the top of the falls. Things quickly get steeper. We understand tha...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 17, 2005

Mist Trail and Vernal Falls
Yosemite Valley
Yosemite National Park, California