Yosemite is probably the most beautiful national park I have ever seen. Every time I visit I thank my stars to be living a drivable distance away from what is truly paradise on earth.
On Memorial Day weekend 2016, we started with a cooler filled with snacks and sandwiches and drinks and the not-so-long road ahead of us.
The twisty turny drive gave its reward, as we entered the park, the most spectacular full rainbow was set like crown over Yosemite Valley, as a beacon to drive to!
As this was a long weekend, we came into the park pretty late to beat the traffic and the day-trippers, and headed to our tent-cabin at Half Dome Village, the little village at the base of, you guessed it, the Half Dome 😉
After a dinner of home-made sandwiches, we set out to explore Yosemite Valley, for the first time ever at night. It’s not quite as intuitive as driving around during the day.
As we drove around on the valley floor, I was able to hear the falls, which has probably never happened before. The place is so packed with tourists during the day that I’d never realized the sheer power of these impressive falls. S got some night shots, and I admired the millions of stars twinkling above!
Anticipating the crowds, we took the shuttle to Happy Isles, and started on the Mist Trail hike up to Vernal Falls.
While I usually avoid crowded places like the plague, something about this glorious day made me truly absorb and enjoy the scene, parents answering their kids’ questions about landscape and geography, lovers holding hands, friends making memories! I guess the backdrop of a strong sparkling waterfall with yet another rainbow, and the cool mist spraying around makes one enjoy everything 🙂 We took the longer route down to beat the rush and saw a bear crossing the trail! It was a ‘baby’ bear but I was terrified when it was walking on the trail. S braver than I am, took a video 😛
We had a lovely riverside picnic after the hike, and went back to the tent to nap for a bit.
That evening we drove towards Glacier Point and stopped at the Tunnel View point to catch the splendid sunset.
We continued up to Glacier Point for a night view of Yosemite, and I have to say it is easily one of the best things I have ever seen in my life. The sparkling stars coming up, the brightly shining Mars and the silhouette of this incredible place made the skies feel a lot closer this night 🙂
On Monday morning, we had a spot of breakfast at the Yosemite Village Pavilion and drove towards Tioga Pass. This Pass is only open for a few months every summer, as snow can’t be cleared this up high, which was evident by the amount of snow still present while we sunned in 80°F days down in the Valley.
A delightful meandering drive with about a million picturesque spots, waterfalls, lakes, hikes, you name it. We stopped often for pictures and had another enjoyable lunch on the shores of Lake Tenaya.
We followed the road out towards Mono Lake, taking in our amazing surroundings, and were homeward bound soon!
Some pictures from our many many Yosemite trips over the years: