Motorhome and Away
Yosemite National Park 2010

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 The Grandeur of Yosemite

Having paid $20 for the seven day entry permit at the southern portal to the park, we drove the six miles to Wawona and checked in to the cabin we had rented for four days. We had chosen a small cabin when we booked with Redwoods in Yosemite many months ago, but it was not available so we were given another, 43A, which was more modern, well equipped and suited us perfectly. Wawona is about 26 miles from the Yosemite Valley where the visitor centre and main sights are located, and unfortunately we were delayed by up to half an hour most days by roadworks, as they were rebuilding the road and using a pilot car, oneway arrangement for long stretches. One evening we took a wrong turning about 200 yards too early, but still had to wait about twenty minutes (but I'm sure I saw a bear in the twilight while we sat there). We set off the next morning and once we reached the Yosemite Valley, stopped at several turnouts (laybys) to take photos. We then parked at the main carpark and called in to the visitor centre which had an interesting historical and nature display, a filmshow, Miwok Native American village and museum, and of course, book and gift shops as well as the Ansel Adams gallery, where copies of his superb black and white photographs could be purchased. There are plenty of carparks around the valley roads and after having a picnic next to a meadow with deer, and signs warning about bears, and food left in cars, we drove to the Happy Isles trailhead carpark, and walked up the steep path towards the Vernal Falls in unseasonally warm weather.

      bear warning

We returned  to the valley and drove round to the base of the towering El Capitan (7042 ft), and watched some climbers hanging half way up the sheer rockface, before returning to our cabin. The following day, still with glorious clear skies, we drove the thirty miles (you have to cover long distances here) to Glacier Point, and the fantastic overview of the valley 3200 feet below, and the mountains all around with the awe inspiring Half Dome centre stage. After an hour or so taking in the views and having lunch, we drove back down to the valley and stopped at Cathedral Beach by the Merced river and Cathedral Peak. A favourite trip is to drive to Glacier Point at sunset for the alpenglow which would have been superb but we couldn't face the drive there and back on the winding unlit road, however the glow on the hills overlooking our cabin came second best.


For our final day in the park we went for a pleasant walk from the cabin to the Pioneer Center of restored historic buildings and covered bridge, to Wawona village and hotel, then through the forest passing many lodges set among the trees with a multitude of homemade signs, to the swinging bridge across the south fork Merced River and back to our cabin through pleasant woods and meadows.

    Wawona Hotel
                 Wawona Hotel
    swinging bridge
               Swinging bridge


El Capitan Yosemite national Park
El Capitan Yosemite National Park

Bridalveil Falls Yosemite NP          Rock climbers on El Capitan
    Bridalveil Falls                                 Climbers on El Capitan

Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point
Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point

 View from Glacier Point
Yosemite Valley and Half Dome from Glacier Point

Merced River
Merced River at Cathedral Beach

  sqirrel  blue jay  ckickadee  
    squirrel                        Stellers Jay                     chickadee  
Yosemite (tame) wildlife  


Finally we drove the short distance to Mariposa Grove to look at more giant sequoias and redwoods to be held up by more roadworks which continued all through the night, but fortunately our cabin was some distance away.
     covered bridge Pioneer Village    giant redwood Mariposa Grove     Clothespin redwood Mariposa Grove        split tree      house signs Wawona
      covered bridge                      Mariposa Grove giant sequoias and redwoods                      signs for forest lodges

Our short stay in Yosemite was a highlight of our holiday, especially made better by the excellent weather. To see more of the park, a much longer stay would be necessary, probably using the various campgrounds (in an RV!) although they are usually booked up long in advance . To see the full splendour of the wilderness of the park you need to head off onto the many hiking trails which these days requires permits. To visit Tuolumne Meadow and the Tioga Pass across to Mono Lake involves driving considerable distances over slow mountain roads. Maybe another time!