My parents visited the US. We decided to go to Yosemite, the national park not far away from the bay area, which is famous for its waterfalls, meadows, cliffs and rock formations.
We departed on Friday morning, went to Mariposa, a small town on the route to Yosemite for lunch, and arrived at Yosemite Valley at about 4PM. The traffic got much worse when we were close the the park. I guessed it could be worse, as I read from the news that people ended up with spending 2-3 hours in the traffic and looking for parking a few weeks earlier, during the long holiday, while it only took us less than an hour. It was Yosemite’s busy season. Plenty of water in the waterfalls.
We took a short walk to Lower Yosemite Fall upon arrival. The trail took ~30 mins roundtrip, between the waterfall base and visitor center. Spectacular view of both lower and upper Yosemite Fall.
Later in the afternoon, we took on a guided tour around Yosemite on a tram. A park ranger sit in front of the tram, telling us everything about the park - the park’s history, the various mountain hiking events that turned impossible into possible, the famous climbers, the woods, the animals, the forest fire, and so on. What I memorized the most, was about the bears. I kept what the ranger said in mind throughout the trip: don’t feed the bears and don’t leave smelly food in the car. Bears have the best sense of smell. The smell of peanut butter can attract them from miles away. What’s more, once they’ve tasted it, they’ll get addicted to it just like we human beings getting addicted to drugs. I didn’t witness any bear during our trip though.
The tram stopped at a few places. One of them is Tunnel View, where we could see El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridalveil Fall from the vista.
We hiked at Yosemite Falls Trail on the second day. A bird view of the valley:
And after hiking long enough, we could see the upper Yosemite Fall. We’ve hiked halfway to the top. The fall looked different:
On the third day, we took the Valley Loop Trail, a beautiful, quiet and fairly level trail looping through the valley, as the name suggests. There is mountains all around.
We went to Mirror Lake on the last day. There was a small river on the way there:
Mirror Lake is a small lake surrounded by the tall mountains. To get back on a different route, we crossed the lake by tapping into the water. The water was cold, urging us to walk faster, however the rocks on the lake bed were sharp, slowing us down. What a dilemma.
We left for home after having lunch. Another 4 hour of driving.
Yosemite is such a beautiful place. The beauty and variety of natural attractions made it all worth it. Definitely want to visit again.