Saturday, May 6, 2017

Yosemite National Park

During our seven years of full-timing there have been numerous times that people have said "surely you've been to Yosemite" and I would have to reply "no, it hasn't fit into our meandering yet".
Yosemite Valley from Tunnel Viewpoint
 Well, it has now. I wanted to go in the spring when the falls would be flowing and not only did that work out, but they are flowing in record fashion after a much higher than normal snow pack at high elevations. Not only are the big name falls gushing but there are falls this year that park Rangers said they've never seen flow before. Plus we had two days of glorious weather to view it all. We got lucky indeed. All of this extra water had the Merced River above flood stage while we were there but fortunately not to the level that it hindered visitors.

Upper Yosemite Fall across flooded
 Yosemite National Park is huge (1,200 square miles) but the 5.2 million visitors that arrive each year primarily go to Yosemite Valley. It is the location for the incredible falls and world famous climbing cliffs. There is also high elevation Glacier Point that is normally well visited but the downside of us coming this time of year is the road was still closed due to snow. Plus, Mariposa Grove is closed for restoration until the fall of 2017. We will come back in the fall some year and do those high elevation sights. If those areas were open we would have needed another day.

We stayed at an RV park in Oakhurst which gave us a drive between 1.5 and 2 hours, depending on
Yosemite Falls
 how we hit traffic stops for logging along the road, to/from the valley. We went into the park really early both days to get a parking spot and not have a line at the entrance station. We did the Valley Floor Tour our first morning in the park and that was a great decision. The tour is in an open air tram so you get to sit and enjoy the unobstructed view, leave the driving to someone else, and listen to a Park Ranger give you a ton of great information. It stops for pictures and talks at key locations. Money well spent.

This park is as beautiful as everyone says and we are glad we finally made it. We don't view RVing, or life in general, as a race so we weren't in a hurry to get here. It was worth the wait.

View of Valley from pull-out
El Capitan

Half Dome

Mirror Lake

Illilouette Fall

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