Last year, my Dad and I made a trip to Yosemite National Park. He was out in California on his “retirement tour”. Which means he decided to take a 42-day road trip around the United States.
He had planned to be in California mid-October and had asked me where I wanted to go. I immediately blurted out my answer: Yosemite!
So, for a little prep work, I started looking for an Airbnb near the park. My Dad would be staying in his little Teardrop camper. But I was looking for something a little ‘fancier’. And my goodness, I found the perfect place!
A farmhouse tucked away in the Sierra National Forest. It had everything a girl could ask for. Amazing panoramic views. A screen porch to enjoy morning coffee. And a fireplace to curl up to at night.
Found via Airbnb, my accommodations included a private room and bathroom. And the family I stayed with was so sweet. They gave me my space, were super helpful about the area, and invited me to have a glass of wine and dinner with them. Which they definitely didn’t need to do. Plus, I had a hot breakfast waiting for me in the kitchen every morning.
If you want info on this Airbnb, just message me via my contact form.
Here’s the first photo I took on the night I arrived. Sundown over the Sierras. I remember thinking “Is this real!?”. The way the light was hitting the trees; it seemed as though the forest was set ablaze. And with storm clouds rolling in, as you can see, the light was amazing. It’s one of my favorite pictures from the trip. I’m just thankful that I was lucky enough to capture it.
The next day, we got up early to head into the park. Confession: My excitement was little kid excitement. I couldn’t wait to get there! My Dad had started telling me about his first experience in Yosemite back in the early 80s. And, of course, about the spectacular view right at the entrance of the park. And he was right – It was amazing!
Tunnel View, as it’s called, kind of surprises you. But in the best way. At least it did for me. Because you enter Yosemite National Park through a long tunnel. So you’re going and going, and all of a sudden you start to see light peek through on the other side of the tunnel. You see the green of the forest again. And then, bang, you find yourself at Tunnel View. It completely takes your breath away.
The vastness of the landscape that is set in front of you – It’s humbling and beautiful. It’s a view you don’t forget. Pictures don’t do it justice.
Our hikes in that park were a little sparse. But we did get to see Cook’s Meadow, Bridal Veil Falls and Yosemite Falls. We also made it up to the first bridge on the trail to Vernal Falls. But by then, the old man was tired, and so we decided to call it day.
Regardless of the light hiking, I was still super excited just to be in Yosemite. I’m pretty sure I had this goofy grin on my face all day.
On our second (and last) day in the park, we went up to Glacier Point. One of my favorite things: On the drive up, at about 7.3K feet elevation, we started to see snow. And I couldn’t believe it because it was such a beautiful day. The sun was shining through the trees, and there was snow! I’m a Minnesota girl, so that was rather peculiar to me. I’m used to frigid weather when I see snow.
I literally made my Dad pull over so I could enjoy the warm day and a little playtime! 🙂
Once you finally get up to Glacier Point, it’s another one of those moments where you go “whoa!”. You feel the expanse of the park from up there. You see how big El Capitan and Half Dome are. It makes you feel small (but in a good way!).
So to sum it all up: I loved my first time in Yosemite, and I cannot wait to go back!
Let’s go places,
What are your hike suggestions in Yosemite National Park? Share with me in the comment section below.
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