Fall 2012 Vacation in California: Yosemite NP

During this vacation we visited the Yosemite NP on two consecutive days. On the first day we entered via CA-41 coming from Oakhurst where we had stayed at the Comfort Inn. We exited the park via CA-140 towards Mariposa where we stayed at another Comfort Inn.

The second day we entered the park from there and exited it the same way heading to Merced where we then stayed at a Travelodge.


Yosemite NP

After entering the park we decided to turn right at the first T-junction towards Mariposa Grove. From the junction it is a short 2-mile drive to the parking lot. For me this was slightly difficult since I suffer from acrophobia but I could manage it relatively good because of the short distance.

The grove itself is easy to wander around and it was a great pleasure to walk between these giant trees. Like on almost all other days during our vacation we had a clear blue sky! Wonderful! The elevation of this area together with the shade provided by the trees meant it was not so hot (maybe 70s to 80s) as in the valley where temperatures were in the 90s most of the time.


Mariposa Grove

We were struck in awe by the sight of the Grizzly Giant, the Bachelor and Three Graces, the California Tunnel Tree, and lots of other creatures. After walking around a bit, watching at the trees and breathing clean air, we hopped back into our car and drove to Wawona. There we strolled around a bit, visited the visitor center, bought some postcards, and then drove along CA-41 towards Yosemite Village.


Bachelor and Three Graces


California Tunnel Tree


Grizzly Giant

It took us almost an hour to reach the tunnel with the famous view of the valley with El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridalveil Fall, etc.

As mentioned above I am fearful of heights, hence, I felt very uncomfortable during the drive with all the mountain curves. Luckily, the drop-offs were on the other side of the road. This eased it up a little bit … but it felt like only a very tiny little bit. I had a very firm grip on the steering wheel and did not feel the pressure to enjoy some great views. My eyes were fixed on the road, trying to keep my view as far right as possible.

When we reached the tunnel I suddenly felt a whole lot better! That is because I feel (more) safe when there is a structure all around me. I couldn’t see any drop-offs, just going straight slightly descending. Right behind the tunnel I turned onto the parking lot, stopped the car, and I started to feel relieved. After a while I was able to get out of the car, we walked across the street and simply enjoyed the views. It is so amazing!


Amazing tunnel view of valley

After soaking up the views and atmosphere we hopped back into our car, descended further down, stopped at several turnouts, and finally headed out the park towards the beautiful small town of Mariposa.

The next day we entered Yosemite NP again. This time coming from Mariposa. The ranger at the pay station informed us that the road was to be blocked between 5:30pm and 8pm due to some planned rock removal. So we had to leave either earlier than that or had to wait until after 8pm. Since that evening we had to get until Merced we easily decided to get out of the park way early.

Well, we headed straight to Yosemite Village, where we parked the car and strolled around. After a short visit to the Visitor Center we hopped onto a shuttle bus and drove around, enjoying the views from our seats. We exited the shuttle bus at stop #16 (Happy Isles) and walked towards the Vernal Fall footbridge. The trail is paved but somewhat steep and it is was very warm (temperatures in the 80s to 90s). So we sweated a lot and drank lots of water. It was kinda strenuous but also a great walk and it was fantastic to see Vernal Fall! After staying there for a while, watching and everything, we walked back and took the bus towards Visitor Center.


View from trail




Another view from trail


Vernal Fall

We had a quick lunch at Degnan’s Deli and then got back to our car and left the park towards Merced.

2 Gedanken zu „Fall 2012 Vacation in California: Yosemite NP

  1. Pingback: Fall 2012 Vacation in California: Comfort Inn in Mariposa | Travel and Stuff

  2. Pingback: Fall 2012 Vacation in California: Days Inn & Suites in Hayward | Travel and Stuff

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