Friday, October 20, 2017

2017 - California Day 9 (Yosemite National Park)

Sunday September 17, 2017. Today, we spend our first of two days in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite is probably the most famous national park, along with Yellowstone, and I was quite excited to visit. Our initial alternative trip was to visit Banff and Yellowstone.

Yosemite National Park
It appears that the main parking area is under construction, which means that parking might be an issue if you aren't here early (I'd guess, if you tried to get here for noon, it would be difficult to find parking based on what I see). It was a bit odd at how far the Yosemite Village, which has the tourist information center, post office, etc, is not close to the parking lot. It was roughly a 10 minute walk away.

Yosemite National Park - Yosemite Valley hikes
Anyways, we made it to the visitor center and planned out our day which included going to the Yosemite Falls, doing the Vernal Falls hike, and maybe doing something else if we had time left over.

Yosemite does have a very good shuttle bus system, provided that you are in the valley, that is free and runs every 20-30 minutes. You'll find out all about it when you visit the visitor center. Note, entry to Yosemite is also $30 per vehicle, which was covered with our annual pass. Only $20 left to break even!

Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Falls is a short walk from the village and we made it to the eastern entrance at 10:45am. Made it to the falls by 10:55am, a short 10 minute walk in. Due to the season, while it still had water, it didn't have much. Based on the trail, I would highly suggest walking in from the western entrance of the trail.

Yosemite National Park - do you see the falls in the background?
Yosemite National Park - Deer!
We walked through the meadow right across from Yosemite Falls which has some nice views and then took the shuttle bus towards Vernal Falls. We made it to the beginning of the trail by 1:25pm. To get to the top of Vernal Falls is only 2.5km, but it is all uphill and fairly steep. It is suggested that you continue upwards and make it to the John Muir trail and walk that down. We got to Vernal Falls by 2:15pm, so roughly an hour to get there. Another 10-15 minutes to get to the top.

Yosemite National Park - Vernal Falls
Yosemite National Park - Nevada Falls and Half Dome
Yosemite National Park - enjoying Nevada Falls
Through the John Muir trail, you will actually get some nice views of the Vernal Falls from above, worth it in my opinion, however, it does take a longer time to get down. It was 4:40pm when we made it back to the trail head. So, it took us roughly 3.5 hours to do the loop.

1850 Restaurant - Fry Bread
1850 Restaurant - Tri-tip
With that, we went back to the village and ended up getting a tip to visit 1850 restaurant for dinner in Mariposa which we did and ended up getting the fry bread ($16) and the tri-tip ($20). Both were REALLY good! Highly suggested.

Bonus pic! How many deer do you see?
Headed back to the hotel and called it a night. Tomorrow, we visit Yosemite again.