With all my years of travel, Yosemite, one of the nation’s most popular and coveted national parks, has somehow eluded me… that was until recently. I’ve never kept track of how many national parks and monuments I’ve visited, but it’s a lot! Yosemite is one that had been high on my list for a long time. I finally had an opportunity to explore this amazing wonderment–its grandeur and natural beauty did not disappoint.
After seeing Yosemite first hand, I could understand why famed photographer, Ansel Adams, had such a passion and affinity for it. I was thankful to have visited the park during the shoulder season…it was busy, but assuredly nothing like it would be during peak times. I was also lucky to experience some unusually warm and spectacular weather this late in the year. The warmer weather made for ideal camping and hiking conditions. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous hiking too far from designated trails or campgrounds due to bear activity. My understanding is that bears are more dangerous late in the season, before going into hibernation, as they need to forage as much as possible to sustain themselves through winter.
Again, because the weather was so nice, I was able to experience the eastern part of the park, off of highway 120, which is often closed due to inclement conditions. The eastern entrance of the park is at 10,000 feet, and, even though it was wonderful weather, it was downright cold! There was still snow on the ground from the winter before, so that should tell ya just how cold the temperatures are year round. Regardless of the temps, the lakes, creeks and waterfalls were spectacular.
Yosemite National Park is located in the Sierra Nevada range and offers visitors a varied landscape of deep valleys, vast meadows and groves of giant sequoia trees. Ninety-five percent of the park is designated as wilderness. Yosemite is also one of the largest and least fragmented habitat blocks in the Sierra Nevada, and the park supports a diversity of plants and animals. The park has an elevation range from 2,100 to over 13,000 feet.
Have you ever visited Yosemite? If so, what is your favorite part or sight? Click the following link to see more of my pictures of Yosemite.