Sunday, April 26, 2015

Some ideas to have a great week-end at Yosemite !

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In a previous article, we presented to you the essential things to know in order to visit Yosemite. In this one, let's have some fun and here are our strolls illustrated by zillions of pictures!!! (We were 5, each one had a camera and was taking pictures of every squirrel, so imagine how our SD cards filled in rapidly!!)

Day 1

Tunnel View

This is the first stop you will do when you arrive in the Yosemite valley. This is very crowded but the view worths it!

Lower Yosemite Fall Trail

This is a very easy-access trail which brings you to a very nice water fall. The only problem with it (this is my point of view since you have to walk less than 5 minutes), is this is super crowded!

Concombre, Jean-Charles and Damien
Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Falls

Upper Yosemite Fall Trail

While Jibouille and I were walking around at Lower Fall, Concombre, JC and Damien were doing Upper Yosemite Fall. So, I let Concombre talking about this trip !

"Upper Yosemite Fall and Lower Yosemite Fall are two different trails to observe the same water falls.

This trail is only more difficult. We luckily started early in the afternoon, thus the trail was in the shade. The trail is difficult because the climb is pretty steep but also because it is mainly composed of big rocks that have to be spun or climb. Happily, after half of the trail, it is composed of sand and the water fall is used as a very refreshing atomizer.

We walked for 3 hours to finally arrive at the view. A small and narrow space allows to see the water diving into the emptiness. We didn't have only a commanding view, we also had a wonderful panorama on Glacier Point and Half Dome.

We then continued the trail by going up along the torrent to find back a small bridge allowing us to go up further. At this point, that was possible to soak our feet in water, even to swim (you just have to be careful in order to not be carried away by the stream).

By pursuing our stroll, we lost the track (after the bridge you must turn left and this is ok to go very far away to the left). As we were lost but we knew where we wanted to go, we just used a shortcut which allowed us to climb the rock (comment from the older sister: that was not really reasonable...). We were exhausted but we had a beautiful view, and this is the reason why we love so much to walk in the mountain. We had the feeling to be above everything (except the trees).

Because the trail had a S-shape, we discovered the mountain from a different perspective during the way back. This one was much more difficult that what I expected since my legs were shaking too much to be sure of my feet.

This stroll is really cool for those who love to have a wonderful view, a refresher during the walk, to take some rest on the top by soaking your feet in the water and most of all to be tired! :-D"

Mirror Lake Loop

The Mirror Lake loop is not a pretty trail by itself, but leads to a very nice lake bordered by a beach. One can easily bath and the view on the mountains is wonderful!

Merced River
Tenaya Creek
First Mirror Lake's swimming pool

Mirror Lake
The beach
Nice place to build a fortress, isn't it?!!

The meadow next to Curry Village

Due to not enough parking space, we parked next to this meadow. It is not far away from Mirror Lake and Vernal Fall trails and give a beautiful panorama on the surrounding mountains and Yosemite Falls !

Big Oak Flat Road Viewpoint

After the Tamara brook and before the tunnel, you can stay to admire a panorama of the valley.

Tioga Road

Tioga road is a splendid road which brings to Tuolumne Meadows. When you leave Yosemite Valley, we pass through areas with burned trees (undoubtedly during the wildfire in summer 2013, given the number of burned trees), and to be honest, that was my prefered landscapes! We pursue into the forest with some amazing views on the mountains, then the road ends up near a big lake. This is a peaceful place with a beautiful light... In short, we were delighted and we would have liked to stay there to camp !!

Siesta Lake

Beautiful, isn't it ?

I feel like Caspar D. Friedrich :-)
Landscape healing slowly...

Olmsted Point

Olmsted is one of the numerous views which are on Tioga road and worth a stop! Like for the other views, you will have a good view on the mountains, but also a preview of Tenaya lake.

Tenaya Lake

As previously explained, this lake, well bordered by the road, is extremely peaceful and enjoyable. The place is ideal to camp with groundhogs!!

Day 2

Vernal Fall

The stroll leading to Vernal and Nevada falls is beautiful. However, if you're afraid of heights, I recommend to stop in front of Vernal fall since the stairs are very slippery ! (I stopped here but apparently that worths continuing up to Nevada Falls).

Merced River

A rainbow (in fact they were everywhere!!) 
Vernal Fall from the bottom...
...and from the top!!
With a nice view on Merced River in bonus !!
River upstream of the fall (but after Nevada Fall)

Glacier Point viewpoint

To go to this viewpoint, you can choose either the hard way (hiking) or the easy way (driving). I was not very courageous and I chose the easy way, whereas Damien, one of the other post-docs with us, was volunteer to test the trail! Apparently, this one is very nice even if it has some steep slopes (well, in some way, he wouldn't have told us something else, right ?? ^^). Once again, that was very crowded but we were able to quietly picnic in front of the mountains (or close, there are always one or two squirrels trying to grab your sandwich !!). That was the best lunch of the week-end!

On the left, the half Dome (2695 m)
Vernal and Nevada Falls

On the right the Half Dome and on the left from the top to the bottom,  Mt Hoffman (3308 m), then the North Dome and the Basket Dome (around 2300 m) and the Royal Arches
Overhanging Rock (at 2195m) with in the background on the right Yosemite falls (a drop of 740m)

Wanona Meadows

I wanted to do the trail in the meadow which surrounds the old hotel, but we didn't have enough time. Here are some pictures of the hotel which would worth to spend a sunbathing week-end!!

Mariposa Grove

If you want to see sequoïa trees, there are plenty of places to go in the park and close by, but this is here that you will see the most famous ones ! (But be careful, anticipate to walk one hour to see them).

Hope you enjoy the trip !

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