After visiting Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming last summer my husband and I knew that while we were visiting Northern California this summer we wanted to include a trip to Yosemite National Park as we knew this was one of the most beautiful National Parks preserved for all time.
Yosemite National Park is a showcase of spectacular geological features, including the greatest concentration of granite domes in the world and the largest exposed granite monolith in the world. The park embraces almost 1,200 square miles of scenic wild lands set aside in 1890 to preserve a portion of the central Sierra Nevada that stretches along California's eastern flank. The park ranges from 2,000 feet above sea level to more than 13,000 feet and has these major attractions; alpine wilderness, three groves of Giant Sequoias and the glacially carved Yosemite Valley with impressive waterfalls, cliffs and unusual rock formations.
We visited the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia trees which I blogged about in my prior post, the day before, and today we re-entered the park, driving through the iconic southern entrance's Arch Rock.
We did a quick stop to see the historic Wawona Hotel, a National Historic Landmark located four miles from the Park's south entrance and cradled between the majestic Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley. A Victorian-style lodge still offers lodging in its 104 guestrooms, reminiscent of European-style hotel rooms. The long history of the hotel can be read on this link.
Our next stop was Glacier Point, an overlook with a commanding panoramic view of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome peak, and the High Sierra.
The views from this area were truly spectacular!
The scenic overlooks had a variety of views to enjoy.
Click to enlarge this photo of a diagram of the mountains and peaks visible from Glacier Point. (All photos will enlarge if clicked on once, and then again when they open on a new page)
Overhanging Rock 3,000 feet above Yosemite Valley.
A vintage 1902 photo of park visitors posing on the same Overhanging Rock! Obviously access like this to the rock isn't allowed any longer for safety's sake.
The view looking down to the valley from Glacier Point.
Here we are with Half Dome peak to the left, and Nevada Falls and Vernal Falls visible to the right.
A closer view of Nevada Falls and Vernal Falls. Yosemite is home to countless waterfalls. The best time to see waterfalls is during spring, when most of the snow melt occurs. Peak runoff typically occurs in May or June, with some waterfalls often only a trickle or completely dry by August. Considering we visited the park in the third week of August the water was still flowing very strongly.
Nevada Falls is a 594-foot waterfall on the Merced River
Vernal Falls is a 317 waterfall on the Merced River south of the Nevada Falls.
One last look from Glacier Point before we go back into our car.....
....and drive into the Wawona Tunnel to travel to see the beautiful Yosemite Valley, which will be my next blog post!
I'm linking to Wednesday"Outdoor Wednesday" event on Susan's blog A Southern Daydreamer, and Cathy's blog A Bit of the Blarney for her Wednesday "Adventure Express." Please visit Susan and Cathy today and join in all the fun!