I knew Yosemite was going to be one of my favorite parts of my trip in California. This is why I planned a three days visit to the National Park. Once I set foot on Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, I realized I did the right thing. Yosemite is not a place you can visit only for a few hours. Well, you can, of course. But then you’ll probably miss a lot of incredible things.
I divided the visit in three parts. The first day was going to be the shortest as we drove from Squaw Valley in Fresno. We entered the Park using the south entrance and the Road 41. Our plan was to visit first Mariposa Grove, a giant sequoia grove, and Glaciar Point (where you can enjoy views of Yosemite Valley from above). But we weren’t very lucky. September was still wildfire season in the area and due to some recent wildfires the Mariposa Grove and Glacier Road were closed. So we started the visit in one of the most famous viewpoints of the Park: Tunnel View Point. From there we enjoyed a beautiful view of the Valley, even if there was still some smoke in the air.
The next stop was the Valley itself. It was a bit disappointing to see some of the most famous waterfalls of the Park (Yosemite waterfalls, Bridal Veil waterfall, Horsetail,..) as no more than a little trickle. And there were so many people everywhere!!! Fortunately, the weather started to change and clouds covered the sky after midday. As we were walking to the Mirror Lake, it even started to rain. Most of the tourists disappeared and we could enjoy the Stoneman Meadow and its beautiful views of the Half Dome for ourselves. When we arrived to Mirror Lake, we found that the lake was almost dry… I could get a few photos with some reflections, but I guess they’re not as impressive as they would be in other seasons…
Anyway, I loved my first day in Yosemite. I was really impressed by the huge granite formations, the beauty of its golden meadows and the reflections of the canyon on the Merced river. I even liked the greedy and and fat squirrels that stalked us while trying to have lunch… These first hours on Yosemite were just an appetizer of all the beauty that was waiting for us the next two days. Here are some photos I took that first day. I hope you like them!