Our 33 Day, 6731 Mile Road Trip–part 8

>> Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The goal for May 9th, the 18th day of our road trip, was Yosemite National Park.  As we neared the park we stopped at the Groveland Ranger Station to check on available campsites in the National Forest, outside of the park.  We were told that there were plenty of campsites available in all of the campgrounds so we decided to drive on another 12-15 miles to the Sweetwater Campground.  This campground was only about 10 miles from the part entrance.  We paid for and marked our campsite and drove on to the park.

IMG_4634We entered the park at the Big Oak Flat Entrance.  We drove to Yosemite Valley as many of the famous sites can be seen there.  We were last at Yosemite over 47 years ago.  The mountains and waterfalls haven’t changed much but there have been a lot of changes to the roads, etc. due to a much higher number of visitors.  Where roads had been 2 way, 2 lane roads they are now one way roads.  Yosemite Village was something we remembered from our previous visits and thought we would stop there.  However, the signs told us that there was a 10 minute walk from the parking lot so we decided to pass on that.  Here are a few pictures of some of the things that have remained much the same.


There are a number of spectacular waterfalls at Yosemite.  This is one of the first ones we saw after entering Yosemite Valley.

IMG_0712This is Upper Yosemite Falls.  It is the larger and more spectacular of the upper and lower falls.

This is Half Dome.  If you have seen any photos of Yosemite you probably have seen a picture of Half Dome.  After spending some amount of time in the valley we headed back to our campsite, where we spent a relaxing evening.

IMG_0727This photo was taken from the parking area where we parked our van.  Behind the trees on the left in the picture you can make out a large metal box.  That was our bear locker.  All food items and cooking material were to be placed in the box overnight to keep bears from raiding.  Thankfully we didn’t see any bears but we put our items in the box.

We had originally thought we would drive across the park and over Tioga Pass and drive down US 395 but all reports indicated that the road over the pass was closed due to winter snows.  However, when we got in the area we began to see signs that Tioga Pass was open.  In fact it opened on Monday and we were able to cross on Thursday, May 10th.  Here are a few photos taken as we drove across. 

This is another view of Half Dome—the back side—taken from Rt. 20 as we crossed the park.

IMG_4797This pix is of some of the beautiful scenery along this route.


Just to prove that we actually did cross Tioga Pass Connie snapped this shot as we were stopped at the booth prior to exiting the park.  We still had a lot of downhill driving to do to get us down to US 395.

We drove south on US 395 and stopped for the night at a county campground in Lone Pine, California.  More about that in our next installment.


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