2018 Summer-Fall Adventures travel blog

Bridalveil Fall

Another View of Bridalveil Fall

Yosemite Falls

Lower Yosemite Falls

Half Dome

Tunnel view: El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridalveil Fall

Big Trees Lodge

Big Tree Lodge

Lodge Lobby, Sitting Area

Pioneer Village

Bridalveil Fall

Mirror Lake

Paula on Swinging Bridge near Wawona

River view

Steep Road, Ya Think???

Valley View

Driving out of Yosemite


Yosemite Falls

We arrived in Yosemite National Park on Saturday, June 9th. We stayed in the Big Trees Lodge at Wawona for 5 nights. Wawona is near the southwestern entrance to Yosemite. Galen Clark, the first non-native American to see the Mariposa Grove of Sequoia trees in 1857, built simple lodgings and roads to the area. The Big Trees Lodge (formerly known as Wawona Lodge) was opened in 1879. Other buildings were added to the lodge area in later years to accommodate more guests.

Concerned about commercial development, Galen Clark and other prominent citizens advocated for protection of the area. In 1864, President Abe Lincoln signed a bill that set aside the Yosemite Valley for preservation and public use. This set the precedent for the creation of National Parks (with Yellowstone being named as a park in 1872). It was the first time in history that any land anywhere in the world was set aside for protection, preservation and use for the public. The Yosemite Grant ceded the land to the state of California. In 1890, the area was transferred back to the federal government when it was incorporated into Yosemite National Park.

We saw Bridalveil Fall (620 feet drop); Yosemite Falls (2,495 feet drop- 3 sections, upper, middle cascades, lower); Half Dome and El Capitan (two climbers fell to their death on June 9th). We hiked to Mirror Lake, and visited the Pioneer Village (part of it was closed and not due to open until 6/16). We only ventured into Yosemite Valley twice because the shuttle bus system was terrible and parking was literally non-existent after 10 am. Mariposa Grove was closed to visitors while undergoing renovation, and is due to open on June 15.

Half Dome is imposing, standing at over 4700 feet above the valley floor. It is a popular climbing spot. As many as 800 people climb it during the summer months. El Capitan is about 3000 feet from the valley floor to the crest. It is popular for rock climbers as well as base jumpers.

While entering leaving the valley, it is a must to stop at Tunnel View. This is a vista point where you can take a picture of El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridalveil Fall in one shot.

The views of the mountains, falls and rivers are spectacular and is worth the visit.

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