Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Taste of Yosemite



We are camped 20 miles from the east entrance to Yosemite National Park. For the past two years I’ve attempted to get reservations in Yosemite Valley during May, but apparently a million others were also trying to book sites and I was unsuccessful. I’ve given up on the Valley, since it’s hot and we don’t want to go there with the hoards of summer vacationers anyway, but being so close to the park we had to at least see the east side.

And we were not disappointed. It is quite an impressive drive over Tioga Pass and into the park. We took our friend Robin’s advice and drove another 5 miles to Tuolumne Meadows and hiked almost 6 miles on the Lyell Canyon Trail, which also intersects with the Pacific Crest and John Muir Trails. It was cool, green, not much elevation change, and followed the river most of the way. A good first hike in the park at almost 9,000’. Those mountains are calling us, though. A hike for another day…

We saw quite a few backpackers on the trail. This group of three looked new to the sport. A cooler??


Walked through the Tuolumne Meadows campground to get to the trail. 300 sites, all full, and a waiting list. It looked like tent city. We were so glad to be where we are.

We’ve never seen this before. I read that there has been a lot of recent bear activity in some of the campgrounds, due of course to people leaving out food.


No more words, these photos speak for themselves.











  1. I have never seen a bear trap like that one.

    We loved that area! You are correct...only photos can tell the story.

  2. Beautiful photos! Yosemite is being loved to death by the multitudes of people who visit it. It's nice that you could experience its beauty while avoiding the crowds.

  3. Those were the bear traps I saw used in the Pacific NorthWest.

  4. When I was a kid we vacationed at Yosemite every few years when it was emptier and had many fewer cars. We parked right at our campsite back then. It was beautiful. I still remember those trips, but haven't been back to the floor since then.

    A friend told me you can make a reservation of one week per month, so his friend and his wife vacation there in their RV with a reservation for the last week in one month and the first week in the next month. That gives them two weeks total. :)

    I backpacked up in the mountains of Yosemite in my 40s. We didn't see anyone else the whole time, and but we saw golden trout in the rocky depressions full of water. I'm so glad I did that while I had the chance. It wasn't easy climbing the granite boulders, but I sure was fun.

  5. Amazing photos!! Last year was our first visit. What a spectacular park.

    That mushroom is huge!! Love the two butterflies...great photo!

    Sorry your only memory of the Thousand Islands is rain. We;ve been lucky this trip!!

  6. What gorgeous photos of your hike in Yosemite. It has been a few years since we were there. We had the kids and camped in a Dodge van in one of the big campgrounds on the valley floor. In the middle of the night there was an awful racket outside...we thought a bear got into our cooler. Not was a bunch of masked bandits, aka raccoons. They are resourceful marauders.

  7. I was in Yosemite many many years ago, and according to your photos it is every much as beautiful now as I remember it being then. Gorgeous pictures!

  8. Great pics! We should be there. The John Muir Trail is on my life list. I would think all the Pac Crest Trail hikers are north of the area by now.

  9. Great pics! Love the enormous mushroom!

    Metamorphosis Lisa

  10. A year ago May we were camped outside the S entrance to the park and were driving back and forth and decided to stop at the rez office at the 1st campground just to ask if there were any last minute cancellations, and there were. We got 3 nights in a Valley cg. Crowded but convenient and a wonderful experience.

    Chris H

  11. It's been many years since we have been to Yosemite - glad to see it's still as beautiful as we remember! We camped in the Meadows in a tent with 4 little kids. WHEW, glad those days are past!

  12. Great Photos!
    Haven't been there since 74, back when I hitched from back east, walked into the park and spent a week camping above the falls. Great that you can see it from where you did without the crowds.