Saturday, May 16, 2015

Yosemite: Day 2

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


With a few clouds in the sky it seemed like a good day to take the hour long 30 mile drive to Glacier Point, where we were told we would have some of the best views of Yosemite Valley. Being such a mild winter the road opened early this year, as some years they don’t get the snow cleared off until June.There are numerous pullouts and overlooks along the way, and several hiking trails.


Not thinking about how much cooler it would be once we got out of the valley at 4,000’ up to 7,200’, we weren’t dressed warmly enough for hiking in the chilly 46 degree wind, so we decided to just enjoy the views and hike later in the afternoon when we got back.


And the views were incredible.


But then we always love the feeling of being on top of the world. These are Vernal and Nevada Falls from the Washburn Overlook just before you get to Glacier Point.


They would become our goal for the next day.


But we were more fascinated with staring into the face of the famous Half Dome.



I am in awe of anyone who makes it the eight to nine miles to the summit, especially climbing up the cables on the last 400 feet.  The cables went up early this year, May 2nd. Normally it is the Friday before Memorial Day until anyone can go up. With maximum zoom we could see at least six people up there. We will never be one of them.


From the end of the .3 mile trail out to Glacier Point you get a nice view of Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls.


And a peek down into the valley.


On our way back we stopped at the Tunnel View overlook, an iconic Yosemite scene just outside of the one mile Wawona tunnel.

Massive El Capitan on the left with Half Dome in the distance.


We could also see Bridal Veil Fall from there, but that was as close as we got to it, since we tried to stop and take the half mile hike to the base but there was no place to park. The crowds were beginning to get to Jim by this point. We tried to keep people out of our photos since that is not how I want to remember Yosemite.


After lunch we set out from our campsite to take a hike along Tenaya Creek and up the canyon past Mirror Lake.






One of the rangers told me it was his favorite hike because there was a good chance of seeing wildlife but we didn’t have much luck. In fact does this even count?

Yosemite Valley

 Stay tuned as it gets better on our last day in the park.

One more thing I want to mention. When Jim was trying to connect to the internet from the campground he noticed our 5 month old Verizon Jetpack mifi device was no longer flat on the bottom, an indication that the battery inside had swollen. He contacted the seller who said they would send out a new one priority mail but we weren’t sure where we were going next and we needed to look up a post office to receive general delivery. We stopped at Yosemite Lodge on the way to Glacier Point and paid $5.95 for 24 hours of wifi access. Unfortunately it was so slow we could barely complete a search, but finally did figure out our next destination and a post office address. So be warned if you really have a need for internet in Yosemite it is less than ideal.


  1. I just can't imagine doing that climb to the summit. Wow!

  2. When we were in Yosemite a few years ago we would walk, or ride our bikes over to the Ahwahnee Lodge to use their WiFi.....we would sit in the large room with the enormous fireplace....there was no charge to use the WiFi and it was pretty good.

    1. Clarke, we tried the Ahwahnee first but were told that it was only for guests of the Ahwahnee. I assume the guests there don't want just anyone cluttering up the lodge. Since the rates start at $359 a night who can blame them.

  3. Many years ago we backpacked to to the back base of Half Dome and got up at 6AM to hit the summit. Sadly I only got 15 feet up the cables before my paralyzing fear of heights completely wiped out any chance of getting further. It was a beautiful hike despite not getting to the top. There's no way I can make that last climb.

    1. I'm impressed you made it 15 feet! I get woozy just looking at photos of people on those cables. I still marvel that I ever made it up Angel's Landing in Zion. Doubt I could do it again.

  4. Absolutely gorgeous photos! They bring back so many memories. I love Half Dome and the falls at Yosemite, although I've never seen them from those angles. Thanks!

    What about going in for lunch and using the wi-fi at the table. Then casually walk out to the comfortable couches and complete your wi-fi stuff. You would then be a guest. Of the restaurant, right? :)

    1. Good idea but you have to have a room number. Besides, with the prices at the restaurant it was a lot cheaper to pay the $5.95!

  5. What an experience to see Half Dome from that vantage point!

  6. What an amazing place! Your pictures are fantastic! I'm sorry to hear that there are so many people there in mid May. You did a great job of keeping them out of your pictures. I think you meant Memorial rather than Labor Day for the cables to go up. I'd love to do that but not sure I actually could or would. I don't have fear of heights actually just fear of death. If it were an enclosed staircase - god forbid - I'd have no problem.

    1. Thanks, Sherry, I corrected it. I could have sworn I typed Memorial Day:-)

  7. Beautiful photos. Your camera is pretty amazing.

  8. It took me a long time to get throught the post tonight:) The photos are all so gorgeous and there was so much to see in each one. I love that the falls are flowing with so much water. We did the is same trip and remember each stop. I would love to do Half Dome but I don't backpack so I guess I won't be making the climb! Thanks for the wonderful memories:) We didn't hike while there so we must return again. Looking forward to your hikes.

  9. You got such great pics of the dome and the falls, I feel like I was there. Because although I lived in CA my whole life, I've never actually been :-( I have no excuse! I can't even imagine the view from the top of Half Dome, one I'll never see :-))))))

  10. Agree, I don't think we will ever make it to the top of half dome either, but I sure do enjoy looking at other folks doing it! Gorgeous photos!

  11. What incredible views! Even if I never get there, at least I have blogs like yours to read!

  12. Glacier Point to me is a preview of heaven. I just love that place. So much beauty it is difficult to take it all in.

  13. As much as I want to see and hike in Yosemite I have no desire to climb Half Dome, or any other dome for that matter. Yet these rocky views are superb!

  14. Glacier Point is a great place to visit at sunset. I don't know if they are doing this yet so early in the season but when we were there a ranger gave a talk at the point just before sunset. After that the light show began as we watched Half Dome change colors, then all the mountain peaks nearby…beautiful!