Yosemite is a national park of legends and one of the places that was on our route map from the start. While it was incredibly crowded and nearly impossible to get an RV campsite in the park, that didn’t stop us from visiting. We made our base camp at Yosemite Ridge Resort and after a morning of exploring Yosemite by car, we took “Theo” into Yosemite Valley the following day. This let us spend the entire day there and drive out under a setting sun.
Yosemite Valley represents only 1% of the park area, but this is where most visitors arrive and stay, and was the focus of our visit it too, for good reason. Because of the record setting snow levels from the winter, the waterfalls that the park is famous for were at peak flows. Driving down into the valley and seeing the waterfalls for the first time was indescribable. Like being in a 3D IMAX / immersive Disney ride / and then some! The crashing of Bridalveil Fall filling our ears, the mist of Upper Yosemite Falls sparkling in the morning sun, Ribbon and Sentinel Falls dancing down the cliff faces of El Capitan and Sentinel Rock. The Merced River roaring right out the car window and the smell of pine and spring wildflowers filling the air. Ah, and the sheer scale of Half Dome filling the skyline was almost overwhelming and certainly intoxicating to the senses. What a gift.
After the morning driving tour, we spent the next day:
- Helping the kids earn Jr. Ranger badges while hiking to Lower Yosemite Falls
- Running back and forth across the “swinging bridge” (which isn’t actually a bridge that swings) in Cook’s Meadow
- Riding the shuttle through Half Dome Village
- Checking out the Majestic Hotel
- Enjoying our quiet parking spot for “Theo” near Ribbon Creek
- Continually pinching ourselves just to make sure the scenery was all so real
Yosemite also wins the award for the most photogenic park. Evidence presented below though certainly not doing it justice.
Next stop: Redwoods National Park!