Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September 4, 2016, Visit Yosemite National Park, Amazing Sites, No Place to Sleep

September 4, 2016, Visit Yosemite National Park, Amazing Sites, No Place to Sleep

Today we visited Yosemite National Park, one of the premier national parks in the entire system. We had a beautiful visit with great weather except for one thing, it is Labor Day weekend. The park is jammed with thousands of people and zillions of cars. We came in the southern entrance by the Mariposa Groves, unfortunately they are closed. We then drove to the main loop in Yosemite Valley. We were lucky, we found a parking spot and were able to walk around, see the valley, do the Lower Falls Trail and get lunch. The cars were wall to wall, standing still everywhere.

We left the valley area and headed out and east along the Tioga Road to Lee Vining on the CA and NV border, which is also Route 120. I have been through much of the popular parts of Yosemite but never this road. It is very picturesque with some spectacular views. One of them being the Olmsted Point which is just granite, granite, granite. It is amazing. We also drove through the Tuolumne Meadows which we will have to leave for a future visit.

One of the things we noticed driving in through the Sierra National Forest and throughout Yosemite are all the dying and weak trees. The drought has hit this area hard and the fire danger is extremely high. Sometimes it seems like almost 20% of the trees are fully brown. It is like one giant match just ready to ignite.

Dead trees in the Sierra National Forest, ready to burn

We tried to get a room outside of the park but it being Labor Day weekend there was nothing. We tried calling or visiting half of the hotels in Mammoth Lake and everything was sold out. So we turned around and headed north finally finding a hotel near Topaz Lake, NV.

Bruce and Louise at Yosemite's Entrance
Merced River running through Yosemite Valley

Trees along the Tioga Road, beautiful views of the mountains

Yosemite Valley, spectacular views of the surrounding cliffs

Driving in Yosemite on Labor Day Weekend, bumper to bumper

Bruce having fun at Olmsted Point, amazing granite

Louise looking at the valley in the Inyo National Forest, just outside Yosemite