Last weekend we packed up our car and spent a few days at Yosemite National Park in California. We road tripped with another couple, close friends of ours and met up with more friends at the campsite. Yosemite National Park is about a 5 hour drive from where we are located in Ventura County. This is one of my most favorite places in the world because of the majestic beauty the Yosemite Valley holds.
This will be my third time visiting this amazing location. It is because of Yosemite that I am a big proponent of protecting and preserving our National Parks. I can’t wait to visit more National Parks in the future! Yellow Stone is on my list.
We came across the plant pictured below while on a hike of the valley floor. With a somewhat large group of friends we went with a hike that would accommodate all fitness levels and allow us to really enjoy ourselves without huffing and puffing the whole day. I recommend this hike for families and even as a “first day” hike to casually explore and take in the views. Back to the plant, the vibrant red coloring really stood out to us from a distance. We all later learned that this is called a “Snow Plant”.
Speaking of snow, there was actual SNOW on the ground in Yosemite! The daytime temperature felt comfortable while the nights felt super chilly and required lots of bundling up with layers and blankets. We regretted not bringing gloves or beanies for extra warmth. Except one friend… and she delighted in picking up snow and throwing it our direction when we went to stargaze at Glacier Point!
Although we didn’t spot any bears we did come across evidence of bears! The photo above shows claw marks on a tree that is on the hiking trail. I much prefer spotting bear claws from behind a bakery counter…
When we stopped for lunch along the banks of the Merced River we made a feathered friend. I think the ducks are very much used to seeing people and this one thought she might snag a bite to eat from us. We didn’t feed her however, because that is bad. Don’t feed wildlife! Anyway, as we cleaned up and began to head out back on the trail she opened her wing for us and showed her stunning blue plumage.
Do you see snow on the very tippy top of the mountain in the very far end of the photo? It is snow melt from mountain ranges like this one that California relies on for water. We don’t get much of that anymore so we’re experiencing a drought.
A few Yosemite camping tips:
- Reserve your campsite EARLY. You have to do it about 6 months in advance. Wake up early and get to reserving because they book up in a matter of minutes.
- Check the weather report. Depending on the time of year it can be really cold or really hot. Be prepared and be safe!
- Bring a camera. There are so many gorgeous photo-worthy sights.
- There are places to purchase things like ice, utensils, toiletries, snacks and camping gear although it is marked up a bit. Curry Village and Yosemite Lodge area have stores.
- Not a tent camping person? There is lodging you can reserve.
All photos were taken by my husband using an Droid Turbo Motorola.