Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Road Trip - Yosemite Day 1

Yosemite National Park

Day 5: 6th September 2016, we spent the day driving from San Francisco to our airbnb accommodation in Fresno. It took us about 3.5 hours (190 miles) to get there. We stopped at Carl's Jr for lunch and bought some groceries from Sprouts Farmer's Market. Sprouts is by far, our favourite market in the West Coast.  

Fresh Fruit & Veggies

Our airbnb accommodation was run by an asian guy named Jim. He didn't speak much, but he seems easy going and was around if you need him. The place was neat and the house was centrally air conditioned which was nice because it was so warm outside. He even provided free bottles of water. I think there are about 5 rooms in that house but only one bathroom. So, it was a bit of a mad rush in the mornings and evenings.  Much like us, the other occupants also stay there as a base to Yosemite National Park which is about 2-2½ hours away. No complaints, it was the closest accommodation to Yosemite that we could find within our budget ($116 SGD for 2 nights). We definitely appreciate the affordable accommodation with airbnb.
 
Our room in Fresno

Yo-se-mi-te! one of America's most popular National Parks! Internationally recognized for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, glaciers, and biological diversity. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness. We spent 2 days at Yosemite.

National Park Annual Pass - If you plan to visit more than one National Park in US, it's advisable for you to get the America the Beautiful Annual pass at $80 with access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. Each pass covers entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges as well as standard amenity fees (day use fees) at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A pass covers entrance, standard amenity fees and day use fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas (or up to four adults at sites that charge per person). Children age 15 or under are admitted free. You can purchase this pass online, or at any of the recreation sites.

Drive in Yosemite

Day 6: We drove from Fresno to Yosemite Valley via Wawona Road and CA-41 S route. The drive in Yosemite National Park was very scenic. We even spotted the bum of a baby black bear (although it looked more shade of brown) running into the woods. I later googled that the black bear is a species and not a colour. In fact, most of the black bears aren't black at all, but brown, reddish brown even blond! There are about 300-500 black bears that live in this National Park.  

We spent the first day in Yosemite Valley - Glacier Point & did a partial walk of the Four Mile trail.
 
View Point before Glacier Point

Glacier Point is a viewpoint above Yosemite Valley. It is located on the south wall of Yosemite Valley at an elevation of 7,214 feet (2,199 m). The point offers a superb view of several of Yosemite National Park's well-known landmarks including Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, and Clouds Rest.

The Glacier Point Road is open to cars approximately from late May through October. However, in winter, the road closes due to snow. So we were lucky to be there in September.

Half Dome is a granite dome at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley. It is a well-known rock formation in the park, named for its distinct shape.
One side is a sheer face while the other three sides are smooth and round, making it appear like a dome cut in half.
The granite crest rises more than 4,737 ft (1,444 m) above the valley floor.

Four Mile Trail is a moderate to strenuous trail leading from Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point. The trail begins at the valley floor west of the Swinging Bridge recreation area, and climbs the south side 4.8 miles (7.7 km) up to Glacier Point, an elevation change of 3,200 feet (1,000 m). We did a partial walk of the Four Mile Trail from Glacier Point.

Tall trees at the top of Four Mile Trail
View of Half Dome at the start of the Four Mile Trail
Stunning view
This is as far as we walked on the Four Mile Trail

We had to turn around at this point, as it was getting late and we did not want to miss the sunset at Glacier Point. Based on the trail map, we walked about 1/3 of the trail (just before it zigzags downhill).

Sunset at Glacier Point

Follow us on our road trip: Yosemite Day 2

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