Yosemite National Park

Yosemite is a beautiful place. Even with the millions of visitors it receives, it still feels untouched by man.

On this trip, I drove to Yosemite and spent two nights there.

Fire

I drove in from Palo Alto, on highway 120, and was surprised to see a large section of the countryside barren and burnt out.

Fire

Half dome

Entering Yosemite there are spectacular views of El Capitan and Half Dome.

Half dome

Yosemite Valley

Looking down from the road, the Merced River flows through the Yosemite Valley. It is amazing how peaceful it looks, even though this is one of the most visited National Parks in the country.

Yosemite Valley

El Capitan

The huge rockface of El Capitan rises from the valley floor.

El Capitan

El Capitan

Although you cannot see them in this picture, there were people climbing this rock face. There was someone at the bottom with a large telescope filming them.

El Capitan

Half Dome

I arrived in time to see the sunset. As the sun fell, the valley was in shadow leaving only Half Dome bathed in warm sunlight.

Half Dome

Curry Village

There are a wide range of accommodation in Yosemite and it is a good idea to make a booking before you arrive. I didn't! But I was fortunate to arrive just in time to get the last available tent in Curry Village. This was late September and it was still very busy. Notice that outside each tent is a bear-proof locker to store your food.

Curry Village

Morning views

The next morning I went on the Upper Yosemite Fall walk. It was a strenuous walk that takes you 823m (2700ft) up from the valley. It was a very tiring walk, especially as the temperature got very hot as the day drew on. But it was worth it, because the views were spectacular. This photo was taken early in the day, when the sun was still rising over the valley.

Morning views

Upper Yosemite Fall walk

The initial part of the walk consisted of a winding rocky path under the shade of trees.

Upper Yosemite Fall walk

Upper Yosemite Fall walk

After clearing the trees, you can look down and see the valley below.

Upper Yosemite Fall walk

Upper Yosemite Fall walk

But looking up, you can also see that there is still a long way to go.

Upper Yosemite Fall walk

Waterholes

When you reach the top, you can see where the tallest waterfall in North America starts. Except at this time of the year it is totally dry except for a few pools of water.

Waterholes

Lookout at Upper Yosemite Fall

There is a lookout at the top of the Upper Yosemite Fall trail. It was now midday and the sun is shining brightly over the valley.

Lookout at Upper Yosemite Fall

Top of the falls

It's a long way down.

Top of the falls

The trail

And it's a long trail back to base.

The trail

Yosemite National Park

After the long hike back down, it was time to spend some time in the cool shade by the Merced River.

Yosemite National Park

Merced reflections

Merced River

Merced reflections

Yosemite from Tunnel View

And the fitting way to finish the day was to watch the sunset over the valley from Tunnel View.

Yosemite from Tunnel View

Yosemite from Tunnel View

Yosemite from Tunnel View

Yosemite Valley

Yosemite is an extremely beautiful place and I took many photos of ruggard mountains and idealic fields.

Yosemite Valley

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Collection: WEST 2009

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