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Yosemite National Park

 

You get the impression that Yosemite National Park is a weekend local park for Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles residents.  In mid-October Yosemite should not be crowded on a weekday.  Unfortunately we went there on a weekend and it was very crowded.  The heart of the park is Yosemite Valley which is narrow and short with limited roads and space.  We arrived just after 9 AM and by the time we got into the valley there was a shortage of parking spaces and people climbing all over everything.

We hiked 1.5 miles on the Misty Trail to Vernal Falls.  The trail, the hike and the falls were great, but the number of people hiking with us made us feel like we were in Grand Central Station or driving on I-95 as it approaches the DC Beltway.  Whew.

The valley and the rock formations such as El Capitan and Half Dome are simply breathtaking.  This time of year the Yosemite Falls are dry and the Bridal Veil Falls and Vernal Falls are limited in water supply, however we enjoyed seeing each of them.  The hour drive up to Glacier Point is well worth it because the 3000 foot view straight down into Yosemite Village gives you the feeling that you are in an airplane.  We saw many rock climbers who were testing themselves on the shear cliff walls of El Capitan.  Watching them makes you shiver.

Unfortunately, another disappointment is the condition of all of the buildings, roads, walkways, signs, wood fences... nearly everything.  Everything looks old and worn out.  Maybe the park just gets too much use.  There seems to be a plan to revamp how the park is used and to limit automobile access.  Something like this is needed.  Needless to say, if you go to Yosemite, try to make it off season and during the week.

Several photographs are arranged in an album called Yosemite National Park Photo Gallery.