Americas & the Caribbean

The beauty of YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

It was still fairly dark when the alarm went off. I slowly opened my eyes and found myself looking at an unfamiliar white ceiling. I looked around the room still half-asleep and wondered where I was. It took me a few seconds to realize that we were in San Francisco. I sleepily dragged myself off the comfortable hotel bed. With one last look at the inviting covers I forced myself to stand up. We had to get ready as the bus would pick us up at the hotel in an hour. The hour seemed to go so quickly. I glanced at my husband’s watch and noted the time. I did not know how we managed to get organized but we were sitting in the bus by 6.30. We were on our way to Yosemite National Park.
Yosemite, located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, is about 200 miles (320 km) from San Francisco. The brochures say it takes about 3 hours to get there. I settled into a comfortable position in my seat next to the window. We had a couple of stops along the way so it was about mid-morning when we got off the bus at the parking lot of Yosemite.
This view that greeted us (called Tunnel View) was so worth the long bus ride, with El Capitan on the left, Half Dome in the centre, and Bridalveil Fall on the right.

Tunnel View of the valley

The glacial valley of Yosemite is often referred to as the “heart of Yosemite”, this is where most of the visitors congregate. I stood savoring the view shown by the photo above. It looks like the valley is enveloped with soaring high peaks with very steep walls. It seems that the mountains shoot up vertically out of the ground. Some of the peaks soar to 3000-4000 feet (900m-1200m) from the main valley floor which is already 4000 ft above sea level. Some sections of the park are as high as 13,000 feet above sea level. The Yosemite Valley is only about one percent of the park area and is accessible most time of the year.
Steep granite walls

What is even more amazing is that there are people who actually climbed those peaks from its vertically steep walls. I was going to write more about the climbs here but decided to write a separate post because it is so fascinating.
In the meantime let me show you more of the beauty of Yosemite.
Yosemite National Park has 21 waterfalls, ranging from as low as 25 feet (7.6 m) to the highest at 2425 feet (739m).
Yosemite Falls with the Upper portion highly visible

The highest one is Yosemite Falls which has 3 sections:
Upper Yosemite Falls – with a drop of 1430 ft (440m) is among the 20 highest waterfalls in the world
Middle Cascades – between the two obvious main plunges there are five smaller plunges known collectively as Middle cascades. Taken together these smaller plunges account for a total drop of 675 feet (206m). The Middle Cascades are rarely noted because of lack of public access.
Lower Yosemite Falls – a 320 ft (98m) drop which is adjacent to a viewing area provides the most used viewing point for the waterfalls.
It is difficult for me to visualize how high Yosemite Falls are so let me give a comparison. The total height of 2425 feet (739 m) is higher than the highest occupied floor (level 163) at 1,918 feet (584 m) of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and higher than the total height of any other building in the world (as at 2015). How amazing is that!
A green meadow with soaring high picturesque mountains

After walking around the valley for a few hours and taking lots of photos we got back on the bus for San Francisco. It was about 9 o’clock in the evening when we were dropped off at our hotel, we were very sleepy by then but we had such a wonderful day.
Posts about United States:
The beauty of YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK —>You are here
Travel Photo of the Week 12
Niagara Falls –Dreams do come true
Text & Photos by Alicia Davis

2 thoughts on “The beauty of YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK”

  1. I used to live not far from Yosemite, but in all those years, I never made it to the park. One of the great regrets of my life. I have friends who live even closer, and I swear that one of these days, I’m going to go visit them and then detour to the park. It’s so beautiful! You’ve captured some great photos and shared some wonderful information.
    I host a photography link-up each Friday – there are some lovely photographers sharing their work, and I’d love to have you join us!

    1. Hi Jen
      It is one of those things that when the place is just close by we keep putting off going as we think it is always there. Definitely go to Yosemite 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.