Today I am sharing our experience in Yosemite National Park. WHAT AN AMAZING PLACE!! Yosemite makes you feel small. Refreshed. Full. In Awe. Connected. Overall, Spiritual.
We woke up on our first day fairly early, around 6:30AM. Our plan for the day was to pack up our stuff, take a hike around the falls, the village and the surrounding areas then grab breakfast and leave for our road trip to San Francisco. We were lucky enough to see the sun rise and shine onto the mountains outside of our room’s window. The warm light was beautiful, serene and majestic. It was a great start to our day.
From our lodge, more so our rooms, the Yosemite Falls Trail was about a minute walk across the street, and boy what an entrance view. Yosemite Falls is North America’s tallest waterfall at 320ft. The views walking through the parking lot were impressive. (The night before walking this path in the pitch dark was definitely scary. If I had known what was ahead of us, I’d probably would’ve toughened up. haha…). We took our time admiring the falls, listening to nature and taking pictures. There were, maybe, a handful of people around the area with us, so it felt private. The Falls were not as full gushing because it is Summer. Walking a hundred feet or so from the start of the path, over a hill, we came upon the ridge over the Yosemite Creek that the falls spill into. Gorgeous, but the water was at a trickle because of the lack of rain. The rocks in the space were enormous however, and we watched a photographer risking his life for the perfect shots on top of the rocks. The rocks were so slippery, even without it being wet.
The trail follows along, very manicured and the paths are basically naturally paved (easy to walk). There are elevations up hills and whatnot, but definitely easy to make through for a person in any shape. There is a long decline at the end that spills out to the Church Bowl picnic area with the view of Ahwahnee Meadow, being hugged by the Half Dome and Glacier Point. Glorious.
From there we took a walk to the hotel nearby, and then from the hotel we trekked to the Yosemite Village. We went around there for a really quick visit then headed back to our rooms to grab our luggage, and breakfast there. We tried making a drive up Glacier Point after we ate. We made it there but the road was having work done and the traffic impeded on our timeline of the day ahead. So we opted to drive up to a lookout point halfway up the mountain.
Let’s road trip!!! San Francisco here we come…
But first, the Tuolumne Grove for Giant Sequoias!
The Tuolumne Grove is about a one mile trek downhill, about 500 feet of elevation loss. Keep that in mind while walking down. You’ll need water and cool clothing because the heat sneaks up on you down below. The walk down is divine, though; the views of nature and their critters is not to be missed. The sequoias though there are not many, they are worth the hike to see.. even if there is a hike back up that hill to follow. What I am saying is … I had a hard time making it back up with the ease of the hike down the hill. So, just a heads up for those of us not in the best of shape. I made it, but boy did I have to work for it!!
After we left the grove, we grabbed some coffee and homemade sodas at Mountain Sage in Groveland. It’s a funky coffee shop that is attached to a garden center. Very eclectic garden, which we hung out in for a few minutes. Once we were refreshed we made our way to the highway for San Francisco.
Along the way we stopped at a local farm, Zinc House Farm, in Escalon, CA. So glad we chose this farm to buy fruit. The woman running their (super large) stand was wonderful, and she let me sample some gooseberries and we gabbed a while about the differences of Boston to California, but how similar California and Sicily are (which is kind of the reason I love California so much). We grabbed some nectarines, peaches and pluots. I love fruit at the beach, so we stocked up for the following days.
From our farm stop, we headed straight to San Francisco.
We got to San Francisco fairly later than we planned, about 7:40PM, and we had made dinner reservations for 8:30PM on Pier 39. But we made them! We got dolled up lightning fast and walked straight to the Pier.
We ended our evening with an amazing seafood dinner on Pier 39 overlooking the water. The service was great. The food was just that touch of delicious comfort we all needed.
It was an amazing day and a great way to kick off seeing California!
Yosemite National Park is a wondrous place, nature at its dreamy finest, and now I understand why everyone was so amped up for us when we shared that we were going. I hope that you guys can feel that excitement conveyed in my words to you, too.
If anyone has been to Yosemite, please don’t hesitate to comment here or anywhere you found this post. I love conversations about travel and learning new things too.
Thanks so much for catching up with me on this part of our trip, guys. I really appreciate you taking the time to read along. Till next time xo!