Every day before we set out, I would look at our Visitor Guide. By looking at the map and hiking information, I could plan our day to get the most out of our time spent in the park. On our last full day in Yosemite, we drove to Glacier Point. All the glaciers are long gone, but Yosemite Valley was carved out by slow moving glaciers. Glacier Point is up high, and gave us a gorgeous view of the Valley.
Despite the altitude, it was very warm. We wandered around and ate our picnic on a big slab of black-and-white speckled granite. We were in one of those places where there isn’t much to do except gaze around in wonder. Oh, yes, and there was much climbing and walking on rocks, which is always fun. It was hard to pull ourselves away from Glacier Point.
Our second stop was Mariposa Grove, which is known for its giant Sequoia trees. Since it was later in the day, parking was a problem. We parked in a far away lot, and then took the shuttle bus up to the grove, which worked well.
While we were busy looking up at these magnificent trees, it’s hard to remember to look down. When I did, I saw this cute squirrel grabbing a pine cone lunch. That little pine cone is a Sequoia pine cone, which is about the size of a chicken egg. Isn’t it amazing to think that such huge trees come from such little seeds?
On our fourth day in Yosemite, we were only passing through. We drove over the Sierra Nevada mountains on one of the only passes, Tioga Road. Of course, we couldn’t just drive through, although we didn’t have time to explore as much as we wanted to. Tioga Road’s elevation goes up to 10,000 feet.
We stopped for lunch at Tuolumne Meadows, where we saw some backpackers who were hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. It goes right through Yosemite, and is the same trail Cheryl Strayed hiked and then wrote about in her book Wild. I loved that book, and so I wanted to put my feet on the PCT just to say that I did. But the trail I actually followed for a few minutes with Lily and Emmy was just a trail from the restaurant/post office to the campground. As we were pulling out to continue our drive across the mountains, I saw the sign for the PCT, but we needed to get on our way. Next stop: a ghost town at Bodie State Historical Park!
Are you tagging along on our California trip? Here’s more posts: