Yosemite Valley. One of the most famous and most visited national parks in the US. This valley with huge cliffs and waterfalls was carved out by glaciers many thousands of years ago.
Down in the Yosemite Valley. On the left is the famous El Cap wall. Near the bottom of El Cap is the famous Camp 4. Camp 4 is considered the birthplace of rock climbing for sport. Some of the worlds best rock climbers have called camp 4 home. It is also where climbing gear manufacturers like Black Diamond test out new equipment.
Pictures do not really do this cliff face justice. The 3593 foot tall cliff is really difficult to show the scale of with pictures. There have been a number of incredible climbing achievements on this wall. Even if you are not a climber, stop looking at these pictures, and go watch this documentary that takes place on El Cap. Trust me, it is unbelievable! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urRVZ4SW7WU
Perhaps some cars and people in the pictures will give you a better appreciation for the size of this cliff face. If you enjoyed my previous suggestion of watching Free Solo, try the Dawn Wall next: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edfw9ip9sCQ
Being a huge climbing center, even the seats in the visitor center are made from climbing crash mats, neat.
What are these people looking at? This, I have got to see!
Yosemite falls. At 2425 feet tall, it is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world and is the tallest in North America.
One of the other famous landmarks in Yosemite is half dome. A clever name, because it looks like half a dome. In a 1868 guide book for the valley, the author declared that half dome would “never be trodden by human foot”. 7 years later, George Anderson reached the 2000 foot high summit.
The other thing the Yosemite Valley is famous for, traffic and tons of people. Over 3.5 million people visit the valley each year making it very busy. Finding parking is nearly impossible and most of the pathways are full of people. I found the crowds in the valley really took away from the whole experience. And yes, I realize I am part of the problem. (2020 note: You now need a permit to enter the Yosemite Valley. Access is now heavily restricted)
The giant cliffs of El Cap, and more crowds, and more traffic.
Just like most other places I have visited, if you’re willing to walk even just a few minutes from the parking lot, the crowds start to thin out.
This little swimming spot was just a 5-minute walk from the road.
Yosemite has a visitor center with displays about the valley’s history and geography. Amazingly, it was almost empty (unlike the rest of the valley). It was just me and this other guy learning some fun facts. Here is one for you… In 1932 Yosemite made a bid to hold the winter Olympics, making it the only national park in the world to bid on the Olympic games.
What I didn’t know about Yosemite is that it is much bigger than just the famous valley. If you are willing to drive a bit you can escape the crowds (somewhat). This is the Tioga pass highway which almost reaches 10,000 feet in elevation.
Along the Tioga pass are some nice lakes and spots to take in the view.
As the sun starts to set, it is time to hit the road and carry on to the next spot.

1 Comment

Chris · June 28, 2020 at 1:37 am

Wow, always thought u were a dare devil, but felt sick to my stomach watching those videos. Please don’t get any ideas and keep safe. Chris

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