“The landscape will certainly be similar to the Dolomites”. Without great scenic expectations, Julia and I drove four hours from San Francisco Airport into Yosemite Valley – the tourist hub of Yosemite National Park. I was positively surprised, overwhelmed by the scenery. I dare say that the Yosemite trip was one of my highlights of our West Coast road trip. We couldn’t have done better with the season and gladly traded my saint South Tyrol Autumn for it.
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Yosemite National Park
HIKES, BY CAR, ACCOMODATION and COSTS
OVERVIEW OF YOSEMITE VALLEY
One of the most beautiful hikes – the MIST TRAIL
Jet lag also has its good sides. We arrived so overtired that at 9 pm we fell into the feathers dead tired. Shortly before half past five we were wide awake again. Just right for an early hike. Unfortunately we only had one full day of hiking and we wanted to choose the best hike. A schoolgirl recommended me for the first time the Mist Trail, which she had done with her parents. Well then, let’s march! It was 8:30.
- Recommendation! Within the Yosemite Valley, there are free e-shuttles that take you to the starting points of the hike. The starting point is the Happy Isles Shuttle Stop.
The Mist Trail is an unbelievably beautiful hike, which started for the first time on tarred paths. Growing up in the mountains I already joked about the way the trail was equipped. But this changed quickly and turned into “stick and stone”. The barren mountains, autumnal colours and peace did me so well.
Mist Trail Hike
Starting point: Happy Isles Shuttle Stop
11 kilometres circular hike
800 altitude meters from starting point
Depending on your endurance, only the following stops are possible:
- Stop: Vernan Fall Bridge (1,3 kilometres)
- Stop: Top of Vernan Fall (2,4 kilometres – 1:30h*)
- Stop: Nevada Falls (5,5 kilometres – 3:30h*)
*Our time with many photo stops
We reached the Top of Nevada Falls at 12pm. We forgot to buy some more and so we got the leftovers from our backpack on the Top of Nevada Falls. Our avo toast and German bread leftovers were too good.
Yosemite National Park
SIGHTSEEING SPOTS BY CAR
I can really only recommend a hiking tour, but a round trip by car is also worthwhile. We were back at the Curry Village at about 15:00 and got into the car again for an hour in order to drive to some more view points. Unfortunately we were so tired that we did not stay until sunset.
Google Maps didn’t work so well here and relied on the navigation system of our car. From the Curry Village take the Southside Drive and then up on the Wawona Road. Everything is signposted from there.
The main viewpoints are as follows:
- Tunnel View
- Dewey Point
- Taft Point
- Glacier Point
In the end the views from Taft Point and Glacier Point were not very different.
at Yosemite National Park
We booked a tent at the Curry Village campground, which we had found and booked directly via the Yosemite National Park. The prices for a simple tent with heating and shared bathroom are steep, but it is worth it. You are directly at the foot of all hiking starting points and can leave the car. Furthermore you avoid possible waiting times at the entrance of the national park (allegedly sometimes up to 3 hours). What I can’t recommend you to do, however, is to enter the national park too late (and jettlagged). The roads are very curvy and it gets pitch dark. From the park entrance to Yosemite Valley it is another hour’s drive.
Curry Village Canvas Tent: we paid 165€/night p.p. including taxes
Yosemite Cabins with Bath $231 + taxes
Yosemite Cabins without Bath $167 + taxes
Canvas Cabins without Bath $170 + taxes
(Prices from 6.10.2019)
further COSTS at YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
Entrance to the park valid for 7 days: 30$ (from October to April 25$)
A pizza at the Curry Village Restaurant costs $35
you better buy some food before entering the national park
For more information about Yosemite National Park, flora and fauna and possible wildlife, click into Julia’s detailed guide to Yosemite National Park!