Situated in the Sierra’s around three to four hours from the bay area is Yosemite national park. A popular destination for tourists and an exciting adventure for hikers, the national park has it all.
We started early morning and reached Yosemite around 11am after a pit stop for breakfast. Again, make sure you fill gas before entering the park and have ample food with you. The park is huge and it has one restaurant inside which is shit expensive. It takes around an hour to drive from the west visitor center to the valley. It was an odd day so not much crowd. Exquisite views from various vista points were greeting us on each turn.
Not long after we started for the valley from the visitor center, we had our first encounter with the half dome. Known as the strenuous and hard rock climbing destination, every hiker is attracted to the half dome. Half dome requires permits to climb and is closed for the winter season. The peaks were snow clad and it was relatively colder at Yosemite compared to bay area.
If you have just a day at Yosemite the best way is to go around the loop road which leads from the visitor center to Yosemite Valley and back. This road has all the picturesque vista points you may want to stop and have some moments with.
Bridal veil falls, Lower falls, Upper falls, Half Dome, Three brothers, Valley View and last but not the least El Capitan are the places you want to stop at. More than 4k ft tall straight cliff, El Capitan is a simple delight to watch. El Capitan will give you the feeling of a non-entity in this world. Valley view is another point from where you can view El Capitan on one side and Bridal Veil Falls on the other. Yes this is that award winning picture which is on all the key chains and magnets from Yosemite.
It was a fast but fully engaging day with the nature. There is also internal park transport in the valley if you do not want to drive. The free busses start from the Valley visitor center and take you to all the vista points in a loop. Nature is at its best in Yosemite and the best time to visit there is probably on any weekday.