We dedicated two days to sightseeing in Yosemite National Park. We didn’t stay within the grounds of the national park, but instead in Mariposa. Mariposa is around 1 hour away from the park, but depends upon the traffic and whether or not there is ongoing construction that could cause lengthy delays on the one lane roads.
In my opinion, navigating these narrow one lane roads at a fast speed is an adrenaline-inducing experience.
Our first hike in the park was Mirror Lake. We did it because we heard it was easy and hadn’t brought proper footwear for lengthier hikes (thanks, Converse). A roundtrip walk to the lake is a little over a 2 miles, but walking around the lake will added between 2 to 3 more miles onto the trip. It is situated between North Dome and Half Dome.
While there is a paved path that is welcome to folks looking to walk or cycle, we used the trail through the woods. The path through the woods was flooded, and required us to mindfully step across stones in a small creek. I have heard this lake is often crowded during the summer months, thankfully, there were only a few others there on the warm spring day.
We drove to one of the most popular spots in the park, Tunnelview. It offers a surreal view of El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall, and the Half Dome. Tunnelview has two different parking lots and parking spots along the road before its viewpoint.
Next we went to Bridalveil Fall, but we didn’t reach the falls because we missed the memo on bringing rain jackets. The closer we got to the falls, it seemed as though it was heavily raining due to the amount of water emitted from the falls. Since it was spring, the parking lot and walking paths to Bridalveil Fall were flooded from the winter’s melting snow.
Although we didn’t hike to the Upper Yosemite Falls, we explored the Lower Yosemite Falls area. While the falls is made up of an upper and lower potion, the lower part is over 300 feet in length, and is the tallest waterfall in the United States. Springtime is known to be one of the best times of the year to view the falls because of the snowmelt from winter.
The Lower Yosemite Falls is another easy hike that offers views of El Capitan and Upper Yosemite Falls. The roundtrip hike is on paved pathways and is approximately 1 mile long. The closer you near the falls, the more wet you will be, however it is nothing like the rain unleashed at Bridalveil Fall.
Although we weren’t prepared to extensively hike around Yosemite National Park, we really enjoyed our two days. I would love to go back some day and spend time on the longer hiking trails.