Seven Trips To Yosemite

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, September 26, 2005

Yosemite National Park is one of those places where you want to go again and again and again. I've been there seven times and still wouldn't mind another trip there. Its roughly a three and a half hour drive from San Francisco and can be done as a long day trip just for the flavour of the place, but to actually appreciate the landscape you probably need to spend more time doing the trails.

To my mind, the best time to go is actually in mid-May. That's the time when the Tioga Pass (leading to Mono Lake) is opened, and the snow starts to melt rapidly feeding the waterfalls with great volumes of water and giving rise to the most spectacular waterfall pics. They dry up around late August to September to a trickle and the summer heat can get quite unbearable during hiking at that time.

I've done a few trails but so far really loved the Mirror Lake trial and the Vernal falls trial. They're pretty easy and rewarding. Mirror Lake is supposedly drying up permanently so its best to put that as a priority. The classic shot of Yosemite that you will see in many postcards is taken from the base of the Wawona Tunnel. Just a short drive east of the tunnel brings you to Bridalveil Falls, aptly named cos of the fine mist that descends as a shower to the tourists below. A 3/4 mile hike from the Visitor Centre takes you to Yosemite Falls, 12 times the height of Niagara. Finally, don't forget the shots of the two most loved wonders of Yosemite, El Capitan and Half Dome.
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