Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Trip Start Nov 10, 2009
Trip End May 07, 2010

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, April 18, 2010

Yosemite Valley looks as if it's been painted by the animators of Disney's Golden Age. I'm not talking Mickey Mouse here but those fairytale backdrops to "Snow White". Waterfalls cascade off vast granite rock faces, a shimmering, silver river snakes through the valley floor and a carpet of green pines sweeps up the mountains until it gives way to snow-covered peaks. And the whole area teems with wildlife: deer, coyotes, eagles and bears. And those are just the ones we've seen. It doesn't take much to imagine that unicorns hide just out of sight or that the animals strike up conversations as soon as you've moved on.

It's a magical place, the spell only partly broken by the tourists that clog the more celebrated trails and roadways. Still, crowds are easily avoided if you're prepared to pack a tent and head into the wilderness or, in our case, speak to locals about lesser known trails. Per and I found a beautiful five-mile woodland hike to a waterfall where we didn't see a soul.

We also had the best of the weather: our first two days were all sunshine and blue skies, while the third snowed so much it closed the roads. Snow or shine, Yosemite is mesmerising. But three days isn't enough by any yardstick so it goes on the ever-growing list of places we must return to...
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lanson on

Beautiful! How odd that it can go from almost summer to deep winter in a day!

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