August 17 2009 by Claudia Kunkel
One visit to Yosemite is not enough given the 747,956 acres of impressive granite cliffs, waterfalls, glaciers, streams, giant sequoia groves and flora and fauna waiting to be discovered.
With the family in tow, we set out to see and explore as much as we could fit into an overnight adventure. First stop, Yosemite Valley Visitors Center to get our bearings and pick up the Junior Ranger Hand Book for the kids.
On the way in to Yosemite Valley you can't miss Bridalveil Fall and if you are up for a short, steep hike on a paved trail you will be at the base in just a few minutes. Expect to get sprayed if you are visiting in spring or early summer!
From the Bridalveil Fall area you also will get a spectacular look at rock formations such as El Capitan, a 3,000 foot block of granite, as well as Cathedral Rocks and Spires.
From Yosemite Lodge we had a great view of Yosemite Falls, one of the world's tallest waterfalls at 2,425 feet. Yosemite Falls is actually three separate waterfalls and there is an easy one mile loop trail to the base of Lower Yosemite Fall that rewards you with fabulous views of Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls.
Glacier Point is probably the best viewpoint in Yosemite National Park. Among other things, you can see Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall and Half Dome from a distance. Half Dome towers 5,000 feet above the valley floor and is an imposing site. I made a mental note to leave time for day hikes next time and get a better view along with a great workout!
The highlight of the trip for us was the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, which we visited on our way out of the park. The kids enjoyed tramping around in Mariposa Grove and comparing our size to these giant trees. It's hard to believe that you can walk right through a tree! This is the perfect place to grasp the importance of preserving our natural wonders.
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