Category: travel

Yosemite — day 2 (the valley)

We’ve had a difficult day yesterday. So we wanted to have a more chill day today in the most touristy place of Yosemite — Yosemite valley. Although it only occupies seven square miles (18 km²) of the park’s total 1,189 sqare miles (3,080 km²), it gets most of the attention. Let's find out why.

This time we decided to take a short stop at the Tunnel view, to get the jaw dropping experience for longer. They say it offers the most beautiful view in the mornings when fog covers the valley. But we came the at around noon so it was clear already. From the view that we saw there we could see both our first and last destinations for today’s explanation: Bridalveil falls and El Capitan.

Next we parked on the side of the road, about 0.3 miles away from the waterfall. Or, at least it seemed to be so close, because we could feel the cool and wet air already. The Bridalveil falls is one if the most visited falls of the valley, after the Yosemite falls. It offers a spectacular 617 ft (188 meters) height and flows into the Merced river, like the rest.

On the way back to the car we crossed the road and went a little closer to the river to the Hanging Valley viewpoint. Similarly to the Tunnel viewpoint, you could see the Bridalveil falls and El Capitan, but closer and from a lower angle.

Our next stop was at the Sentinel bridge. It has an inspiring view on Half Dome over the Merced river. It should be perfect for sunset photography, but I couldn’t stay there for much longer. Quite close to it was Berg Bridge. Between them there is a Cook’s Meadow loop with great angle to capture both upper and lower Yosemite falls. It was getting late and unfortunately, at 3:30pm the lower Yosemite waterfall was already covered in shade. We decided to leave it for the next day.

But we couldn’t skip the Village store to get some snacks and souvenirs for the whole family.

The final stop in the Yosemite valley for me that day was a not so popular Devil’s Elbow point. In fact, we haven’t met a single person on that spot. The trail goes along the Merced river and offers spectacular view on El Capitan with it’s reflection in the river. The late sun helped highlight the silhouette of the granite monster. I had to take multiple photos on my 23mm (35mm full-frame) lens to fit the landscape stitching it in panorama later.

Rushed back to our house to BBQ steaks and celebrate the birthday of my love.