From San Francisco we drove 200 miles east to Yosemite National Park. Our plan was to spend four nights in the park, but after a series of unexpected campground closures and fully-booked sites in the valley, we opted to leave two days early. Luckily we were able to see a whole lot of the park in the time we spent camped at the end of Yosemite Valley.
We arrived late afternoon at the Upper Pines campground and setup our tents. We were really lucky to get the last available spot, booked online the day before. Turns out it was an awesome spot at the end of the campground with plenty of trees and boulders to block the noise from the other 249 campsites.
The next day we took a walk to the visitors center and up the trail to catch a glimpse of Yosemite Falls, one of the tallest in the world. There were TONS of people everywhere, but we managed to snap a few photos sans tourists.
After our walk to the falls we headed back to camp to grab some lunch and then continued on a four mile hike to the aptly named Mirror Lake.
The lake was fairly dry, but the surrounding scenery more than made up for it.
We left the following day in the morning and stopped to take a few more pictures of Half Dome on the way out of the park. The dry meadows and color-changing oak trees made for some excellent pictures. A perfect time of year to visit Yosemite!
El Capitan and our faithful truck Blue.
We drove out of the valley and across the eastern Sierras. There were a few amazing viewpoints en route such as Tuolumne Meadows, pictured above. We were disappointed the campsites here were already closed for the season. According the the rangers, we were lucky that snow hadn't already closed the only road East over Tioga Pass.
Our last stop before leaving the park was Olmsted Point. There were spectacular views of the valley from the surrounding mountains. Also, random trees growing out of seamingly non-existent cracks in huge slabs of granite. Must be a tough life, being a tree.
And next, a stop over at a place called Mammoth Lakes to do some work, take a shower and publish all these blog posts.