Yosemite National Park, California
In a state full of highlights, the drive along the Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur has to be tops. It is coastal scenery as good as any in the world and a lot less developed than you might imagine. Thanks to much of it being designated state parks it will hopefully remain that way forever.
Fondest memory: My first time in California was 1994. I was about three quarters through a four month trip around the US and had done a lot of hiking around the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Northwest states. Yosemite was up next and the climb of Half Dome high on my list. It was a long day hike but at the time, I had not done any backpacking so it was my only option. It was also October and the days were short so an early start was essential and thankfully I was in great shape after a summer of hiking.
It was quite a trail, climbing close to 5000 feet over its 8 mile length but when I arrived at Half Dome, something didn't look right. Half Dome is so slick and steep, the park has installed slats with cables to assist climbers to the top. They put them up early in the summer and take them down in early autumn when weather makes the climb too dangerous. Well, they were down but after coming so far, it was hard to turn back without at least trying. My girlfriend at the time went up first and was making good headway. It was pretty scary stuff and I was having a harder time but didn't want to have her summit without me. The sky was growing ominous and we saw some people coming down from above us. We went back down and it soon started to snow. It was a good thing we had aborted the attempt. Even if we had made it to the top, it surely would have been a lot harder coming down.
I returned in 2008 with my wife and we did it as a backpacking trip, successfully making it to the top of Half Dome. For a full report, check out my Yosemite National Park page.
Left the hotel early and headed to Yosemite park, I had seen many photos and read about it, but still was wonderful to see it in real, we could not see all the waterfalls, but we enjoyed the bridge veil one and the incredible mountains as El Capitan, just in experience.
In the afternoon we headed to our next destiny: San Francisco
Yosemite National Park. It is one of Americas most famous and most spectacular parks. Also Greater Los Angeles and Hollywood, the Big Sur, San Francisco, Muir Woods and thats only a small percentage of what the state has to offer.
Fondest memory: The drive up the Big Sur from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The picture is just one segment of the Big Sur. (See Picture)
YOSEMITE PARK This beautiful fall is one of the greatest attractions of the park. There is a path leading directly at the bottom of the fall. Mind your camera! You'll become all wet in a moment!!
2004 ADDITION: After having known that the Death Valley was flooded (how ridiculous!) we finally arrived to Yosemite. The first thing we noticed is that the fall was dry!!! No water!!! What a wonderful surprise!
This year deserts are flooded and forest arid!
Favorite thing: We walked around the top of Yosemite Falls, and for some reason, please don't ask why, my pal Paul decided to have a naked dip in the water. I took this shot, clothed, standing in the stream by a sign warning against standing in the stream. Reading was never a strength. The picture below shows the Falls about 20 yards behind where I took this one.
visit YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK.
Fondest memory: Because we stayed here for 3 days, we had ample time to explore every corner of this lovely park. And see what we discovered? The beautiful Tuolumne Meadow!!
visit YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK...
P.S. In case you're wondering, Glacier Point is closed during the winter season... too dangerous to come up here during that period! So, the best time to come is definitely in summer i.e. May - August. That's when you're also able to catch the gushing waterfalls in Yosemite.
And here I am at Glacier Point admiring the 'HALF DOME'.... and I bumped into these lovely children (see pic below) who were staying just next to my room over at the Yosemite Lodges.
Fondest memory: From Glacier Point here at YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, you can catch a magnificent glimpse of the Yosemite Valley below. Can you see the awesome beauty of the 'EL CAPITAN' in the pic below?? There's only one word to describe this - Wow!
visit YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK!
Fondest memory: The most famous landmark here at YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK must undoubtedly be the mighty 'HALF DOME'.... which towers over 5,000 feet (I was told by our guide) above the Merced River. The view from up here is simply spectacular!! And, awesome!!!
visit the most beautiful national park in the world - YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK.
Fondest memory: Here I am at Glacier Point, approximately 3,254 feet above the valley floor, admiring the breathtaking beauty of the Upper Yosemite Falls. Noticed the gushing waterfall in the background?? Wow, right?!
Yosemite N.P -
in yosemite u should drive on tioga road - very nice
also find out when u r there which trail is good (not all the waterfalls are with water at summertime - i walked to see vernal falls - was very nice
go to glacier point - see the half dome from there
Visit San Diego, San Francisco, and Yosemite National Park. See photo of one of falls. The trail leads up on the side of the falls and you can see a rainbow from the mist.
Fondest memory: I love visiting California because of the great diversity of things to see and do. We stayed in San Francisco, then drove down the Pacific Highway to visit family in L.A., visited San Diego,and returned home. San Diego has an almost ideal climate. San Franciso is great for people watching (don't miss riding on the street cars, eating in china town, and taking in the usual activities. The best visit was hiking in Yosemite National Park--which despite the crowds was the best hiking trip I have ever taken.
Go to Yosemite Valley! Such an inspiring place...nearly a mile wide, it feels like you could touch the mountain faces on each side of you.
Fondest memory: We rented bicycles and rode around the floor of the Valley. The trails are nicely laid out for a great ride. I was disappointed that the falls weren't running though.
Favorite thing: Visit the Yosemite national park. See more in the travelogue.
Favorite thing: Located approximately 4 hours east of San Francisco, Yosemite is one of the most spectacular places on earth.