Favorite thing: Just a couple of maps to show where this place is. And no, I didn't take these pics myself :), these maps are the only time I don't use my own pictures, as I have used a screen capture with online maps to get the right maps the right size.
Favorite thing: One of the more controversial National Parks Service initiatives is the controlled burning program. This program was started because after some historic and destructive wildfires in the western USA, it was found that brush build-up over years of forest fire prevention was partly responsible. Also, botanists learned the forest fires were actually critical to soil preparation and germination of some tree species. So, Yosemite has a controlled burning program where rangers walk around the forest floor with special flame throwing equipment, then the fires are put out. Early controlled burning in Yellowstone National Park was responsible for starting a wildfire, but that type of burning program is not used in Yosemite. If you see blackened trees off the roadside, this could be due to either the controlled burning program, or a smoker who threw the burning cigarette butt out the window. With regard to the later, not only shouldn't cigarette butts not be thrown out the window, but they shouldn't be stamped out on the ground and left for foraging animals. Cigarette butts are plastic and belong in the garbage after being safely extinguished.
Pets--dogs and cats-- can be brought into Yosemite Valley, but not into the alpine regions. Pets must always be leashed and can only be walked along the asphalt trails, not into meadows or along trails leading to, for example, Yosemite Falls or Half Dome. The reason pets are restrained is to avoid contact with any wildlife. The park service and commonsense says that the park is the domaine of wildlife, not pets.
Some pack animals and horses can be taken on some trails in the alpine regions, but check with the park service about this. I've taken trail rides with horses and mules from the Yosemite Valley Stables, but have never brought my own horse into the park.
Again, dogs and cats must be leashed at all times in Yosemite Valley, but may be brought in if you have them during your travels.
thanks for instant and to the point reply
we have taken a 6 day tour of Tours 4 fun
this starts from lasvega and ends at LA after yosemite
we have to go from yoseite to SF as w have relatives with whom we stay for 4 days and proceed further
was looking a options how to go ba to san francisco
my sincere thanks to all replies and suggestions
Sometimes you get a glimpse of the local wildlife -- from a safe distance.
We were in the Yosemite Shuttle, leaving the village, when the driver announced, "Coyote in the road!" And indeed there was a small, perplexed coyote standing in the intersection, blocking traffic.
Just as I was about to click the shutter of my camera, a car drove between the bus and the coyote, so all I got was a photo of its tail.
The next morning was like a dream. Instead of looking for clear weather, I marched towards it with faith, crossing a small group of deer on my way out of camp. It was a bit unnerving walking down the trail alone at dawn but I made noise to keep any bears at bay and made no haste in my steps. I climbed effortlessly, singing “Loch Lomond” silently in my head, and stamping the ground with my hiking pole for emphasis.
I soon had someone at my rear but would have no part in anyone passing me. I arrived at the cables to find them empty, grabbed the gloves I had hidden the day before, and latched onto the cables like it was something I had done a hundred times before. It was easy knowing I had just done it the day before but I did not let my concentration slip. The best part was there was no one was in front of me and those at my rear were still sorting out their gloves. I had them to myself. About three quarters of the way up, I spotted two figures coming my way from the top. As they grew closer, their huge grins told it all. They had started just after midnight and had been on top for sunrise. It was only 7 AM and they were heading back to the valley to celebrate. They were still wearing their head lamps. That's what I call prepared. They said I would have it all to myself now so I quickened my pace and soon was on top all on my own. It was definitely clearer than the day before so I quickly snapped some photos and by the time I was done, the guys behind me had arrived. It was a father and son team and they asked me to take their photo. I did and told them I was on my way. They couldn't believe that I would leave so quickly. I told them about my wife being back in the tent and that I had just been on top the day before. It may have been an easier climb and the views were surely better but without her by my side, it was an empty celebration. The only person I wanted to share this with was still sleeping in our tent. (concluded below in Fondest Memory)
There's plenty of nature to be seen that's fairly easily accessed on the Valley Floor, particularly in November when the crowds will be thinned out (except for Thanksgiving)!
Early in the month, you're likely to still get some Fall color, too. Also, Wawona is accessible year-round. Be aware that chains may be required, even to access the Valley Floor - depends on the weather.
I think 2 days is probably good if your Dad's not particularly active. Don't miss visiting the Ahwahnee Hotel! Even if you don't stay there, drop in & have a look around, visit the gift shop, have lunch . . . it's an experience!
Taking the Yosemite Valley Floor tour is a good way to get an overall view of the park and its history, geology, plant and animal life without having to walk. It's a bit pricey, but worth it for first-timers, I think.
Hope this helps - Yosemite is one of my favorite places in the whole world and it's worthy of a visit at any time of the year!
Fondest memory: Yosemite was "my own personal backyard" for the twenty years we lived in Merced! In summer, when the Valley Floor was crowded, we'd head for the High Country. Then we'd enjoy the Valley Floor during the Fall, Winter, & Spring when it was less crowded.
The Merced River originates in Yosemite National Park on the crest of the Sierra Nevada at an elevation of 11,000 feet. The river flows wild and undammed until it reaches Lake McClure, formed by the New Exchequer Dam near Merced Falls. From Lake McClure, the river continues into the San Joaquin Valley and joins the San Joaquin River near Newman.
Fondest memory: We tried to follow the river signs and get to mirror lake but I think we were involved in some deviation and we had to go back the path and start again the walking. Anyway, that wasnt bad at all, as siding the river was enjoying and quiet walk.
Another amazing thing about Yosemite is that the sense of freedom implies that you must be prepared to unusual ``encounters`` Squirrels, Chipmonks and, why not, bears or coyotees. I don` like zoo, circuses and places where animals are not in their natural environment so, this was a pretty good chance to get in contact with wild creatures.
Fondest memory: On our way to the exit of the park we saw a bunch of people gathering at one of the open fields near yosemite village. We stop and everybody was just admiring a bear going through the bushes looking for food. With the help of the rangers we kept at duly distance and still making good pics. Everybody and everything was so silent..!
As I was walking to Yosemite Falls, I came across this friendly critter, The California Ground Squirrel. It wasn't shy at all and posed at my feet for several minutes, while I snapped photos.
This squirrel's habitat ranges from central Washington, through western Oregon, California and into northern Baja California. They hibernate for several months of the year.
Its tail grows 5-7 inches long and is more than half the length of its body. The ground squirrel can have between 3-15 babies.
The ground squirrel likes plains, small meadows, tree-covered hillsides and rocky outcrops. Sounds like they can settle just about anywhere but deserts! They prefer burrows in hillsides or low earth banks, which can be dug down for several feet.
They spend most of their lives within 100 feet of their burrow and live to about 3-4 years old. If captured, live to 10 years old.
*For more information, see: www.etc.etc.com/sqrlinfo.htm
As we pulled into our hotel parking lot and scrambled out of the car one night, we saw this female mule deer making a snack of flowers growing around the building. Not only did it NOT move an inch, but looked up at us and continued chewing.
Mule deer are usually a dark gray-brown and have a small white rump patch and a small, black-tipped tail. Their large ears resemble those of a mule (picture 2).
When startled, a mule deer will take a series of stiff legged jumps, all four legs landing on the ground together. They will eat a mix of vegetation.
This animal can be found anywhere from the artic tundras to forests in the tropics, throughout the entire western United States and four deserts of the American Southwest.
They weigh between 125-330 pounds; 50-85 inches in length with a shoulder height of 3'-3'5". Births can be 1-4 per year. Their average life span in the wild is ten years.
*For more information, see: www.desertusa.com/feb97/du_muledeer.html
The woods were full of these tree loving creatures, the Western Gray Squirrel. Note it's full bushy tail. I snapped a photo of this little guy near Lower Yosemite Falls.
This is the only large gray tree squirrel on the West Coast. It grows to about 9-12 inches tall, 17-23 inches in length and weighing around 12-34 ounces.
They nibble on pinecones, acorns and other nuts, insects, berries and some fungi.
It likes to change its nests seasonally, so in the winter it may find a hole in the tree to shelter from the cold, while in the summer it creates a home of shredded bark and sticks.
When its the time of year to find a mate, they become very animated, chasing each other around and perhaps fighting a little...hmm....perhaps this sounds a little familiar, hee,hee.
*To learn more, see:www.enature.com
We saw the Steller's Jay all throughout Yosemite, their bright blue feathers standing out against the deep green forest canopy.
I thought they were beautiful and wanted to learn more about them...
This bird has spread to great distances and has the widest range of any North American jay-- from Alaska through the Rocky mountains and to the mountains of Central America and Nicaragua.
Steller's Jay settle in habitats ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 feet, moving to lower elevations during cold months. It survives on small vertebrates, arthropods, seeds, berries, nuts and loves acorns and pinenuts when available.
They often take eggs or small birds from the nest and have been seen attacking adult birds. These jays can be seen around campgrounds and picnic areas, although timid around humans.
*To learn more, see: www.birds.cornell.edu/bow/stejay
My favorite thing about Groveland is it's home to the Iron Door Saloon, California's oldest bar. I didn't stop here on my way out of the park, but my friends did and they said it was pretty good! This pub was constructed before 1852 and still stands with its original granite walls and a sod & tin roof.
Groveland, with Big Oak Flat, has about 3,000 people, and was founded around 1851. The town grew tremendously after the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir was created in the early 1900s. Today Groveland is the last significant town before entering Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park via CA Rt 140.
Also nearby is the Don Pedro Reservoir which was originally created in 1927 then expanded in 1971 with the construction of a new dam 1.5 miles farther downstream.
Mariposa, Spanish for "butterfly," has a population of over 1,000 people and serves as the main western gateway to Yosemite. Mariposa is the seat of Mariposa County, and the town's county courthouse is the oldest in California, dating from 1854. Mariposa lies near the southern end of the so-called "California Mother Lode"--the 120 vein of gold discovered during the gold rush.
When approaching Yosemite along CA Rt 140, this is the last real town you will reach before the park entrance. Though very small, Mariposa has a little of everything from grocery and liquor stores to hotels and restaurants. This is a great place to fill up on gas and grab those last minute items before heading into the park.
Mariposa is about 20-25 miles from El Portal, the Yosemite National Park entrance.
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