Our breakfast waitress at the Groveland Hotel told us of her favorite swimming spot, just off the road that leads to Yosemite.
About 15 minutes outside of Groveland, as you're driving to Yosemite, just before you go over a bridge, there's a green metal gate on the right side of the road... turn down that road and drive to the small parking lot. There are three beautiful pools, fed by water falls. It's terrific!!
Along Highway 120, just after you've exited Yosemite via Big Oak Flat, you might see a small sign labeled, "Hetch Hetchy," with an exit to the right. On our way out, we thought it'd be fun to check it out. I mean, hey, it's the main water supply for the city of San Francisco.
Now who on earth thought it'd be a good idea to place the SF water supply THAT far away from SF, I have no idea. I'm sure I could quickly Google that fact, but nah... I'd rather just write this tip quickly and post a photo for you to enjoy. ;-)
By the way -- this is not a short detour. From Highway 120, it's at least a 30 minute drive down a very twisty and turney road to get there. Once you get there, it can be hot and windy and tyou can't go swimming. You can, however, walk across the dam and have a drink from the water fountain in the middle. :-)
This used to be the lake bed, it´s dry now. Where has all the water gone? The answer is: WEST! California is thirsty, and cities like Los Angeles demand ever more water. Hence, water from the east side of the Sierra is diverted to the west, and the lakes fall dry. Woe to those who used to farm the land here....
There are several bodies of water in the Yosemite area. Though the water can get chilly...I suggest taking a dip anyway..put on your tennis shoes to make sure your feet don't get hurt (lots of rocks at the bottom)and jump right in. It's so refreshing!
A beautiful waterfall in the park : The Bridalveil Falls. The Bridalveil Fall is 620 feet high and flows all year. In spring it's a huge waterfall but during the rest of the year it's much less. If you want to have a closer look at the falls you can also walk to the base in just a few minutes.
The water falls..... not only in the waterfall, but also from the sky. It is raining all the time and I am getting cold and wet. This is so disappointing, I looked so much forward to my visit to Yosemite. But this weather made it almost impossible to enjoy.
This picture is of the Lower Yosemite Falls. Thanks Mike for helping me with my waterfall pictures! It's great to get feedback and help on the pictures that I have on my pages. So anyone that sees any errors on my pages, or can name where the picture is taken : please let me know!
If you are standing outside the Ahwahnee Hotel in Winter or Spring, you will hear the distant sound of rushin or trickling water. If you follow the sound you will eventually come to a stream that cascades from a place the locals call "Devil's Tub". Anywhere along this stream in Winter/Spring is beautiful with pools and mini waterfalls. But it got its name from the often warm pool of water that sits atop the cliff before it plumments down the granite wall. In the summer or early spring you can climb up a crevice and get to the "tub" which offers a spectacular view - uh, not just of Yosemite Valley but of the often naked bodies that sunbath there!
There is water everywhere, in streams, lakes, waterfalls, and luckely no rain out of the sky on this beautiful morning.