Valley, Yosemite National Park

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Yosemite National Park

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  • zrim's Profile Photo

    The High Sierra

    by zrim Updated Oct 29, 2003

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    the backcountry can be spectacular

    All of the activity and bustle is centered in the Yosemite Valley. There are several hotels and countless camping spots in the valley. Each day car after car and bus after bus arrives with an endless supply of gawking visitors. The best way to get away from the crowds--take the road less traveled. If you are willing to spend the four hours or so that it takes to traverse the Tioga Road, you will not only gain new perspectives on this fascinating rugged countryside, but you will leave the throngs behind. True, you will never be in complete solitude where blacktop runs its course, but until you are ready to take the ten day backpack trip to the truly remote areas, the Tioga Road will give a semblance of wilderness.

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    Yosemite Valley

    by shivan Written Sep 20, 2004

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    Yosemite Valley

    At the center of the Yosemite National Park, lies the Yosemite Valley.
    This valley is the heart of the park itself.
    About 30 miles from the entrance, this is a quiet valley that lies at about 2000 meters of altitude.
    In the valley there are some structures as the visitors center, some bungalows and some nice shops and restaurants.
    Some trails start from here towards the rest of the park.

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    The park

    by shivan Written Sep 20, 2004

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    Yosemite Valley

    The Yosemite National Park is the most visited park in the United States of America.
    More than three million people come to visit it every year.
    Passes, that cost 20 dollars, will last for one week.
    It is possible to buy a pass for all the park at the cost of 50 dollars. We did not make it, but it has been a mistake. It depends on how many parks you plan to visit.

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    Merced River

    by shivan Written Sep 20, 2004

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    Merced River

    The Merced River (strange name for a river, actually) runs through the Yosemite Valley, and most of the rest of the Yosemite National Park, painting lovely corners like this.
    In addition to the loveliness of the environment, the river itself is easily accessible from the road, many visitors love to stop to take a break or feel the cold water.

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    Happy Isles

    by chewy3326 Written Jul 5, 2006

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    Merced River

    At the eastern end of the valley, you'll find the Happy Isles Nature Center, as well as a few short nature trails. Happy Isles Nature Center closes at 4 PM, and I arrived later than that, so I was not able to see it; but I walked some of the nature trails. A very short trail, probably a few hundred yards long, leads to the Rockfall Exhibit, where you can view the cliff that the July 10, 1996 rockfall plunged down. It was one of the costliest rockfalls in park history; when rocks fall, they displace air, causing a blast of air to sweep over the surroundings. This rockfall ended up causing damage to the nature center, and killed one man.

    A footbridge leads over the Merced River to the Happy Isles the nature center was named for. Though small, they are heavily forested and pleasant. You could spend a while walking the short path on them, even though each island is probably no more than 50 meters long. There's a plaque on the path that honors Stephen Mather, the first director of the National Park Service.

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  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo

    Yosemite Valley - Dawn of a New Day

    by mrclay2000 Updated May 5, 2003

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    El Capitan (left), Bridalveil Falls (right)

    When you first approach Yosemite Valley whether in the early morning or afternoon, the various cliffs ahead of you tend to gather around as if eager to witness your arrival. The spectacles you are about to see tend to unfold gradually until you are fully surrounded by all the Valley has to offer: 3,000-foot cliffs, 2,000-foot cascades and a towering pine forest clinging to the scenic Merced River.

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    Yosemite Valley - Half Dome

    by mrclay2000 Updated Oct 20, 2003

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    Half Dome (right)

    The deeper you penetrate the Valley, the more you'll recognize distant Half Dome at its farther extension, now the familiar icon on park service vehicles in Yosemite. Half Dome was once a whole mountain but sheered in half by glacial activity around the "L"-like bend of Yosemite Valley.

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    Even Without the Water

    by mrclay2000 Updated May 5, 2003

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    Yosemite Valley

    Even without the numerous waterfalls, the Valley itself is a place for solitude and meditation. The monoliths and conifers, the buxom Merced and the towering cliffs all form a beautiful glacial valley of which the more famous attractions are only a part.

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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Valley View

    by chewy3326 Updated Jun 30, 2006

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    Valley View
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    Valley View, at the west end of Yosemite Valley, is the twin viewpoint to Tunnel View. Although you can't see such an amazing array of famous granite landmarks from here, the Merced River flowing in front of the whole scene still makes it very beautiful. The three most dominant features here are El Capitan, Cathedral Spires, and Bridalveil Fall; you can see Half Dome's tip pointing out slightly above the forest. The Sentinel is also slightly visible. This viewpoint is best in late afternoon. Enlargen my photo for a panoramic view.

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    Cathedral Spires

    by chewy3326 Written Jun 30, 2006

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    Cathedral Spires
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    During the last glacial advance in Yosemite, the terminal of the glacier reached just past Cathedral Spires, marking these triplet rocks as Yosemite Valley's western end. These pointed peaks are very prominent and beautiful from Tunnel View and Valley View; from those points, you can often also see Bridalveil Fall dropping beneath them. A more interesting viewpoint is from above; try looking at them from Taft Point or Sentinel Dome. Other beautiful perspectives of these granite chunks are from Sentinel and Cook's Meadows. These spires are not to be confused with Cathedral Peak, a spiky peak near Tuolumne Meadows.

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    Valley Portal

    by chewy3326 Written Jun 30, 2006

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    Valley Portal View

    As far as views go, Valley Portal is not the best. But it is very beautiful and very accessible. Just off Hwy 120 (Big Oak Flat Road), you can take in a view of the Merced River Canyon, giant Elephant Rock, Cascade Falls, and Cathedral Spires towering over Bridalveil Fall. Notice how this area, which has been less glaciated than Yosemite Valley, is more V-shaped contrasting to Yosemite Valley's U-shaped evidence of glaciation. This viewpoint is best visited in the afternoon.

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    Ahwahnee Meadow

    by chewy3326 Written Jul 1, 2006

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    Half Dome
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    As far as meadows go, this is not my most favorite in the valley; certainly, it sees less visitors compared to Cook's and Sentinel Meadows. But Ahwahnee Meadow does have a classic view of Half Dome and Washington Column, and is a good, if mosquito-ridden, place to watch a sunset. If you visit www.yosemite.org/vryos/, you'll find a live webcam from the meadow. Other features visible from the meadow are North Dome and Yosemite Falls. The Ahwahnee Hotel is nearby.

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    When coming out of the tunnel...

    by spgood301 Written Feb 14, 2005

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    Yosemite Valley

    When entering Yosemite from Hwy 41 in Fresno, you'll drive for about a half hour, through peaceful woods and by some clear streams. You then drive through a tunnel. At the end of the tunnel is...this.

    A friend tried to prepare me for it. You simply must experience it for yourself.

    Looking down on Yosemite Valley can make a person feel rather small. And sometimes, that's a good thing.

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    Tunnel View

    by mikelisaanna Written Feb 20, 2005

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    The Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View

    This photo was taken from Tunnel View, which is one of the best views in the park. It is a roadside overlook at the end of the Wawona Tunnel on Route 41 south of the Yosemite Valley. Park your car alongside the road and you can see the entire Yosemite Valley, with Half Dome in the background.

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    Yosemite Valley Bus Tour

    by newsphotogirl Written Jan 22, 2008

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    I really enjoyed this tour. You catch the tour bus at the Lodge at Yosemite. Our guide was excellent. He knew a lot about the park and he was funny. We made several stops for photographs and to walk around a little bit. This would be a great way start your vacation and get orientated with the park. The only downside is it doesn't take you to Half Dome. But overall I highly recommend this tour.

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