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Monday, April 02, 2012

Yosemite

Filed Under: Zannee's Tips, Travel

By Suzanne O'Connor

We all know Yosemite is awesome. If you’ve never been… go! You wont see anything like it anywhere else in the world.

This trip we used a Groupon special ($99 a night) at The Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal on Hwy 140. It’s located literally 200 feet from the park border and 15 minutes to the Valley floor. This slightly better than average hotel has room amenities like a fireplace, balcony overlooking the Merced river, kitchenettes w/ cooking supplies, refrigerator and a spa tub. The bed and bath linens were not so good. But the restaurant was pretty good and we got 2 free appetizers with our booking. I would stay there again at the bargain price of $99 a night, but I would bring an extra towel and pillows for my own comfort.

As it was our Anniversary, we stopped by the Yosemite Chapel where we were married and then went on our favorite waterfall hike… the mist trail. This strenuous hike goes up to Vernal Falls and then up to Nevada Falls. It’s a 2000 ft elevation climb and round trip from Curry Village is about 10.5 miles. It took about 6 hours. The beauty and vistas are so spectacular it’s worth every step. Afterward we changed clothes in our car and went to the Ahwhanee for a good (though pricey) meal in the dinning room.

Having experienced Yosemite quite a few times before and stayed in both the upscale Ahwahnee and the Lodge as well as camped and hiked through the back country, I can say I have seen some pretty stupid behavior by visitors. This visit was no exception.

So here are some guidelines of things you should not do while you’re there:

1. Do not feed any wildlife. Including bears (duh), squirrels, raccoons, deer, birds, etc.
- If they aren’t afraid of you, you’re going to experience trouble.

2. Do not hold your infant baby up closely into the face of a male deer.
- They have antlers and sharp hooves for a reason.

3. Do not leave any food, toothpaste, breath mints, drinks, candy etc in your car.
- The Bears can and will rip your car apart… REALLY!

4. Do not go hiking in brand new shoes, flip flops, heels, sandals or barefoot.
- Invest in a pair of well-made, expertly fitted hiking shoes. You’ll need the grip and toughness of a good hiking shoe to see the best parts of the park.

5. Do not do back flips off bridges into the river.  Really?

6. Do not take a baby and a baby stroller with you to the top of Vernal Falls.
- Known as the mist trail, only part of it is paved. It’s a very strenuous, steep, wet trail.

7. Do not stand in the middle of the road taking pictures.
- You’ll get hit by a car driven by someone also looking at the same sight.

8. Do not start a long or difficult hike after 5pm without a serious flash light.
-There are no street lights in nature and you could easily get lost.

9. Do not go outside of the rail boundaries at waterfalls or rivers.
- Many people have been swept away and died. The rails are there for a reason.

10. Do not leave any food, toiletry or scented items by your campsite, in your tent or in your backpack. Store them in a bear proof locker or a hang bear line.
-Bears will come ....and they have strength and very long nails

If you want to see most of the incredible sights, vistas and scenery at Yosemite, you’ll have to hike to them. Make sure you’re in reasonably good shape before you go. We hiked our local mountains 2-3 times a week for 3 months to make sure we could make it to the top of Nevada Falls and back safely in one day. The natural attractions at Yosemite are not man made and getting up close and personal can be risky. So plan ahead.

It’s $20 (a bargain!) to enter the park and that pass lasts for a week. But, during National Park Week, April 21-29, ALL national parks have free admission, all week long, including Yosemite. There is a lot of things to see and do for every age group.
You can start planning your visit here Now, Go take a hike!

 

 

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