We took Tioga Pass into Yosemite via the east entrance:
We spent 6 nights in Yosemite. It’s notoriously difficult to get camping sites, especially in the valley, but we scored sites just a week before. This meant that we needed to move around from campsite to campsite most days, but we didn’t mind at all since we are in a manageable sized RV, which makes it super easy to pack up and move. When we arrived, we were stunned to see that our first campsite was EASILY the best site in the L*wer Pines campground (site 62), right on the river with few neighbors and a view of Half Dome. Wow, did we luck out. Camping in the valley seems overrated to me, unless you score a sweet site like this. For the most part, these valley campgrounds are bumper to bumper with neighbors and offer almost nothing in the way of scenery or privacy. Here are some photos from our first camp site:
Day 2 in Yosemite, we took the free shuttle to Lower Yosemite Falls where we discovered the falls were completely dried up but it didn’t matter because we apparently have 2 future
rock climbers (what I now know is called ‘bouldering’):
Then we continued on the shuttle route to Happy Isle and hiked most of the way to Vernal Fall, stopping at the river on the way back down the trail so that Ali and my dear husband could take a dip in the icy cold river while I sat with Zen who snoozed on my lap in the shade by the river.
Day 3 we took the El Capitan shuttle for a view of the mountain climbers scaling the rock face – wow! I can hardly imagine 5 days up there; eating…sleeping…climbing with 150 pounds of gear…po*ping (not exactly sure how that works out). There was a climber stationed at the view point with 2 telescopes so that we could see a team of 2 climbers and he also showed us some climbing gear, the different routes/climbs on El Capitan, and he answered questions as well. He told us that one of the 2 climbers in view that day was 16 years old and the youngest to ever climb El Cap was only 11 years old!
Then we continued on the El Capitan shuttle route to Swinging Bridge beach/picnic area for another icy dip and lunch riverside.
Then we took a short stroll to the Valley Shuttle called Camp4.
Day 4 we drove to Glacier Point and had lunch at this majestic spot:
Followed by our evening camp fire of course. We were at Crane Flat this particular evening where you are allowed to gather your own fire wood, so my dear husband took our girls out to gather wood while I prepared dinner. This was the only night we camped outside of the valley. The sites were a little more spacious, but otherwise ‘just okay’ and very uneven.
Day 5, Ali and Zen picked up litter at the Tuolomne Grove parking lot as part of their Junior Ranger program. Then we hiked about 2 1/2 miles (with no tot carrier) to see some Sequoia trees:
Day 6, my dear (and athletic) husband did an incredible 10 hour, 13 mile hike to the top of Half Dome. He scored a permit at the last minute, so we decided to stay an extra night at Yosemite. I had a glorious day with my daughters walking about a mile and a half in Yosemite Valley, stopping for a riverside picnic and wading, then on to the stables to pet the horses, then we went for an ice cream at Happy Isles before a junior ranger walk where we learned all about bear habitats, acorn woodpeckers and carpenter ants. I didn’t have the camera with me, so no pics of the girls, but here are some photos of my dear husband’s hike up Half Dome for your viewing pleasure: