A Bitesize Guide to Yosemite Park
Dave Johnson | On 04, Dec 2013
As if something as big as Yosemite Park could be reduced to bite sized chunks! For goodness sake, it’s 1,169 square miles – give or take the odd football pitch – and has 1,504 camp sites with space for more than 9,000 campers so perhaps a bite sized approach is best after all. Even if you do take a bite sized approach, Yosemite is about BIG so be prepared to travel distances to see what you want to see.
The Yosemite Falls is probably the picture shot that has graced more Yosemite book covers than any other shot. Hike through forests of richly scented Sugar Pines using a conveniently paved path that makes the journey more accessible, especially if you have younger children. If you have older children there is an alternative pathway that gets you right up close to the falls and the roar of the water drowns out the noise of all the other tourists.
To the south of Yosemite is the Sequoia National Forest that is something not to be missed. Sequioa trees grow as tall as 26 storey buildings but don’t bother trying to imagine what they look like, you really do need to see them. As old as 2,500 years, General Sherman, is the largest of all of the trees is believed to be the largest living thing in the world. There are even trees that are so big they have pathways going through them. Go on – the kids will be awestruck!
Take In the Stars
Because it’s a National Park and that means tough restrictions on buildings, there is very little light pollution. Take in an orgnaised night time hike through the countryside to find a valley with zero light pollution. Just lie back and take in the breathtaking sight that is one of the best that Mother Nature has to offer. Don’t go it alone – it really is very dark and there are plenty of orgainsed hikes you can join.
A Spot of Wild Water Rafting
Adrenaline junkies step forward! The Merced River canyon gives you a whole new perspective on Yosemite. Only suitable for older children and adults in the spring the rafting is at levels three and four which will ensure you are suitable tossed around in your raft. Summer and autumn trips are likely to be more gentile at level two but are still enough to make the heart pound.
A Touch of Luxury
Just because you are convening with nature doesn’t mean you have to forgo a little luxury. The Old Ahwanee Hotel anachronistically offers up a touch of real luxury and opulence in the middle of Americas greatest wilderness. Dine in style on bone chine plates eating some of the finest food in the region, this hotel combines Native American art and American Colonial style. Opened in the 1920s with the intention of attracting rich East coast Americans you can see the influence in the styling and décor still today.