Yosemite Part I: Mariposa Grove

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Ahhh, we have finally arrived at the highlight of my California trip: visiting Yosemite for the first time! We started off the day bright and early, leaving San Francisco around 7 or 8 for the 4 hour drive across the valley to the park. We took a slightly different route than the typical visitor, entering the park from the South entrance instead of the North, which is where you go in to get directly to the valley floor and all of the most famous sights, like El Captain, many of the waterfalls, and Half Dome.

Since we had the afternoon to enjoy the park, we started out with the Mariposa Grove, a collection of Giant Sequoias so big they’ll make your head spin. It’s truly awe-inspiring to be in amongst the trees, and although the trails were generally quite crowded (the most crowded I’ve ever seen a National Park, which I’ll get to later) it’s easy to look up and feel insignificant beneath the towering giants. If you head up just a little further afield than the average tourist, you tend to lose a lot of people, which is nice for enjoying the trees in a more quiet atmosphere. The grove has a paved road that circles around the edge, so if you’re feeling particularly lazy you can pay to be driven through the trees. It’s sort of appalling to me that people choose to do that when the whole reason you’re in the park (or at least the whole reason I am in the park) is to enjoy nature, not sit around in a vehicle.

Anyway, the trees were gorgeous and a perfect way to start off the day- I would absolutely recommend them if you’re in Yosemite, particularly if you’ve never seen giant trees before. Up next: Our sweet rustic digs at the Wawona Hotel!

If you’re into Yosemite, make sure you check out their Instagram- it’s delightful.

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