Yosemite National Park is ridiculously huge, so there are many places you could feasibly miss out on during a first trip. But Yosemite Valley shouldn’t be one of them!
It also allows you the chance to wander around and simply look up in awe at the vast rock faces that surround you. Just beautiful.
One afternoon we spent a couple of hours just wandering around the valley region, and first we couldn’t resist another quick peep at the scene from Tunnel View – this time in the afternoon light. Yep, still amazing!
Then we took a walk through the valley to get a closer look at El Capitan. It looks so tiny here! Quite spectacular when you’re faced with it in person though.
And Yosemite Village is also a must – you get to look up and see the most beautiful scenery around here too. Apart from it being the main hub of activity in the park, by way of shops, food holes, etc, the colors just amazed me – especially as this was only a couple of days after Christmas! I just couldn’t get my head around that, and felt conflicted about whether or not I should be thanking global warming!
And I just loved the historic Yosemite Village Post Office, completed in 1925 – so cute!
As dusk was upon us, I decided we needed a picture of the two of us in the valley. Being the one with the camera, I’m rarely in photos! So we’ve recently talked about using the tripod more frequently to get pictures of us both. So here we were in the valley! Just in front of the cluster of naked trees on the left, you can vaguely see a group of mule deer who wandered by!
Here are some of them a wee bit later at the side of the road – we drove past them after we packed up to head back to the hotel, & I managed to snap them quickly with my phone a they grazed.
It was bizarre how quickly the light changed at sunset. Literally within minutes you go from dusk to “I can’t see you”. But sometimes you get the reward of wonderful colors in the sky.
So try and set a little time aside to walk around the valley itself, and Yosemite Village too. The village is a great first port of call when you arrive on your first day – check in at the visitor center for maps and information, and catch one of their free short movie showings about Yosemite. Wander past the historic and beautiful Ahwahnee Hotel too – it was hopping busy when we drove by. I’ve added it to our bucket list of places to stay at sometime! Supposedly they have the most amazing Christmas celebrations.
And finally, be sure to visit the Ansel Adams Gallery nearby! It would be rude not to while you’re on his turf……