On the second part of our west coast tour we headed over to Yosemite National Park after a quick stop over in Carmel. As soon as you enter the territory of the National Park the landscape dramatically changes. Gone are the highways and industrial buildings as you are surrounded by towering rock formations that have seen more of the Earth’s history than any of our species (#deep). The vast scale of everything is what took us by surprise. You think the trees look small, but thats only because they are miles away and are actually hundreds of years old and hundreds of feet tall. It really is just mind-blowing.
During our time in Yosemite we went on a tour through the park with a ranger who told us the history of the park including a stories of the tribes that used to live in Yosemite. Did you know that Yosemite means “killer” in Miwok? We always recommend a tour (if your an avid reader you will know this already), it means you can sit back and enjoy those amazing views while learning about your surroundings from someone who knows what they are talking about, what can be better!? While on the tour you stop at multiple viewing points where you get some of the most stunning views of the park and have a chance to take photographs too.
We stayed over night within the park in Yosemite View Lodge but you can camp in Yosemite too. They have designated campsites (that your probably best to book) in the middle of some of the vast woodlands, so that you are surrounded by nature and animals have been known to wander in to camp so keep your food away from your tent. While staying at our hotel we had our first ever encounter with a racoon! Why are they so cute!
It is wonderful to see the thriving wildlife that is kept under a close eye within the national park. It is common to see the deer and elk that call the long grasses home. However we were also lucky to see a baby bear whilst on our tour drive. Sadly, it was trying to eat a plastic bag that was most likely left by someone who had been camping in the woods. This is why responsible travel is so important to the survival of the nature and animals in these places.
We are desperate to go back to this amazing place and hopefully spend some more time there hiking or even exploring by horseback. We definitely recommend Yosemite for anyones bucket lists as you just have to see it to realise how large and wonderful it is!
Is Yosemite on your bucket list?