After a family trip to Lake Tahoe, I had an open weekend and was able to convince my family that we had to take a day trip to Yosemite Valley.
I knew I wanted to spend a full day in Yosemite, and not just plan on driving through it. That was wise. You really have to plan to spend a full day to take advantage of what’s there.
Imagine Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon … it’s one of those places. You’re essentially 3-4 hours away from civilization in any direction. The good news is that there are options.
We were at the west entrance to the park at the Yosemite Riverside Inn. It met our needs and even included breakfast. We were very pleased with the distance to the park and were able to wake up and start our journey to the park. The first sight of Yosemite Valley was amazing.
A day trip to Yosemite Valley
We started by seeing Half Dome Yosemite Valley in the distance … My first look at it. Inspiring!
Personally, it was just that one view to know that I had found what I was looking for. Yosemite was a natural wonder. This was an ancient ravine with God’s fingerprints on it. This place has a serious earth history and magical valley that would attract the inhabitants of the earth anywhere.
This particular valley would impress, inspire and enchant anyone who turns their eyes to it. In many ways, a simple journey through this valley can bring a god closer because it makes people feel small. In many ways, human pride can be satisfied by standing on one of these rocks.
El Capitan – What a serious megalith.
While I didn’t really take the opportunity to climb these mega-stones carved out of the valley, I drove around them for hours, doing a few easy hikes to the falls and one to a lake (read more about hiking in Yosemite National Park). I spent most of the day in the valley with a group of other people whom I tried to ignore.
Ignore the crowd, it’s still worth it. There are times of the day you can get there before the crowds, but you have to do it anyway … it’s amazing and brings you closer to the Creator.
Yosemite Falls is 2,425 feet.
The tallest waterfall in North America and in the top 10 in the world.
Had I known how awesome this is and how many of the best waterfalls in the world are in this park, I would have given it more priority. When I think of falls in the US I think of Niagara Falls, but that’s a volume thing. This is where you can plan to go when the spring runoff is highest and get a real show.
Remember, this park is a reminder to people that it is insignificant. Some people get hurt or worse and try to prove they can conquer these things. With over a dozen falls and hikes to almost all of them, there are tons of things people will do.
Activities on a day trip to Yosemite Valley
While I’ve been on a few hikes, I would have loved to have tubed the river or rode horses … lots of great activities in the park.
- horse riding
- Hiking (waterfalls, trails, loops)
- Rock climbing
- To go biking
- Driving loops
Check out the organized hikes in Yosemite Valley:
If anything, Yosemite is a reminder that there are things in life that are bigger than us. Whenever you want to feel small. Visit the Yosemite Valley and 1,000 square kilometers of national park. While you may feel like you are not alone when you were there. You will not regret it.