This summer Joe and I, along with some friends and family, went camping in Yosemite. It was amazing. Everywhere we looked it felt like we were looking at a painting. We had to continuously remind ourselves that it was real life!
There are lots of different campsites within Yosemite National Park. We camped at Hodgden Meadow, which is located at the northern end of the park (we had to drive for about an hour after entering the park.) We really enjoyed that particular site. It was very quite, unlike some of the bigger campsites. It didn’t have showers, but it did have flushing toilets and sinks with running, potable water. We brought camping showers and half way through our trip went into Yosemite Valley and used real showers. There were lots of waterfalls, rivers and hiking trails to explore. Each campsite was $20 a night. Two campsites divided by ten people means we each spent a whopping $4 a night for lodging. Pretty sweet deal.
Our campsite was about 30 minutes away from Yosemite Valley, which is the hub of Yosemite National Park. You can hike, fish, bike ride, picnic, rock climb and go horseback riding. A word of caution though; it is often VERY crowded in the valley. It took us 30 minutes to get there and another 30 minutes to find parking. If you’re camping in the valley, then parking isn’t a problem. We did a very easy hike (paved trail, lots of shade, only a about a mile long) to the short falls, but if you want more of a challenge there are harder trails to the taller water falls. We had a ton of fun playing on the rocks at the base of the falls.
One of my favorite parts of the whole trip happened during our drive to the campsite. We had been in the car for about 8 hours, in the park for about 30 minutes, and we were really anxious to get to our campsite and start the vacation. We went under a long tunnel and when we got out, this is what we saw.
It was absolutely amazing. It literally took my breath away. We immediatly pulled over and started snapping pictures like crazy. The entire park, and the falls especially, are an incredible testament to the wonder creativity of our God. If that was the only good thing that happened on that trip. Luckily though, lots of other good things happened, including our trip to Rainbow Falls on the last day. Those falls fed into a pool with a shore line, so people could bring chairs and blankets to relax after a refreshing dip. Some people, including my brave husband, jumped off the falls into the pool. Once we got bored of lounging around, we hiked up the river that fed into the pools. I found a rock that was perfectly shaped like a lounge chair and baking in the sun. I sat there for a good 20 minutes and got a free hot stone massage. It was fantastic.