Yosemite California USA

USA Road Trip 2012 (3): Discovering the Yosemite National Park


A park. A National Park. World-renowned and designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984. The Yosemite National Park. That was the first destination of our USA road trip.

A few hours’ drive north-east of Los Angeles, the Yosemite National Park is well known for its giant sequoias, waterfalls, clear streams, granite formations and biodiversity.   95% of the park is designated as wilderness.

Driving in and out of the park at certain times of the year poses challenges: the long winters at high altitude prevent car access to many of the passes due to snow and ice on the roads. Visiting at the end of April we had to work around some of the access issues but the longer drives never became a problem.

Countless waterfalls are one of the main features of the Yosemite park, with  Yosemite Falls (the tallest in North America) and Bridalveil Falls the most popular and impressive ones. Late spring is the best time for a visit, and we witnessed some spectacular natural displays. Water then flows into streams and rivers, and through meadows into ponds and lakes.

The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, a must-see at Yosemite, is located near the park’s south entrance. This area contains about 500 mature giant sequoias, some of which are over 3,000 years old! A hike through the woods will let you get close to some impressive trees.

Next: USA Road Trip 2012 (4): Death Valley

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