Adventures · travel

Exploring Yosemite Valley

Of course seeing all that Yosemite National Park has to offer in just one day is nowhere near possible. Since it was our first time visiting, we wanted to rent a van and explore. We decided to visit an area called Yosemite Valley, one of the most popular areas in Yosemite.

Yosemite Valley is kind of like your one stop shop. It has a visitor center, restaurants, beautiful scenic views, lodging, camp sites, and hiking trails, all surround by wildlife and beautiful trees.

We decided to visit during Labor Day weekend, and man was it BUSY! I mean bumper-to-bumper traffic. It is also the 100th Birthday of National Parks. So yeah, we could have visited during a slower time, but in the end, it was worth it.

We did a bit of hiking, but mostly drove around. I would have to say the Tunnel View location was my absolute favorite! It was like looking at a painting, so surreal. Tunnel view is a viewpoint where you can see all of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, El Capitan, and Bridalveil Falls. Since we visited in the end of summer, most of the waterfalls were close to dried up.

It took about 4 hours to drive to Yosemite from our home in Plumas Lake, California, and another 4 hours to get back. And the long car rides with an impatient one year old was going to make me pull my hair out. Jovie probably made me chase her all day long. It was a tiring day; I suggest going very early (I mean get there by 6am early), lots of snack, lots of water, and comfy shoes. Being 3 months pregnant did not help either, but I’m glad we came. We are already planning to come back. If you haven’t visited Yosemite Valley, I highly suggest it.

Enjoy these photos from our short trip.


Jo with her cousin Crystal.


Bridalveil Falls.


Tunnel View on Wawona Road.


El Capitan.



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