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Yosemite National Park: A Photo Diary

Spending three days in Yosemite National Park was my first in-depth visit to a US national park. That is, if you can call three days in Yosemite an in-depth visit! While we struggled with some unseasonably heavy rain, we were lucky to get enough sunshine to tackle several hikes and enjoy some of the area’s most stunning vistas.

Yosemite National Park

We visited in September, so many of the park’s famous waterfalls were not in full force; though the aforementioned heavy rain did allow for more water flow than usual. All about those trade-offs!

Yosemite National Park

Vernal Fall

After such a brief stay, I wouldn’t feel comfortable offering how-to advice for this epic national park. I’ll leave that to the experts! I opted instead to put together a photo diary of our visit. 

Yosemite National Park

“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” – John Muir

Mono Lake
Driving by Mono Lake on our way to Yosemite. I would love to revisit this otherworldly landscape during another trip!

Lyell Canyon

Lyell Fork Yosemite National Park
Our first hike at Yosemite was a short and easy one in the Lyell Canyon
Lyell Canyon Yosemite National Park
Lyell Canyon is found along the Tioga Pass, a seasonal entry road into the park that also offers access to Tenaya Lake and Olmsted Point (shown below) as well as many other hiking and viewpoint options. Check before your visit to see if it’s open – the scenery is stunning!

Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake
The perfect picnic spot
Tenaya Lake Yosemite National Park
Tenaya Lake Yosemite National Park

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Tenaya Lake Yosemite National Park
Tenaya Lake

Olmsted Point

Olmsted Point Yosemite National Park
Our first views of Half Dome!
Olmsted Point Yosemite National Park

Tunnel View Lookout

Tunnel View Yosemite National Park
Our first visit to Tunnel View: late afternoon
Tunnel View Yosemite National Park
Our second visit to Tunnel View: mid-morning

Cook’s Meadow Loop

Yosemite Valley
Arriving at the valley floor and taking an easy walk to stretch our legs along the Cook’s Meadow Loop
Half Dome Yosemite National Park
Views of Half Dome from the valley floor
Yosemite Valley

Vernal Fall Hike

Vernal Fall Yosemite National Park
We made it to the top of Vernal Fall after many, many stairs!
Vernal Fall
Vernal Fall
Yosemite National Park

Second Afternoon in the Valley

Bridalveil Fall
Bridalveil Fall
Yosemite Chapel
Yosemite Chapel
Yosemite Valley

My Photo Feature series focuses less on words and more on images. See more here.

Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Falls – if it were flowing, anyway!
El Capitan
El Capitan
Half Dome
Half Dome (still) looking majestic

Washburn Point

Washburn Point Yosemite National Park
Stopping by Washburn Point on our way to Glacier Point
Washburn Point Yosemite National Park
We hadn’t even heard of this lookout before visiting the park, but it is incredible!
Washburn Point Yosemite National Park

Glacier Point

Glacier Point Yosemite National Park
Views of Half Dome from Glacier Point

You might also like: Hiking Lake Tahoe’s Rubicon Trail

Glacier Point Yosemite National Park

Sentinel Dome Hike

Sentinel Dome Yosemite National Park
We squeezed in one last hike in the park, to Sentinel Dome, just as the cloud cover lowered and the rain started to set back in
Sentinel Dome Yosemite National Park
“Views” at the top of Sentinel Dome!

Mariposa Grove

Mariposa Grove Yosemite National Park
Stopping by Mariposa Grove to visit the giant sequoia trees
Mariposa Grove Yosemite National Park
Mariposa Grove Yosemite National Park

We were actually planning on spending one more night in the park after Mariposa Grove, but due to flash flood warnings (not exactly what you’re hoping for on vacay!) we decided to head straight to our next destination: Big Sur.

Yosemite National Park

Our trip to Yosemite National Park was a beautiful intro not only to one of the most revered natural settings in the country, but to the American national park system as a whole.

And while the rain may not have been ideal, we looked pretty great in our bright blue gift shop ponchos.

Mariposa Grove Yosemite National Park

Pin it for later!

Yosemite National Park

Now that you’ve got plenty of photo inspo, head to the park’s official site for more detailed info on planning your own trip to Yosemite National Park!

If you’ve already been, let me know in the Comments what you thought! And while we’re on the topic… which national park should I visit next?

Tioga Road Yosemite National Park

I’m sharing this post to one of my favorite blog link-ups: the Faraway Files, with Fifi + HopHilary StyleOregon Girl Around the World, and Suitcases and Sandcastles. Follow the links to check out their sites!

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