Yosemite National Park: To Go or Not To Go

I dreamed of visiting Yosemite since I was a child after hearing all the great stories from my brother and his dad. Well I finally go visit Yosemite at age 26 and I am going to tell you all about my visit and the pros and cons from what I experienced. Here it goes…

One morning my husband and I woke up and packed up our camping gear and planned to go camping up in Lake Tahoe since it is fairly close to where we live. I came up with the idea to have my husband call my brother and invite him and his family to come camping with us. Little to our knowledge they were already headed to Yosemite to go camping as well so they asked us to join! I had never been there before. My older brother used to visit there all the time with his dad when we were younger and he used to tell us all about how awesome his trips were, so I was so excited to finally get to visit!

The Beginning…

The drive there is not bad but I would recommend getting a full tank before you hit the mountains as there is only about 2 gas stations on the long and curvy drive and it can be pretty pricey for gas and goodies. We did not reserve a camp site since they do have free camp sites available BUT if you don’t get there early enough, or go on a Saturday instead of Friday evening, you may end up out of luck. We went on a Saturday afternoon so there were no open sites available that were free or that didn’t need a 24 hours advance reservation. We drove around for about an hour and a half just looking for a place to set up camp. It was not very fun.. Then we found a spot where there was a family leaving and no reserved party after them (in other words FREE… except for the $15 parking) the only down sides was that we would still have to drive to see all the good stuff and you’re right next to another party (if one reserved the neighbor site) as there were about 4 camp sites in a line together. We had a really nice view at our camp site though..

The Pros…

Yosemite is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. so so beautiful! I can’t say it enough. The views. Man O’ Man the frickin views! The mountains weren’t just mountains, they were formed in such amazing and detailed ways, at least that is how they look. They really do look like God took his time forming the mountains and placing the waterfalls in the perfect place alongside the mountains. I was in such awe. There were caves hidden in the scenery and it is full of life and color! We saw a few wildlife but thankfully not too up close. We did pass a group of crazy people who pulled to the side of the road to get out of their cars to snap pictures and videos of a bear cub that was about 600 feet away.. just a heads up, if there is a cub around, there is a very protective mama bear just around the corner so do not, I repeat DO NOT get out of your car to take a picture of a baby bear that is close enough for your camera to snap a picture of if you want to survive your trip. Mother bears are protective and will attack, even the most innocent, to protect their cub – but I am a very paranoid and worrysome worm so I will be caustious and safe at all costs even if it means I don’t get cool pictures of a bear cub.

The Cons…

Yosemite is VERY crowded. At least on the weekend in the summer. I can’t say how it is during any other season or during the weekdays but during summertime on the weekends it was very lively with many tourists and families. This can cause traffic coming in and leaving. As beautiful as the scenery is, you can’t really snap a great pic without a few heads or bodies photobombing your pictures. I loved hiking through the forest and up the hills of the mountains but as soon as you’d reach the scenery points such as the waterfalls, it was packed with many, many people. This was frustrating for me only due to the fact that I wanted to go to enjoy the scenery not to be bumped into by the next tourist and photobombed because I finally found a good spot but someone decided it would be a great idea to stand right behind my kids I am trying to snap a cute picture of. Also, the camping spots, I am more of an adventurous person who likes to find a secluded area to camp at where I am able to feel comfortable and at home with my personal family and friends. I don’t really enjoy camping next to a bunch of strangers that I have to worry about my kids being too loud or our music being to explicit or watch what I say because I don’t need strangers knowing who I am and exposing my identity (shhh).. but that’s just me. Other than that I don’t think there are any other negative things I can say about Yosemite National Park.

All in all, it was a very fun trip and lots of memories were made. It was our whole family’s first time visiting Yosemite (My husband, me and the kids) so that was pretty awesome. The kids got to splash around a bit and played with some friendly ducks.. who kept messing with my brother’s dog Rosie. We caught a glimpse of some bears (from inside the car) and we even saw a deer! The waterfalls are to die for, there are many trails to hike and so many views to see. It wasn’t the trip I had expected nor the camping situation I would have preferred, BUT it was definitely worth the trip and I was not disappointed at all.

That is my experience for my first time visiting and camping at Yosemite National Park! I hope you enjoyed the read. If you visit Yosemite, I hope you enjoy your visit as much as I enjoyed mine!

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