Amanda and I spent a few days in Yosemite at the end of March. We love going to national parks in the spring. The weather is cool, the parks aren’t crowded, and the waterfalls are spectacular due to snowmelt. The tradeoff you make is that some parts of the park are still inaccessible due to snow. You win some, you lose some. I don’t think we lost much in this particular situation.

As we drove into the park around sunset hoping there was not actually a tire chain checkpoint, we were treated to some beautiful views of trees, fog, and the aftermath of forest fires.

Evergreens and Clouds

Forest Fire Aftermath

Trees on the Ridgeline

One of the most incredible things about Yosemite is the clouds. Weather changes there pretty quickly, so don’t be disappointed if the traditional panorama is obscured. Wait 15 minutes and you’ll probably catch a glimpse.

Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley

We decided to hike the Mist Trail our first full day in the park. The trail up the edge of Vernal falls was 100% ice in the morning. It took us quite some time to make it up, but I’m glad we carefully trudged up instead of turning around.

Yosemite Mist Trail

Yosemite Mist Trail

Vernal Falls

We followed the Mist Trail all the way to the top of Nevada Falls. There were some pretty cool trees growing in the cracks of the rocks up there. The connection to the Muir Trail from Nevada Falls was closed due to snow, so we had to hike back down and take a different route back up. Doing that elevation twice was a killer on our legs. We must have made a few unexpected turns, too, because the total listed length of the trails on our map was 7 miles, but our fitness trackers reported 12 miles.

Trees Growing Above Nevada Falls

Vernal Falls

Vernal Falls

We gave our sore legs a rest the next day. We drove as much of the park as we could and only did short hikes to see some of the giant sequoias. Words can’t describe what it is like to walk amongst them.

Can you believe the largest trees on earth come from tiny seeds in such small cones?

Sequoia Pine Cone

Sequoia Bark

One had fallen over ages ago and its root system was exposed:

Sequoia roots

Here are the views that probably come to mind when you think of Yosemite:

Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley

El Capitan

See more of my photography