Yosemite Valley or Bust!

Now with all of the viewpoints left behind, I set my sights for Yosemite Valley.

In 2009, The National Park Service conducted a Summer survey with the following results:

93% of respondents listed “viewing scenery” as their primary activity, which is out of a total of around 4 million yearly visitors. Most of the visitations are from June to September.

During my visit, I had been at Crane Flat, seen some Redwoods, and had seen the major viewpoints of Washburn Point, Glacier Point, Sentinel Dome and Valley View. The only thing left was to visit the Valley itself.

This late in the Summer, the waterfalls had gone dry, but the majesty of the steep granite walls made this visit equally as important to complete.

yosemite-valley-map

I was no stranger to the Valley. I had been here many times before, though more than a few years had gone by since then. The planners of this popular tourist goal have divided the road system up into one way roads, helping to ferry the traffic to the major view points, as well as the very informative Visitor’s Center.

There was just one problem, and that occurred at the same time as my visit:

road-work-yosemite-valley

It seem that the Park had planned roadwork, beginning the week before my visit. Now the well thought out planned road system was turned into a series of confusing signs, loads of confused tourists, and roads that didn’t make any sense, whatsoever.

I followed the first signs to the Visitor’s Center. Right, right, right, left. Then I was presented with the Valley Exit!

Try again. Right, right, left, up and down, in and out. I wasn’t getting anywhere, and the lack of signs added to my frustration. There was a large parking lot, but no signs as to what it was in proximity of. Then I found the courthouse and the other important buildings nearby, but no sign to the Visitor’s Center. More frustration. I finally gave up with my idea and decided to leave this most majestic of all places.

I stopped a few times along the way out and took the following pictures:

El Capitan.

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elcap

Tourist Sightseeing Tram.

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Half Dome.

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Close up – Half Dome

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Permit required to climb Half Dome, which is open for such things in Summer.

halfdome

Sentinel Rock.

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Sentinel Rock seen in the left background

sentinelrock

Cathedral Rocks (below)

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cathedralrocks

Source for all maps: NPS. National Park Service https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/maps.htm

Then a parting shot of El Capitan, before my journey led me to the next part of Yosemite: The Tioga Road.

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I really was looking forward to visiting the Valley, but circumstances beyond my control made it a different kind of experience, than I was expecting. I wasn’t going to let one setback ruin the rest of my visit, but it just meant that I had to think creatively, and set my sights for  the Yosemite, that was farther away from the traffic jams and road construction mess that I just had experienced…..

9-crane-flat-to-tuolumne-mdws

Source: Google Maps

 

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