Saturday, June 25, 2022

An alternate way to visit Yosemite

The nation's very best National Park is, of course, Yosemite National Park. But because of (a) it's the best park, and (b) it's therefore very popular, and (c) it's quite a distance up in the mountains, it can be quite a challenge to visit Yosemite.

The best of all possible ways to visit Yosemite is to arrange to take a backpacking trip into the wilderness; I've been lucky enough to do this multiple times in my life. But this is a big undertaking, and is really not for most people.

Another lovely way to visit Yosemite is to camp or stay in Yosemite valley. There are cabins and tent campsites available in the valley, as well as the Ahwahnee Lodge. These are all wonderful ways to visit Yosemite! But these campsites are very much over-subscribed, and you have to make reservations a year in advance. That's a lot of advance planning!

Many people arrange to stay outside the park, in places like Mariposa or Oakhurst or Sonora, all of which are very nice and have plenty of nice lodging. The downside is that it is at least a 90 minute drive to Yosemite valley from any of these places, possibly longer, which means you're spending a lot of your visiting day in a car. And none of them are actually in Yosemite National Park, so in the morning and at nighttime, you're not in the park, you're in a Gold Rush Town. Which is fun, but not the same thing.

Recently we went to visit Yosemite, and we found a spot in Wawona Village via Yosemite Scenic Wonders. I was a little uncertain about doing this at first, because I'd never done it before, but it turned out to be a wonderful visit. Scenic Wonders operates two areas of rental cabins that are actually inside the Yosemite National Park gates, one in Yosemite West and one in Wawona Village. Wawona Village is a beautiful, under-visited part of Yosemite, located in a small valley on the South Fork of the Merced River (Yosemite Valley is on the main Middle Fork of the Merced). It's quiet and beautiful, and is a lovely place to stay.

Wawona Village is not really close to Yosemite Valley, it's still a significant 45 minute drive, but that's much more feasible than a drive from Mariposa or Oakhurst, and more importantly at night-time you're in the wilderness, you're not in a city!

You get the real experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment