Have you ever had one of those days where you are just left almost speechless for an entire day. When you go somewhere that is just so beautiful that there almost are no words to describe what you are seeing.
As you likely can tell by the title I am referring to the Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park. I will do my best to describe the beauty of this area, but if you want an even better description from someone who immersed himself in it you should check out SaftyThird’s blog. Even more than his love of this area, his writing is also just phenomenal.
To be honest, as we drove through the gate I was not overly impressed, but the gate is like 20 miles from the valley so it was not fair to judge. We stopped at a little grove of sequoias on our way into the valley and it was amazing to see how huge those trees get. It is really something you must see. We are planning to visit the actual national park in the near future.
I should mention that we were entering the park from the North through the Big Oak Flat Entrance. You actually climb up quite high through the mountains outside of the Valley, and then descend down into it. As you wind your way down into the valley you get one quick glimpse of the valley and it immediately left me speechless.
You can actually see Cathedral and the famous Half Dome, but only for about one second. Having seen some pictures before, namely on the aforementioned blog, I knew what I was looking for, but no picture could ever really do it justice. I am actually kind of glad I don’t have a phone right now because then I didn’t focus on taking pictures and posting them, I just was able to just be in awe of its grandeur.
As we came through the Western end of the valley we were completely surrounded by trees so you can’t actually see a ton, but it is still beautiful. Then a couple of miles up the valley you start to get some big openings on the trees, and it took everything I had to not just slam on my brakes and cause a major traffic jam so I could look instead of drive.
Fortunately, there was a pull out right there so we swung to the side of the road and got out to enjoy a stunning waterfall coming off the top of the south side of the valley. There was no sign there so I am not sure what it was called, but it was across the valley from El Capitan which I didn’t even notice out in front of us at first, but once I saw it I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.
We continued up the valley enjoying these incredible cliffs on both sides of the valley and got our first great view of the Yosemite Falls dropping off the top of the North side of the valley. We were actually about to turn over towards the visitors center, but courtesy of some construction we had to drive up to the end of the valley, and I am so glad we did.
When you get to the end of the valley the trees part like the Red Sea and Half Dome pops out in all of its glory before you. There was once again another pull out and we quickly stopped and my Queenie snapped a few pictures. All I could do was just stand there and stare at what may be the most stunning natural wonder I have ever seen.
I really have no words to accurately describe how it struck me. Amazing, awe-inspiring, majestic, grand, beautiful, stunning; none of them do it justice.
I found myself longing to just stand there and look for a few hours, but that did not sound as appealing to my four kids. So after one last peak we started moving back down the valley to get a more up close look of Lower Yosemite Falls and El Capitan from the North side of the valley.
I feel like I am just getting repetitive so I will leave you with one last wonderful event that happened on our way out of the valley. My oldest daughter who is nine yelled from the backseat to give her a phone so she could take a picture because it was just so beautiful. She was absolutely right, but it was not the view that I was happy about at that point.
We have spent a lot of time with our kids outdoors, all over the world in fact, and I am never sure if they are gaining a love and appreciation for the beauty of the world like I have. But, when she yelled that out all by herself I knew that we have done the right thing and that they are gaining an appreciation for the truly beautiful things of the world.
I have been to some incredible places in the world but I honestly don’t know if I have ever been somewhere as incredible as the Yosemite Valley. If you have never been there, then get there as quick as you can.