Yosemite National Park: Small animals and large trees
My next planned stop was Yosemite National Park, the oldest piece of land which was put under protection by a US State and was later turned into an official National Park.
The views on the way to the park were already quite stunning, but Yosemite Valley could easily top that with memorable mountain formation and large wooded areas.
Since it was late August and Yosemite Falls was dried up, it is fed by snow-melt and there was no snow left, I decided to hike around Mirror Lake, which of course was also dried up, but it still offered a nice view ;). The beginning of the trail looked like an official bear restroom, there were so many droppings around, that one had to be careful not to step in it. However, I didn't catch a bear in the act, or for that matter, a bear doing anything. Instead I spotted grey squirrels, a lizard and colorful birds. Later in the day we also spotted deer and a chipmunk. So from a wildlife perspective there was definitely something going on, even if it wasn't anything out of the ordinary.
Leaving Yosemite Valley I made a quick stop at tunnel view, which offered a spectacular perspective on the valley.
Before leaving the park completely, I stopped at Mariposa Grove, home to the famous Giant Sequoias. They can get several thousands of years old and only die when they are uprooted by a heavy storm. But even then they do not decompose, so the trees that fell over 50 years ago look like it had happened yesterday.
For that reason it is also possible for it to live on with huge holes in them, either man-made as in the case of the Tunnel Trees, the California Tunnel Tree being the only one left, or due to several repeated forest fires, as can be seen with the Clothespin Tree.
Since I did not have enough time to hike to all those trees on my own, the trail is listed with 3 hours and the last shuttle back to my car left within 2 hours, so I had to take one of the costly tram tours, however, I learned a lot about the trees on this tour, so in the end it was money well invested. Rumor has it that these tours will be shut down in the coming year(s) to better protect the trees, so if you visit too late you should definitely plan to bring enough time for this part of Yosemite.
Labels: hiking, pictures, round the world, traveling
Links to this post: