EXPLORING YOSEMITE

To say that I’ve longed to visit Yosemite is a criminal understatement. It has been number one on my list of places to visit for as long as I can remember. Two things struck me about the beautiful California highland valley on first arrival, first the sheer vertical scale of the cliffs. It’s something that, like the depth of the Grand Canon, never really translates into photographs – and can’t be easily conveyed. Those rock walls are immense. Secondly, the valley itself is actually quite small. Compared to National Parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite is titchy. While the park itself covers mile after mile, the key part, the valley itself is no larger than Zion in Utah. In fact the entire valley put me in mind of Zion throughout my visit, swap the grey rock of California for the red stone of Utah and the two are almost indistinguishable. Of course, Yosemite’s cliffs are higher, and its waterfalls more spectacular, but the general ambience is much alike.

We spent three days in the park, hiking the mist trail up Vernal and Nevada falls, and making it half way to the top of Yosemite Falls themselves. I also stole away from our campsite on several occasions to try and capture the iconic tunnel view, and shots of the Yosemite Falls across the valley’s meadows in different lights.

Whilst the weather we had was clear and sunny, it wasn’t conducive to the most dramatic shots, and I’d dearly love to visit again, perhaps in early spring when the last rays of sun catch the tops of the waterfalls and give the appearance of fire tumbling over the clifftops.