Yosemite National Park, USA, June 2020

By Ali Karim
This post is part of a series called Yosemite & Death Valley 2020

Yosemite, June 2020

After Bacalar Lake in Quintana Roo trip in January 2020, Covid hit and we were all travel curbed and were itching to get out again. In June 2020, after some relaxation of the isolation rules, some flights had re-started, and after it was announced that National Parks were reopening, we decided to check out Yosemite National Park and Death Valley National Park. After all, if everyone else is isolating, surely it must be safer to travel 🙂 ; especially outdoors. We had not visited a lot of places in the US, and had been focused on overseas travel to different cultures and peoples. So now was the time to check out places in the US.

So one fine day, we decided to get out and see these 2 National Parks; got on an almost empty American Airlines plane and flew to San Francisco. The San Francisco airport was eerily quiet and utterly devoid of people and sounds; a very uncanny feeling. We rented a car and started driving toward the Yosemite National Park entrance. After a few hours, we decided to stop and found a Holiday Inn Express in Oakdale to stay in. After dinner, we went online to purchase tickets for Yosemite as it was limiting visitors and required everyone to purchase a ticket for entry. Lo and behold, we discovered that Yosemite National Park would not be opening for another 3 days. So much for our last minute planning; we just assumed ALL national parks were open, but they were actually opening at different times based on local circumstances. We purchased the tickets for opening day of Yosemite.

So we came up with Plan B while we waited for Yosemite to open; which we decided would be a trip to Lake Tahoe. Next day, we drove via the Stanislaus National Forest north of Yosemite on Hwy 4, up to Carson City (Nevada) where we stayed the night. Some scenes along this beautiful alpine drive through high elevation passes below

Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Wonderful tall evergreens all along the way
Wonderful tall evergreens all along the way
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, There were many small alpine lakes along the way. Snow was present above 7000ft
There were many small alpine lakes along the way. Snow was present above 7000ft
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Beautiful scenery along the way
Beautiful scenery along the way
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Beautiful drive; many of these roads are closed in the winter due to excessive snow
Beautiful drive; many of these roads are closed in the winter due to excessive snow

After a lazy lunch in Markleeville Toll Station, we drove into Carson City and decide to do a hike to stretch our legs. Some scenes below

Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Hills above Carson City where we hiked
Hills above Carson City where we hiked
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Cool waterfall after a hike
Cool waterfall after a hike

Next morning, we drove to Lake Tahoe nearby. However, it was very windy, cool, cloudy & choppy in Lake Tahoe. So after taking a few pictures at a couple of stops, we decided to drive instead to Reno, Nevada, which promised much better weather (Plan C 🙂 ). Some scenes of Lake Tahoe below

Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Choppy Lake Tahoe
Choppy Lake Tahoe
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe

Reno was disappointing as there did not appear much to do there except gambling, and there were a lot of homeless people around; maybe due to gambling losses? So after a short walk around Reno, we drove back towards Carson City, stopping at the Steamboat natural hot springs to soak in the hot tubs there, and then drove back to our hotel in Carson City.

Next day, it was time to head back towards the west entrance to Yosemite, so we drove back through the Stanislaus National Forest, this time on Hwy 108, where we crossed the Sonora Pass. Again, we came across beautiful scenery; see images below

Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Near Sonora Pass, complete with a large waterfall
Near Sonora Pass, complete with a large waterfall
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Scenic drive
Scenic drive
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Stops along the way
Stops along the way

Panoramic view on Hwy 108

Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Snaking roads
Snaking roads

We detoured to a nature trail (Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias off Hwy 120) where there were giant sequoia’s and took a long hike on a nice trail. Elevation started at 6,200ft and elevation gain was 400ft over 1 mile, which translates to climbing 40 flights of stairs  🙂

Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Giant trees
Giant trees
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, And equally giant roots of an uprooted tree
And equally giant roots of an uprooted tree

We found a B&B place near Mariposa in a rural community for the next couple of nights while we checked out Yosemite. The lodging inside the park was very expensive.

The next day, we drove into Yosemite to check it out for next 2 days. There were a lot of people going into the park; and it seemed crowded even with limited numbers of people allowed daily. I wonder what it would be like without any such restrictions; traffic jams?

Yosemite is a valley, and famous for its impressive waterfalls, meadows, cliffs, and unusual rock formations. It is truly a most beautiful place; pictures don’t do it justice.

Some scenes inside Yosemite National Park during our 2 days here, below

Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Yosemite Valley
Yosemite Valley
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, El Capitan
El Capitan

View of Yosemite valley

Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Tall waterfall cascading down
Tall cascading waterfall
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Flora and fauna
Flora and fauna
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Good hiking trails
Good hiking trails
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Impressive sized boulders
Impressive sized boulders
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Massive rocks and trees growing everywhere
Massive rocks and trees growing on the rock ledges
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Beautiful view of Half Dome
Beautiful view of Half Dome

There are several drives within the park which take you to different views of the Yosemite valley. One that was particularly spectacular was Glacier Point road which takes you to Glacier Point for spectacular views as this is an elevated point. Along the drive, you get fantastic views as you climb. Some scenes below

Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Beautiful Yosemite valley with all major scenic points behind
Beautiful Yosemite valley with all major scenic points behind
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Major places pointed out for image before
Major places pointed out for image before

Video view of the valley from this viewpoint

Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Interesting pink flora
Interesting pink flora
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, National Parks are not immune to forest fire ravages
National Parks are not immune to forest fire ravages
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Glacier Point Road
Glacier Point Road
Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Spectacular views from Glacier Point, with half dome standing out
Spectacular views from Glacier Point, with half dome standing out

Panoramic views from Glacier Point

Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Yosemite valley floor that we had hiked in
View of rhe Yosemite valley floor that we had hiked in; from Glacier Point

After this wonderful time in Yosemite, it was time to move along to Death Valley

Yosemite & Death Valley, June 2020, Yosemite trip so far trip
Yosemite trip so far trip
This entry was posted in North America, USA, Yosemite & Death Valley

22 thoughts on “Yosemite National Park, USA, June 2020

  • Pingback: Yosemite to Death Valley, June 2020 - Ali Karim Travelog North America

  • Salimah Virani June 23, 2022 at 9:37 pm Reply

    Wow! Amazing 😊

    • Ali Karim June 23, 2022 at 9:40 pm Reply

      Thanks Salimah 🙂

  • Muaie Azizmamadova June 17, 2022 at 4:16 am Reply

    So beautiful, so interesting 😍 I wish u always be happy

    • Ali Karim June 18, 2022 at 4:26 am Reply

      Thanks so much Muaie, for the feedback and kind wishes, appreciate you.

  • Muslim Harji June 16, 2022 at 9:57 am Reply

    Beautiful Pictures, Beautiful essay… Asante.
    Love, Light & Cheers

    • Ali Karim June 16, 2022 at 9:59 am Reply

      Thanks Muslim

  • Nick Paroo June 16, 2022 at 8:31 am Reply

    Very beautiful. Thanks

    • Ali Karim June 16, 2022 at 8:34 am Reply

      Thanks Mr Nick.

  • Muhsin and mumtaz Somji June 16, 2022 at 8:31 am Reply

    This one is rising fast on my bucket list….so really pleased to hear more from you…thank you, Ali!

    • Ali Karim June 16, 2022 at 8:34 am Reply

      Thanks for the comment Muhsin; nice to hear from you again after a long time
      Yosemite is indeed a most beautiful place; a must 🙂

  • Fatima Alibhai June 12, 2022 at 3:12 pm Reply

    Sounds like a great trip! Found myself wanting to hear more.

    • Ali Karim June 12, 2022 at 3:15 pm Reply

      Thanks Fatima; so glad you found this interesting.
      There are 2 more blogs in this series coming; so more to learn/see. 🙂
      Thanks again

  • Mohamud June 9, 2022 at 9:40 am Reply

    Thank you for sharing – incredible photography as always – you inspire us to travel and see so much of the beauty around us – you have planned our next vacation – close by – no flights needed from Vancouver; and so much beauty. Take care, keep these coming.

    Love
    Mohamud

    • Ali Karim June 9, 2022 at 9:47 am Reply

      Thanks Mohamud; appreciate the feedback.
      I am so glad this inspired you to travel; that is our goal with our blogs; to inspire others to travel and see the world’s beauty for themselves
      You will enjoy.
      Take care

  • Amir Mulji. June 5, 2022 at 10:24 pm Reply

    Excellent views of Beautiful places. You are very lucky to visit all beautiful places. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your life

    • Ali Karim June 6, 2022 at 8:33 am Reply

      Thank you Amir; so happy you enjoyed them

  • Dr. Muhammed Patel June 5, 2022 at 4:51 pm Reply

    Beautiful!

    • Ali Karim June 5, 2022 at 4:54 pm Reply

      Indeed, it was one of the most beautiful places I have visited

  • Aziz June 5, 2022 at 6:10 am Reply

    I have been to Yosemite over 4 times when I used to live in California. I just cannot get enough of the beauty and nature. Brought back memories of the good times. Glad you are enjoying life to the fullest.

    • Ali Karim June 5, 2022 at 8:37 am Reply

      Thanks Aziz; we are indeed blessed

  • Lin Zhao May 22, 2022 at 9:34 am Reply

    Good, Thanks for sharing,Ali

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