This will easily explain why is so difficult to find accommodation in Yosemite or even the supporting towns like Mariposa or Oakhurst. Google estimate the global searches for hotels in Yosemite at about 226 million per month. In a nutshell, if you want to sleep in a bed make your reservation way in advanced. We made ours about 4 months before and we could not find anything within Yosemite or Mariposa. So we settle for Oakhurst, which turned out to be best, because it is closer to Mariposa Grove than if you are coming from Mariposa. Mariposa Grove is where the Giant Sequoias are and they are a must see if you are going to Yosemite.
The Dilemma. Early and clear or Later and overcrowded
Nobody like crowds, well, this place is crowded, you will hear just about all languages you can recognize and many other that will leave you wondering. Yosemite Valley is in a remote place, that doesn’t stop millions to get there, smart people who want to avoid the hordes get real early to avoid them, photographers do it because early light is warm. So if you are there early, this is what you get, (see at right) the waterfall is hidden by shadows and no HDR will save it. HDR cannot produce details when there is no detail. So, either you settle for this or you must fight your way through the hordes and get the one shown above after 1:00 pm or so. The best time will definitely be late in the afternoon ( I was not there so I have no examples). But I hope that this help you to plan your trip there. If you enjoy photography and want to have an idea of what you are going to see, follow this link Yosemite, Death Valley and other California Photos.
Glacier and Washburn Point
This is the ultimate lookout place in the Park for an almost aerial view, you will get an undisturbed view of the valley below you, the Half Dome and Yosemite falls all before you in one panoramic view, however, in my humble opinion the Washburn vista point provides a more spectacular view than from Glacier point, maybe because it also less viewed in photos or magazines. When I was there, few guys were admiring the valley as you can see below, I would not dare to do this, but hey that`s the stuff you do when you are very young and you believe to have some superman DNA in you.
In case you did not know, you can actually drive all the way up there. Some other climbing and hiking types enjoy the breathing and puffing, but that's not definitely for me. I took my van loaded with kids, wife and all our belongings all the way up. Pretty impressive feat to maintain those roads as good as they are. If you are going to Yosemite, DO NOT miss this view point, you can thank me later by 'like' this post or buying one of my photos. Have fun!
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