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Yosemite National Park in California’s High Sierra is a true gem of the Great West. And surprisingly, we had never visited this gem until this year. It’s been on the list, but it hadn’t risen to the top until some friends were having a wedding there.

Length of Day

Trail Difficulty Rating

High-Clearance

Any way you slice Yosemite is a full day, ideally days.

There isn’t really a need for 4×4 here. All roads to all major spots are paved. There are some trails you can hit though. 

No obstacles or need for high clearance.

Our first trip to Yosemite would be a quick one—in on Thursday, out on Sunday. But it would easily be enough time to get the lay of the land, see some waterfalls, take some photos, and watch two of our friends tie the knot in one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring places in the U.S.

Welcome 2 Yosemite

It was still early enough in the year that much of the park’s roads and trails were closed. And a late-season snowstorm wasn’t going to help with that situation. Although this trip was pavement-only, it offered amazing views and more photo ops than we could take advantage of. The air temperature was cold enough that it froze the spray around Yosemite Falls and gave it kind of a milk mustache look.

But the snowpack did help to put on quite the show in the waterfalls of the Yosemite Valley. We checked out Bridalveil Falls, Horsetail Falls, Yosemite Falls, and saw about a hundred little streams and falls along the roadside from the snowmelt.

Wedding Bells

The wedding took place in the historic Yosemite Chapel. There was still snow on the ground on the day of the wedding. Someone even made a miniature snow man in the shade. And the reception was held at the legendary Majestic Yosemite Lodge (formerly known as the Ahwanee). We recognized many of the rooms and details from The Shining—many of the movie’s sets were adapted from or influenced by this hotel’s design.

We stayed in Yellowstone West so it was a short drive into the Valley that included driving through the Wawona Tunnel.  This tunnel is almost a mile long, and at one end it offers the most epic views of the valley and surrounding peaks. It’s a great spot for photos, night and day. Everywhere we went at night you could see So. Many. Stars.

After this quick introductory visit, we’re definitely looking forward to another trip when we can hit the trails more—on foot and in Trucky!

We'll be Back!

@Trucky_McTruckface, The Trail Turtle

The gear I use and trust

KC Hilites Gravity Pro6

Front Runner Outfitters Monsoon Bag

Yeasu FT-60 Dual Band radio

Sony a6300 Mirrorless Camera

ROAM Adventure Co. Rugged Case

Front Runner Outfitters Stratchit

2x Rotopax 2 gallon Gas Cans

Garmin inReach

GAIA GPS

KC Hilites Rock Light Kit

Front Runner Outfitters Slim Line 2

Apple iPad Mini

TRED Pro 4×4 Recovery Boards

Sony a7RIII

Bubba Rope Recovery Rope and Soft Shackles

Ram Mounts for Navigation and Comms

Jet Boil

Yaesu FT-8900r