On the top of my “must see” list in the U.S was Yosemite National Park (YNP). YNP is situated about three hours east of San Francisco, and it was one of those places that just amazes you from the very minute that you see the sign on the side of the road. We only just scratched the surface in the short time we were there, but it’s one that we’ll absolutely be back to – numerous times again and again I’m sure.
We drove from San Fran to Yosemite and even the road trip was the stuff dreams of made of; steeped in deep green pine trees, so tall that you can’t quite see the tops and winding around some of the most beautiful mountain outlooks that I’ve ever seen. It was a long trip as around every corner I was jumping out to take photos – it was just that damn good.
When we finally rolled into town, we had the pleasure of checking into Tenaya Lodge , an all-season resort located roughly 40 minutes from YNP’s southern gate, and 40 minutes to the valley itself. The resort gave us a good taste of a classic American lodge; with crackling giant open fires, s’mores, spa treatments and hot tubs. It provided a super indulgent balance to the outdoor action that we had by day while visiting the park. In saying that, we could have probably had a holiday in-itself just in Tenaya as it was fully kitted with every activity under the sun, including indoor and outdoor pools, rock climbing walls, mountain bikes and archery. It felt like we we’re at summer camp for big kids!
Yosemite valley itself was an absolute theme park for the outdoorsy type. There are more hiking trails than you could ever complete in one trip (or 10 trips), proper outdoor rock climbing (where the many climbers looked like tiny ants scurrying tup the cliff face), rafting, fishing, horse riding, and mountain biking – and thats only the summer activities. We sampled some of the smaller hikes and hired bikes in the valley, which I would highly recommend to anyone who has the opportunity to visit. At a slower pace and off the main street you really get a chance to take in the absolute beauty of the valley, and hopefully run into some wildlife too. We saw deer, foxes, squirrels on our ride, unfortunately no bears (which Nat was devastated about).
We were sad to leave Yosemite as we felt like there was so much more to experience within the park. But luckily for us, it won’t be the last time we visit! Nat has vowed that next time, she will find Yogi Bear, no matter how many snacks she has to take with her.
Here’s some photos of our time in YNP.