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Yosemite National Park - 2016 Trip - Day 06

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Start Location: El Portal, CA
Ending Location: El Portal, CA
Miles Today: 77
Trip Miles: 1266
States Visited: 3
Provinces Visited: 0
Low Temp: 59° F
High Temp: 102.5° F
Min Elevation: 1926'
Max Elevation: 6168'

Route Map:


We started today with a trip to Glacier Point. We decided to take the tour bus rather than drive up there on our own. The main reason we decided on the bus was concern about parking at the top. If the parking lot is full you have to come 10 miles back down and take a shuttle back up. Parking did not seem to be a problem but we were glad we took the bus anyway. The driver was very knowledgeable about the park and it's history. He discussed all the various types of trees and plants in the park as well as a lengthy discussion of past firs in the park and pointed out the locations of various types of fires and their overall effect on the park. It was definitely worth the ride.

After Glacier Point, we decided to drive down to Wawona. Wawona is at the south entrance to the park and is much different than the valley where we had spent our time so far. There is a small visitor center located in what once was Thomas Hill's studio and gallery. Hill was an American artist of the nineteenth century who painted many paintings of the California landscape and Yosemite Valley in general. The hotel is a large Victorian building built back in the 1930's and the entire area is much more laid back and relaxed than the valley. Surprisingly there is even a golf course at Wawona. We stayed there long enough to have a refreshing cold soft drink and then headed back to our hotel on the very enjoyable road back to the valley - it was a really nice ride and we even had one more chance at Tunnel View - one of our favorite views of the valley.

Wawona is also the home of the Mariposa Grove which is the largest grove of Giant Sequoia Trees in the park.  There are several hundred mature trees two of which are among the 30 largest in the world. Unfortunately the entire grove was closed down for restoration until the spring of 2017 - I guess we'll just have to come back again.

Once back at the hotel, we availed ourselves of the laundry facilities since this was our 6th day and we were out of clean clothes. I wanted to make a comment about where we stayed - Yosemite View Lodge. The rooms were nice but the complex is huge and it was a long walk to get anywhere. We were at the far end of the complex and it was quite a walk just back to the lobby. The place did not seem to be particularly well maintained. For example there were 4 washers and 4 dryers but half of each of them were out of order. It wasn't a big deal because we were the only ones using them at that time - but it could have been. The laundry room was also messy and dirty. Even in the lobby, only one of the main doors was working. Overall we were not impressed with the facility and the staff who seemed a little surly.

Tomorrow we head up to Tuolumne on our way home.