Annual Park Pass
I’d planned to visit the park the next day but I reached the hostel earlier than expected so I already went to Yosemite NP for a short hike. I entered the park via the Big Oak Flat entrance where I bought my annual pass. The pass costs 80 dollars and gives you access to most of the national parks in America. So when visiting more than three parks the annual pass is definitely the cheapest option. You can buy it at the entrance of all national parks.
Tuolumne Grove Trail
Tuolumne Grove Trail is a 2,5-mile hike in a grove full of giant sequoias. I parked my car at the parking lot at the trailhead and hiked al the way down to the phenomenal Dead Giant Tunnel Tree. Going down was easy but when going back to my car, things went a little slower as the trail is quite steep. After 2 hours of hiking, I reached my car and drove to my hostel, a 50-minute drive.
Yosemite International Hostel
By the time I reached my hostel, Yosemite International, it was time to go for dinner. The hostel is located in Groveland in a cozy, little street with only a few restaurants. I choose the Iron Door Saloon, a very western place with great food. I intended to go back to the saloon in the evening as they have a live band playing every Friday and Saturday night but plans changed when I met a group of young people in the hostel. We spent the night at the terrace of the hostel, which was pretty cool. That’s the best thing about hostels I think, you get to know a lot of people.
Tunnel View & Yosemite Valley
The worst thing about hostels is that you wake up at the moment your roommates decide to. In my case it was at 6 am! My first plan that day was to go to Maripose Grove to see the famous Fallen Monarch but the road was closed for restoration. The next place I stopped at was Tunnel View. It should be one of the most beautiful places in the park. Unfortunately, due to forest fires there was a lot of smoke which made the view blurry.
After Tunnel view I drove to Yosemite Valley. You have some beautiful falls out there and places to eat. As the valley is quite busy I only stopped at some quiet places to enjoy the view without hundreds of people standing next to me. Another nice place to visit in Yosemite is Glacier Point but that place also wasn’t reachable because of the forest fires. On my way to my next hotel in Bridgeport I passed by some beautiful lakes in the park.
Yosemite is a beautiful national park with a lot of impressive natural wonders and diversity. For me one full day at the park is enough because I prefer driving through parks. People who love to hike have a lot of options in Yosemite and can easily spend two or three days there. My next destination? Bodie State Historic Park!