Take a summer road trip to Yosemite


YOSEMITE (KRON) – The Bay Area is a great launching pad for countless road trips but this summer, Yosemite National Park is turning heads.

Travel enthusiast Dana Rebmann says Mother Nature at Yosemite is showing off this year.

Yosemite National Park is home to a long list of spots that know how to get your attention, but Lower Yosemite Falls is still putting on a show for visitors this summer. The Falls are still flowing, and nobody really knows how long they’ll last this year.

The hike is flat and easy; depending on how many pictures you take, 30 minutes to an hour is all you’ll need. But consider yourself warned, the footbridge near its base can be a bit of a spray zone, so getting wet is a possibility.

Dana says the day she hiked the Mist Trail to the top of Vernal Fall, however, getting wet wasn’t a possibility, it was a guarantee. But you just don’t seem to care about having to wring out your layers when all those rainbows keep popping up in front of you.

Dana says this hike is said to have more than 600 steps, so it’s not an easy hike, but the scenery delivers a lot of motivation.

At the top of Vernal Fall, you can dry out and continue on to the top of Nevada Falls.

Free shuttle buses are the Best way to move around Yosemite Valley, but if you want to visit Glacier Point you can lace up your boots for a tough hike on the Four Mile Trail or make the 45 minutes to an hour drive.

As expected, the views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Yosemite’s high country are fantastic, but Dana recommends making time for this stop because this is where you really gain perspective, and understanding in regards to the lay of the land.

And if you’re traveling with kids or just someone with a sweet tooth, they sell ice cream up here during the summer. So, if you need a little extra motivation on a hot summer day, there’s always dessert with a view.

According to the National Park Service, a large majority of visitors stick to Yosemite Valley, which is unfortunate because that means they’re missing spots like Mariposa Grove. It’s home to about 500 mature giant sequoias.

Some are more famous than others like the California Tunnel Tree and the Grizzly Giant. (It’s estimated to be 1,800 years old. First thing in the morning, or the last hour or so before sunset is a fantastic time to explore.

You can see them both using an easy out and back trail, but the Grizzly Giant Loop Trail is a little longer.

At the end of a busy day, there’s a fun, new place to call it a night on the Mariposa County side of the park. About an hour’s drive from Yosemite Valley, AutoCamp Yosemite offers custom Airstream trailers complete with queen beds, kitchenettes, and bathrooms.

Think of it as all of the fun and nostalgia of camping, without much of the dirty work. Luxury Tents, also with queen beds, are another option if you’re looking to rough it. The nightly campfire is a social hot spot, so come prepared with s’mores fixings.

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