When thinking on visiting Yosemite you’re drawn to memories of scenery captured by Ansel Adams. At least I am. Any photographer with the slightest interest in landscape photography should know his work.

In my mind, I thought, a couple of days to see the spots I’ve viewed in his work would be enough. Boy was I wrong. I mean, come on. He spent a significant amount of time photographing Yosemite, did I really think I’d come home with something epic after two days? I hoped! I was wrong, quite wrong! Haha

Some thoughts on visiting Yosemite (and probably most other parks)…

If you want to camp: reserve a space. Don’t be like me and not plan and then be shocked when you arrive that there isn’t a single spot! Don’t do that.

If you want to see the epic things. Plan a week, not a day, not two days, I’d say at least four, at least at Yosemite, some parks are smaller…

Yosemite is massive. (How big is it?) Over 700,000 acres big! That’s a lot of space, beauty and nature to take in.

The roads are curvy, tree lined and beautiful, but the speed limits are slow. Because: cliffs with 5,000 – 9,000 drops… no fear! Oh and there are view points all over that you want to see. And there are hiking trails if you’re cool like that. And there are lakes. And there are all the things!

Now enough of my words. On to some photos!

I was at Yosemite in October, as a part of a larger road trip throughout the west coast. There were some fires, still going on, controlled, but happening. I have to say it was a bit scary, on some of the roads, to drive through that smoke.

As I write this post, our government remains in a partial shutdown. This has immensely affected our National Parks. People can still go to them, but there’s no one manning the gates, taking out the trash, cleaning the bathrooms, and mostly no one there to help keep you safe! In articles I’ve read about the shut-downs, some individuals who are taking advantage of the opportunity not to pay to visit one of these parks, are leaving piles of trash in their wake. It’s upsetting, to say the least.

If you’re reading this and want to go out to any national park, pack out what you pack in, this means take your trash with you. Our national parks are amazing treasures, we should care for them and love them. They are also quite underfunded, when the government is “up and running”. The National Park Service has a great, annual pass, it’s about $80 annually and gets you entry into national parks, forests, etc… it’s totally worth picking one of those up, to help support these parks.