Sorry for my absent. Last week, I spent most of the time with the family. We walked around town, ate a bunch of good food, and played video games. I introduced my parents and my sister to a cell phone game that I love called “Tsum Tsum”. They got all addicted. We all sat around in my living room, poked at our phones and sent each other hearts (lives in the game). That was totally hilarious! My parents left Los Angeles on Friday. I am missing them already, but we will be seeing each other soon. 🙂
Yosemite was quite a trip. When you are standing in the middle of the Valley and being surrounded by the ridiculous tall cliffs and rocks, you feel the power of nature. It is truly magnificent! Other than that, I love seeing the deers walking around the park and getting very close to people. Yosemite is a place that you have to visit at least once in your lifetime.
Where we stay:
We actually didn’t stay in the valley. We picked Sunset Inn which is about 25 miles away from the valley (45-minutes drive). It sounds pretty far, but in reality, the drive was not bad at all. It is a pretty smooth and easy drive.
Sunset Inn is not your typical inn. It is more like a cabin rental. There are only 2 cabins. The property is very big and it is surrounded by beautiful tall trees. There are a chicken coop, small green house, and a swing. The owners are a really nice couple. They live on the property in one of the houses. They have 2 big dogs, that are very friendly and playful. They love to run free and chase around each other.
Our cabin can fit up to 5 people. It is a 1 bedroom with 2 beds in the bedroom and 1 bed in the living room. There is a small kitchen with a small stove and oven, which is more than enough to cook. The patio is big and there is also a charcoal grill. Everything is very clean and tidy. The area is quiet and beautiful. We all love it there. If we are going to Yosemite again, Sunset Inn is definitely our 1st choice.
What we see:
This is one of our favorite spots. The overlook to Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls is breathtaking. Even though the drive there is a bit long and curvy, but it is worth it. I highly recommend picking here as the first stop of your trip. The area can get crowded quickly. It is best to be there before 10am.
There are actually two falls in this location, Upper Yosemite Fall and Lower Yosemite Fall. There are plenty of viewpoints to see both falls together. The walk to the bottom of Lower Yosemite Fall is an easy walk. The fall is incredible and definitely lives up to its name. Upper Yosemite Fall trail is for advanced hiker, and we are nowhere near that. We returned to the valley after reaching the bottom of the fall.
I love this fall! It is not a huge one, but it is the one you can get close. The water is splashing everywhere. We all got soaking wet from the splash. Lucky that we all wear waterproof clothes. It was so much fun! The parking lot is pretty small. Get there early to avoid parking nightmare.
The walk to the lake is fairly easy, but there are some ups and downs. When you get to the lake, you may have to wait for a bit until the wind stops and the water calms down. The water reflection of the mountains and trees is absolutely gorgeous.
This hike was brutal. It is only 1.6 miles to the footbridge of the fall, but the hike is almost all uphill. It is quite steep and especially tough for amateur hikers. We rested many times, and we almost didn’t get to the footbridge. It really was too much for us. You need to think twice before coming to this trail.
Where we eat:
Evergreen Lodge Restaurant
The lodge restaurant is about 55 minutes drive from the valley, but only 20 minutes away from Sunset Inn. The food was surprisingly delicious! The lobster risotto was lovely. If you are staying in Sunset Inn, you got to try this place out.
We cooked 2 breakfasts and 2 dinners at the cabin. The only time we dined in the valley were for lunches. We had sandwiches and pizzas at various places. Nothing is special.
The curvy roads aren’t too bad in the Yosemite Park. The roads getting to the park are much worse. I actually threw up when heading home. Take a motion sickness pill before heading up or down the mountains and don’t eat too full.
Yosemite Park Entrance Fee
It is $30 for 7-day pass. Show it at the gate every time you enter.
Valley Parking and Buses
There are a few big parking lots inside the valley. They are all free. To get around the valley, you can take the free valley bus or walk. When we were there, the buses got really full. You may have to wait for the next bus occasionally. Sometimes, it maybe easier to walk if you are trying to get somewhere close.
The mosquitoes are CRAZY hungry either in the park or in the inn area. Bring mosquitoes repellent and itch relief cream. Bryan got about 10 bites, but the rest of us didn’t. My mom killed many though.
You will walk and hike a lot. It is best to wear comfortable hiking shoes. Your feet will thank you later.
Pain Relief Patches/Cream
Since there are a lot of walking and hiking, you may hurt your knees or ankles. Bring a few patches with you just in case.
P.S. Most of the pictures are taken by Bryan.