(Post Grand Canyon, we drove to Vegas for the night. We arrived late and did not have the energy to take on the strip and slots, but we crashed at a hotel with a fantastic breakfast buffet. The next morning, we headed to Yosemite!)
The drive from Vegas to Yosemite was slightly longer than we anticipated. We originally mapped 6 hours but it was more like 8. Much of the drive was highway but as we approached California and the National Park, we drove along some VERY steep cliffs with tons of switchbacks.
Our first stop was the southwest entrance of Yosemite to see the Giant Sequoias in Mariposa Grove.
The Sequoias were amazing! They were gigantic!!
It’s difficult to capture just how incredibly large these trees are but you feel so small standing next to them. Some of the bigger Sequoias had diameters of 25 feet and were taller than buildings!
We had about 90 minutes to explore Mariposa Grove before sunset (we didn’t want to drive around the cliffs in the dark, if we could help it), so we only hiked about 2 miles. One of the coolest things we saw was a Sequoia with its trunk cut out so you could walk through it!
I was so excited about seeing the trees that I jumped out of the car and forgot to put my hiking shoes on…so I trotted around the grove in my flip flops. Rookie mistake. I was filthy!
From Mariposa Grove to our hotel, Yosemite View Lodge, was about 35 miles. With all of the twists and turns in the road, it was a 2-hour trip! We did catch the most amazing sunset in the valley and had to pull off to the side of the road to watch.
On the other side of the valley, we caught Half Dome and El Capitan (big granite cliffs) in twilight.