This post is about three different parks on three different days, please scroll through the pictures, there are lots of exciting ones.
Stanislaus is a very good place to visit; if you're looking for forests... It has a big lake called 'Pinecrest' which is safe to swim in!!! (I went in and it was lots of fun... cold though :))
As we walked it (it's a 3.7mile loop trail), we encountered some people, many with their dogs; they were all very friendly and said "good morning". At first we thought they wanted to sell us something (because that barely happens in most parts of the world 😕…), but after a while we noticed they were simply very friendly...
The walk we did went around the lake; beautiful scenery!
We had a picnic on a rock right at the lake side and watched many people doing water-sports while we lazed in the sun...bliss!
I would definitely recommend stopping by at Stanislaus if you have the time, it's a very good place just to sit on the beach and chill…
Pinecrest is 1700m in altitude, we set off to drive up to the the peak of the mountain which is 3400m, so that's a 1700m difference (Pinecrest is exactly in the middle between the sea and the top!)! Sadly, we didn’t make it to the top because around halfway there, it started hailing (see pictures). It was really weird… at first it just started as a calm rain and in the end, to prevent dints, we had to shelter our car under a tree!! We decided to call it a day because the higher we got, the worse the hail got until it looked like winter wonderland, all white. So there we were, in shorts and T-shirts feeling like we're on a skiing holiday. The road became very wintery and unsafe, soooo we just went back down and guess what…it was sunny again!
Anyway, Stanislaus is full of different things to do so the answer is Yes, do it!
We didn't see any bears 🐻 🙁
Yosemite (pronounced yoh-SEM-it-ee)
Now then… next park! Yosemite is a very fun park to go to because there are many walks to do AND we discovered you can become a Junior Ranger by filling out a booklet (you can do this in most national parks so be sure to ask about it at the visitor's centre) It was great fun, I learned new stuff and and I was quite surprised at the end, to get my badge, I had to swear an oath with the park ranger! Exciting, that's me hooked!!
Anyway, back to how nice the park is… there's lots and lots of trails and hikes to do...the view of El Capitan (the main rock you can't stop looking at) is impressive 😮. We did a short hike to a waterfall with lots of boulders which you're not supposed to climb, but many people did it anyway, we tried a little bit at the bottom but it was quite slippy so we moved on.
We went to see the Indian Village Museum which was super interesting, there was an indian there carving walking sticks, he told us all sorts of interesting things.
One more thing before I move on to the next park; on your way driving into Yosemite (or circle around on your way out and drive in again, we did this at the end of the day and I had the whole creek to myself) be sure to visit Cathedral Beach and swim in the little river...you will get dragged along by the current (so fun!). It's very cold because it's glacier water but I have to say it's so worth it… Well the whole park is worth seeing so go if you can.
TIP: We thought it was out of season, but there still seemed to be masses of people there. The rangers said it was much quieter than July and August but it didn't feel quiet at all 😯!!!
We didn't see any bears 🐻 😪
Final Stop, Sequoia!; Sequoia is brilliant as it is full of massive Giant Sequoia Redwood trees...and by massive I really do mean MASSIVE!!! It feels like being in dinosaur land and any second a T-Rex could come around the corner to gobble you up. I tried to hug one (a tree, not a T-Rex) but it would probably take about 15 of me to get around it. Have a look at photos 21/22 where I'm hugging a normal Redwood and a Sequoia in comparison. The Sequoia also felt very furry; the bark of these trees is like that to protect them from forest fires. 🚒
They do the Junior ranger badge here as well, it is a nice booklet… beating Yosemite's piece of paper hands down 😎.
I would recommend the Giant Tree walk, where many Sequoias surround a swamp-like meadow the size of a football field. The main highlight (for me anyway) was ‘Ed by Ned’ which are two Sequoias which have grown so close to each other that their bases joined and they were HU-MUNG-OUS!
I would also recommend the General Sherman walk; bear in mind that General Sherman is the biggest (not tallest) tree in THE WORLD…the only thing is that that area is just a bit too touristy for my taste (the rest of the park is ok but here we had to queue 15min for our turn to pose for a photo).
Near the end we climbed Moro Rock (scary when you get to the top). It was a fun climb to do and a brilliant view at the top - there are signs saying not to climb over the fence - I didn't really need a sign to see that 😧
After we drove under a tree which had fallen and they had made a tunnel big enough for cars to drive through!
We didn't see any bears 🐻 😫
All in all all the parks were very good but I have to say my favourite was……….. Sequoia!
Hope you enjoyed the post! 😛 and go to all of them if you can!!!