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  • Yosemite in Winter

The magical experience of Yosemite in Winter

"Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space." Ansel Adams

There is something quite literally awe-inspiring in the huge landscapes of Yosemite. This National Park, the second created in the USA, is about the size of Wales so in a two day visit you’re unlikely to see more than a tiny fraction of it. But this is the average length of time that people spend here, flocking for photographs at the famous lookouts like Tunnel View and Yosemite Falls which have been immortalised in iconic images from the famous landscape photographer Ansel Adams.


It was a magical experience coming here in the winter. The snow had been lighter than usual so only the highest peaks were dusted in snow. But the waterfalls were pouring dramatically from the cliffs above and the wild Merced River was swelled with snow melt. By August, this river is just a trickle and the waterfalls have generally all dried out. The colours too were beautiful, with dramatic brooding skies, crystal lakes and dark green stretches of forest.


The temperature was a crisp but refreshing 12°c on average. And more importantly, whilst the lookouts and waterfalls were already fairly busy, we had a lot of the park to ourselves. Most visitors tend to come in the summer, when temperatures average around 30°c on the valley floor and can soar well above that. It’s common to queue up to an hour to get into the park by car and shots of Tunnel View and El Capitan are liable to be spoiled by other photographers jostling for their ideal shot. In this perfect, pristine environment, I was happy not to share the views with anyone.


In the words of historic naturalist and Yosemite enthusiast John Muir, "This one noble park is [...] good for everybody, no matter how benumbed with care, encrusted with a mail of business habits like a tree with bark. None can escape its charms. Its natural beauty cleans and warms like a fire, and you will be willing to stay forever in one place like a tree."


Blogger Profile - Emily Morrison

Emily joined My America Holiday in September 2014 and writes about new holiday ideas and exciting destinations for the website (all of which adds to her ever present wanderlust). New York is one of her favourite cities in the world and her American dreams include driving all the way along Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica in an open top Chevy and catching the Coast Starlight train from LA to Seattle: As far as she’s concerned, it’s all about the journey.
Emily Morrison

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