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Escape to Yosemite Valley for the Day

Friends were visiting and it was an excellent excuse to take a day trip into Yosemite Valley, taking in the gorgeous views along the way and having an elegant lunch with friends at the Ahwahnee Hotel.

The afternoon winds coaxed Bridalveil Fall to dance for me.

Photo by Suzette Meik


Lunch with friends at the Ahwahnee Hotel was a nice experience and someone surprised me with a special after dinner treat to celebrate my birthday. I still haven’t figured out who was responsible for this surprise but thank you.

A few puffy white clouds had come in by the afternoon, creating an entirely new view with some reflections at the Gates of the Valley.

Lovely shadows from the pullout above Tunnel View created the perfect farewell (and blog cover photo). You really don’t need a big day to head into Yosemite Valley and the Ahwahnee Hotel for lunch. The summer crowds have thinned out a smidge and it was still a bit peopley during the middle part of the day. I could also see very faint signs of fall coming on with the beginning of those maples starting to turn yellow on the north side of the loop. It will be a while though before the big color starts. It was well worth the trip to me for a very nice adventure!

Some of my friends had not visited Yosemite, some hadn’t been in a while and I thought you might be interested to the stops that we made along our travels on a 1 day visit. We entered and excited Yosemite National Park via 140.

  1. Stop at Tunnel View.
  2. Stop at Bridalveil Fall with a short 1/2 mile or so hike up to view the fall.
  3. Stop at the Yosemite Valley Chapel.
  4. I was going to stop at Swinging Bridge but they were doing work on the parking lot and the parking was very limited.
  5.  Ahwahnee Hotel for lunch and walking around.  I made the reservations ahead of time.
  6. We drove the cars down to the Village Store, and most walked from the Ahwahnee Hotel.
  7. We stopped at the wide pullout on the left side by El Capitan Meadow on the north loop to watch the climbers.
  8. Last stop was Gates of the Valley to take in the views of white puffy clouds an Bridalveil Fall reflecting in the Merced River.


Ahwahnee Hotel Dining Room

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