Yosemite National Park

18 09 2017

Good Morning from Yosemite Pines RV Park in Groveland, CA.  We’re parked about 30 minute west of the entrance to Yosemite National Park where we’ll spend the next 2 days.  With about 80 sites organized across a sloped area, many of the sites are on terraces and might be somewhat difficult to level.  The upper sites are the most level but are least private.  There are plenty of other options besides RV sites – yurts, tent sites, cabins and 8 classic or retro trailers.  The new owners have inherited a long list of overdue maintenance items ranging from non-working washers and dryers in the laundry to poor WiFi and inoperative TV cables.  This “resort” boasts a nice pool, playground, a Clubhouse with full kitchen, a Group Pavilion area and a sand volleyball & horseshoe area.

Getting to Groveland can be a bit of a challenge.  From Sacramento, we followed highway 99 south to Stockton, then highway 4 into the foothills to highway 120.  About 8 miles west of Groveland we started the ascent of Priest Grade, a very winding, narrow and steep incline up to Priest, CA.  This is the New Priest Grade road with over 100 curves and hairpin turns in its short 2 mile run.  Old Priest Grade runs along the spine across the canyon at up to 18% grade and appears that it could be impassible for any type of trailer or motor coach.

On our first excursion to Yosemite, we travel east to the Big Oak Flat entrance station and continue toward Yosemite Valley.  Of course, any visit to Yosemite wouldn’t be complete with out the stop at Bridalveil Fall on the way in and El Capitan on the way out.  In Yosemite Valley we saw the Three Brothers and explored the Majestic Yosemite Hotel including the awesome view of Half Dome from the hotels dining room.

Our second day we detoured up to Mather and entered the park on Hetch Hetchy Road.  This road leads to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir impounded by the O’Shaughnessy Dam.  This reservoir is unique since in 1913 the US allowed for the first and only time in history, a single city (San Francisco), to appropriate an area in a National Park for their exclusive use – the dam of the Hetch Hetchy Valley.  The dam and aqueduct provides water for over 2 million people in San Francisco and other cities in the west Bay Area and is so pure, it’s some of the cleanest in the nation and said to be even better quality than most bottled water.

After exploring the western half of Yosemite, we’re headed back to Colorado.  Next stop, Lotus, CA.  More from there…