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Yosemite Trip: Summer 2010: Bears, Wildflowers, and A Cool River

I have been trying all week to find time to post an entry sharing a little of our time in Yosemite last week. We had a great camping trip under the big trees and hiking was glorious. There were crowds of people in the valley but once you made a little effort to get on the trail, there were quiet and open spaces to enjoy with only a few other people to share the path.

Bear in the campsite
Our camping was made exciting by the visit of a black bear. Two campsites away they left out some food and the bear was quick to find a tasty meal of peanuts and chips. We were up early and making our way to the restroom and back when I spotted what I thought was a bear in the campsite. I did not have my glasses on and it was still early and dark. My husband assured me it was a bear.

Bear trying to escape Dave banging the pot
We made some noise and eventually grabbed some pots and pans to bang together to scare the bear away from the campsite. There is a meadow and wild space behind the campground and the bear eventually made its way off into the trees…not until after he tried to climb a tree. When he stood up he was taller than my 6′ tall husband. We never felt in danger but we know that once a bear gets accustomed to people food that they become a nuisance and the rangers have to take action. (Sorry for the blurry photos but it was really early morning and I just had my point and shoot.)

Hike to McGurks Meadow
We had two great hikes during our visit. The first was to McGurks Meadow which is off Glacier Point Road. It is the perfect time of year to visit the meadow to view the wildflowers. I can’t keep up with my boys anymore. They take off ahead of me but our family has come up with a way to stay together…a family whistle. They need to be able to hear me whistle and whistle back or they are too far ahead.

McGurks Meadow with Indian Paintbrush
The most abundant wildflower blooming was the Indian Paintbrush.

McGurks Meadow Corn Lilies
The corn lilies were starting to bloom as well. We saw loads of butterflies and when we stopped to sit on a log to rest, a tree frog jumped right up next to us.

May Lake Trail With Mr A
Our second hike of the week was up to May Lake which is a High Sierra Camp. You can hike up there and spend the night in tent cabins or bring your own tent. We just went for the day. Believe it or not, there is a trail there across the granite.

May Lake Trail 1
Here is some more of what the terrain looks like as you hike up to the lake. The lake itself is at about 9,200 feet in elevation. I can feel it in my lungs as we hike up at that altitude. I hike a lot but in combination with the heat and the altitude, it slows me down.

May Lake Trail sharing with Horses and Mules
On this particular day, there were two separate mule teams coming down from the High Sierra Camp. They bring the trash and stuff down the mountain and then after resupplying the packs, they head back up. They seem so sure of their footing even on the granite slabs.

May Lake Glorious View
The lake itself is not very big but so sparkling clear and cold…you just want to sit and enjoy the view for awhile before exploring around the edge. Here my son gives his dad a helping hand up after our time resting.

May Lake Trail Barb
Here I am on the trip down the mountain. Not very glamorous but it keeps the sun off this freckle face.

May Lake Trail Boys need to climb on rocks
The boys still have enough energy to do a little rock scrambling on the way down. They love this stuff and I think they need to do this sort of thing in order to grow up healthy and happy.

Yosemite Valley wildflowers
Our last day was spent in Yosemite Valley itself. We checked out the meadows with milkweed blooming and monarch butterflies fluttering.

Yosemite Valley milkweed with monarch
I almost captured the monarch on the milkweed…see him peeking out?

Yosemite Valley milkweed
The milkweed is just glorious right now…so many butterflies and other insects in the meadows. Coexisting, growing so pretty.

Yosemite Valley Bikes
We spent the afternoon pedaling at bike speed around the whole valley. What a great way to slow down and really see a lot of ground in a short time. Guess where we are parked?

Yosemite Valley cooling off at the river
The Merced River. Talk about refreshing! Most people were drifting down on rafts but we decided to jump in and get wet. No kidding, it was perfect.

Yosemite Valley Half Dome at Sunset
One last shot at sunset of this massive granite rock that we have come to love. Half Dome in all its splendor…until next time.

Hope you enjoyed seeing a few of our adventures.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

11 thoughts on “Yosemite Trip: Summer 2010: Bears, Wildflowers, and A Cool River

  1. What beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing your travels!
    That bear is big! I can’t imagine being that close to one!

  2. Yosemite looks like a beautiful place. We hope to get there some day. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow! The scenery is breathtaking! I’m sure a jump in the river was perfect. Another inspiring post!

  4. Your pictures are beautiful! It looks like a great place for a vacation.

  5. Beautiful! I miss seeing the Indian Paintbrush from when I lived in Texas.

  6. Oh those Indian Paintbrush are amazing! So fun to see the milkweed in Summer and the corn blossom. I will show hubby those hikes for our trip coming up. I know we had planned to try the Glacier Point trail that circles around to Happy Isles. I could just smell the fresh air and feel the Merced’s icy cold refreshment! Thank you!

  7. You made some wonderful choices for hikes — definitely quiet spots most visitors don’t get to. I am partial to Yosemite myself & am lucky enough to have a family cabin in Wawona. I can’t get enough of it! 🙂

  8. Absolutely glorious! I remember Indian paintbrush from my years in the Uintas 🙂 My husband is from CA and it is our goal to get out there and do with our children what you are doing. Thanks for a mini vacation. Truly wonderful.

  9. A-MA-ZING!!!!

    Love, love when you share posts like this!

  10. Beautiful! You wouldn’t believe how my heart aches to see those things when I see photos like yours. And, I love that you do this as a family! How wonderful! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  11. What beautiful photos. We were there just over a month ago with our 3 and 7 year old.
    We had a wonderful time, but it was nice to see what it might be like in Yosemite without constant concern for their peril! It would be a much easier bike ride without a bike trailer too. Thanks!

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