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15 June 2016 – Our first stop of the day was Mark Twain’s Cabin – it was on the way and we noticed the sign.  Not the original cabin, a recreation from the 1920’s on “Jackass Hill” where Twain stayed for little over 1 year.  It was there he wrote his famous short story about a jumping frog in Calavaras country.  

We jumped out for a quick look and then continued on our way.  The kids took note because we’ve been listening to the short story and visited Angels Camp the day before.  It is a great gem of Americana and certainly a famous location for American literature.

Mark Twain Cabin – a reproduction in the same area he stayed for a year

We reached Yosemite at 12 noon.  Not a short drive from anywhere.  It was another 90 minutes (with lunch break) to Glacier point.  It is about .25 miles from the parking area to the lookout.  Luckily we found a parking space, others had another mile walk from a secondary parking lot. 

From the point is the best view of the valley – over 8000 feet above sea level and 4000 feet above the valley floor.  The view is outstanding.

Welcome to Yosemite

You can see all of the major Yosemite sites: El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite river, and Yosemite falls.  The point is really crowded but the view is amazing and worth it.  Even better is the Panorama trail head which begins at Glacier point.

Family at Glacier Point – Half Dome in the background

From the trail the views are just as awesome but less crowded, a lot less crowded.  The hike goes over 8 miles to the valley floor 4000 feet below.  However, the hike is great at any distance and you can turn around at any point.  We went about 1.5 miles and then took a long rest to look over the valley before the calf-burning hike back up.  It took us a total of 3 hours and approximately 3 miles round trip.  We took a 10 minute rest and snack break half way through.

A rest and a snack on the panorama trail

Hiking on the Panorama Trail

While June is a bit early we did catch some wildflowers beginning to bloom

The kids had a great time, they always love hiking.  Giuliana slept in the kid carrier most of the way 🙂 The views were better than promised with both Half Dome and 3 waterfalls illuminated by the sun.  One of the most stunning views I’ve enjoyed on a hike.  Well worth it. It feels like the greatest cathedral in the universe.

Family on the Panorama trail – half dome in the background, Giuliana sleeping on Sergio’s back

Half Dome and Waterfalls – the neverending view from the Panorama trail