Yosemite Park and Mammoth Mountains. Such names!
And even these names don’t properly represent the huge and overwhelming beautiness of this piece of nature.
Travelpeeps, welcome to our last episode of our US West coast Roadtrip – things to see in Yosemite park.
This time we drove from San Francisco through the Yosemite Park and Mammoth Mountains back to Las Vegas, the place where everything began…
San Francisco was really catching us with it’s easy and light charm & this perfect smooth weather.
But of course there was not only San Francisco, in total we had 6 main points where we stayed during our trip.
Our roadtrip stations
In total we saw/stayed in the following places (click to get to the post)
For Yosemite & Mammoth Mountain we actually planned to have one stop on the way between San Francisco and Las Vegas.
Pity that I didn’t really had the time before to check this place more in detail beforehand.
But therefore, we were then finally even more overwhelmed and impressed by seeing this!
Roadtrip through Wild West
We left San Francisco on 25th of June 2016 in the morning. It should take us around 6 hours to Mammoth Lakes right in the middle between San Francisco and Las Vegas.
But with all the stops for taking pictures and admiring Yosemite Park, it took us nearly double the time.
So we arrived pretty late in the evening already very tired to the Mammoth Lakes.
On the way we passed places like Groveland and we suddenly felt like being in a different time, Wild West Saloons and Cowboys, that was somehow really cool.
Have a look at this.
Wild bears are living here
Mammoth Mountain is actually a volcano area and fascinating wildlife area as well.
Birdie was really scared when she heard that there are actually Bears living in the woods and they even visit from time to time the cities for food in the garbage.
Locals told us that this is even pretty common and they were quite relaxed about it.
A good way to handle such a situation would be to make noise. Well then…
The day was for us as mentioned already over. We had so many fantastic impressions from our latest roadtrip now, which was at least so far the best of all, intensive & beautiful.
Things to see in Yosemite Park
We decided to explore the surrounding the next morning.
There was not really that much time, because we also had to make the other half of the track to Vegas the same day.
But the surroundings and the landscape of Yosemite Park were too tempting so we drove around, explored Lake Mary in the South of Mammoth Lake and the more we discovered, the more I got a bit sad and regretful that we didn’t plan at least one additional day in this area.
Mammoth Mountain is during the winter time a pretty famous skiing place, but also in summer time as we did – you have endless possibilities to spend there quality time.
Hiking, biking, golf, BBQ, camping, feel free to do whatever you want.
Check out more on the official webpage: http://www.mammothmountain.com/
Some guys from Los Angeles that spent the night in the same hostel as we did, told us they come to Mammoth Mountain whenever they are able to do so, since they feel fully recovered after a couple of days.
It was not really hard to believe this.
They also mentioned that they had quite some “dates” with bears as well. And yes, also here making noise is a good way to chase them off as they told us.
And indeed – on our way we maybe didn’t discover bears in nature, but their traces we saw.
Look at this tree, this was completely fresh, the tree resin just started to flow which means that a bear must have been here just a couple of hours ago…
Nevada desert & Death Valley
We decided then around lunchtime to head forwards to Vegas, since there was quite a way to go still…
So the last episode of our trip led us to Vegas, passing Death Valley and the desert area of Nevada, which was also pretty impressive for us.
The heat was nearly unbearable after a while, it was literally hot like hell.
Temperature this day was more than 40° Celsius and we drove with open roof.
We had to close it even after a while, because the heat was really merciless and while driving a car it is maybe not the best idea to get struck by the sun like this.
Otherwise there is not really much to describe. You see a lot of desert, rocks, stones, sand, grass and quite many small dead animals on the road.
Just the slight change of the landscape with time might be interesting.
You see a lot of cactus plants, “Engelmann prickly pear”, “Mojave prickly pear”, “Teddy bear cholla” and many others.
It became more interesting for us after we took the Highway 95 (Veterans Memorial Highway) towards Vegas on the Shady Lady Ranch, near the city Beatty where we discovered this cool old airplane wreck.
After this we passed some really nice places like Indian Springs, before we finally arrived in Vegas again, where everything started and now our roadtrip should end.
A meeting with the Highway Patrol
We stopped beside the highway to take pictures and sometimes I even just took a shot without leaving the car, overwhelmed by the sceneries.
And once it happened that a Highway Patrol just passed and immediately stopped behind us.
The officer stayed within his car for a couple of minutes.
Probably he was checking my car per radio and actually I was starting to worry a bit since I saw and heard quite many bad things about such situations when you are controlled by police officers.
Then finally the officer came to our car and asked whats going on, I told him we are just some tourists from Germany taking pictures of this beautiful landscape and he immediately was very kind and friendly, wished us all the best and went on his way.
This situation proofed similar to our whole stay in the US, that the people were amazingly friendly and supportive
That made our trip perfect, additional to all of our fantastic impressions we already had!
Back in Vegas
We were spending our last night in the Aria Hotel in Vegas, which was a really good choice and finally we spent the last evening with exploring Vegas again during the night.
Lets face it, this is actually was Vegas was made for.
Next day then the day has come.
Nearly three weeks of an amazing, overwhelming, perfectly fine happening roadtrip including Hawaii was over. We flew back to Berlin with millions of new impressions.
But we didn’t really had that much time to look back! Around one week later the next trip awaited us – a cruise to the Canary Islands including Madeira.
This will be the next part of our Summer vacation 2016, be prepared for sunshine & discovery vacation pretty soon.
Thank you, USA for such a beautiful landscape! Thank you US citizen for being so hospitable and supportive, you made our trip unforgettable perfect!
Your big fan – the travelling Birdie!
Dear reader, if you enjoyed reading our article we would be very happy about a small donation.
Thank you sincerely, Birdie & Hendrik.