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Traveling With Françoise Road Trippin’ to Yosemite National Park

Traveling With Françoise Explores Yosemite National Park

By Françoise Rhodes, Owner & Host of Traveling With Françoise Television and Radio

As CoachellaValley.com keeps us in the know about so many things, we sometimes forget the wonderful world of National Parks in our own California backyard.  After recently returning from an amazing trip to Yellowstone National Park, that trip brought back memories of my past trip to Yosemite, where the beauty is just as stunning and according to author Mark Twain a place where the air is “very pure and fine…it is the same the angels breathe.”  Granted these past few years Mother Nature has put Yosemite to the test with fires, rock & mud slides and flooding, but national parks tend to recovery quickly, so now might be the perfect time to go.

First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.

I found my fall trip to Yosemite to be breathtaking and different from my original memories of the wonderland I saw as a child…playing in trees, streams and collecting pine cones. Why was this trip different, because the journey began long before I got to Yosemite, it began in Madera County.

About six hours of drive time away from the Coachella Valley, Madera County awaits you with wineries, art galleries, museums and beautiful fields of vineyards.  Originally my focus was only on Yosemite, but by the time I reached the Pines Resort @ Bass Lake (where I stayed instead of inside the park), Yosemite was on the back burner while I enjoyed my spacious suite with lake and mountain views.  Surrounded by dense forests, the Chalet type experience at the Pines made me want to enjoy the lake with boating, sun bathing, relaxing and eating great food. Another plus, Bass Lake is only about 16 miles from one of the main entrances to Yosemite making the park easy to find.

However, I had one more stop before entering the park, and that was to experience an authentic steam locomotive four mile ride at the Sugar Pine Railroad. This family owned and operated business for over 50 years, had my eyes as wide as the children sitting next to me every-time the whistle blew and the conductor told us stories of the past. Great experience for the entire family.

I finally made it to Yosemite Valley where I quickly found out that one day is not enough; you definitely need a couple of days. The entrance fee is $35 per vehicle and the pass is good for seven days. The Park has 13 popular campgrounds, and some beautiful hotels/lodging. The hotels book quickly during the summer so make reservations.  Cell phone service is limited if any, but that only adds to the beauty of the experience.   Everywhere I looked I saw picnickers, hikers and outdoor adventurists; I’m picnicking next time for sure!

Since my three days went by so fast, I’m already planning my next visit to Bass Lake, and Yosemite……..All aboard the Sugar Pine Railroad!

To make the trip more manageable visit the Yosemite National Park web site  at  https://www.nps.gov/yose .

For more information about Traveling With Françoise visit TravelingWithFrancoise.com.

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