A day off is a prized day in which one may stay home or travel around the world.
Sunday, July 8, 2018
Celestial Fireworks. The Milky Way viewed from Olmsted Point Photo by Steve Montalto/HighMountain Images
Summer is in full stride complete with warm temps and more folks out and about in the area. Good news is that there is so much to do here, from wine tasting to rock climbing and yes, to star gazing, that there are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself this summer season. As always, if you have questions or are looking for information or ideas, please don't hesitate to contact us. Helping you make the best of your visit to Yosemite's Southern Gateway is what we are all about!
Enjoy a selection of fantastic activities below. For a full list of events, deals and great activities please visit our website.
Fireworks and moving boats at this year's July 4th Celebration
The lake is full and the weather has warmed up. If you are looking for a place to hike, boat or just plain relax and beat the heat, there really isn't any better place to be! Add to that there's an abundance of activities and events on tap. July 4th is in the books, but there is much to celebrate at the lake!
You can find a good listing of activities and events please click HERE.
Explore Bass Lake All Seasons
Summer... one of the great times to be at the lake! Watch how one family adventures around the lake. Watch Here
JUDI'S JAUNTS - The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia
by Judi Hussain
The Grizzly Giant - the grove's most famous tree
The Griz has been my friend for more than 20 years, since my first visit to Mariposa Grove, way back when. So our reunion, on June 14, 2018, was emotional and a bit bittersweet. Formally known as the Grizzly Giant, the Griz is the Grove's most famous resident and the largest tree accessible to visitors. At nearly 30 feet in circumference and 209 feet tall, its presence is magnetic. One of its southside branches, at 7 feet in diameter is larger than the trunk of any non-sequoia tree in the Grove. Scientists place its age between 1,800 to 2,000 years, and it ranks as the 25th largest giant sequoia in the world.
Think of the history the Griz has seen.
The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, just inside the south entrance to Yosemite National Park, closed for a proposed 18-month renovation in May 2015. It reopened to the public on June 15, 2018, a span of just over three years. For locals it served as a homecoming; for new visitors it proved eye-opening, if not a little challenging.
The overwhelming consideration for this renovation was to preserve and strengthen these magnificent Gentle Giants, whose survival was being threatened by asphalt covering roots and tram traffic unsettling them. The roots of giant sequoias, for all the trees' massive size, are shallow and quite spread out, so human interaction at too close a distance can cause them to topple. All of the asphalt except where absolutely necessary for maintenance access has been removed and replaced with boardwalks and non-asphalt paths which take advantage of the natural terrain. Wetland habitat has been reclaimed, and trams have been removed from the grove altogether.
Free shuttle bus takes you from the Welcome Plaza (shown here) to the Arrival Plaza
How visitors gain access to Mariposa Grove has changed. Instead of driving to the grove and parking among the trees, visitors will
now drive to a Welcome Plaza, with parking for 300 cars. They will then board shuttle buses to carry them 2 miles to an Arrivals Plaza, where the Grove visit begins. Shuttles run daily during the summer from 8 am to 8 pm. Make sure to time your visit to accommodate catching the last shuttle of the evening at 8 pm, otherwise you face a walk of 2 miles, some of it in the dark, back to your car.
Beginning of the The Loop Trail - in what used to be the old parking lot
Some amount of walking is required from this point. An easy 0.3 mile loop meanders through a lower area with giant sequoias and other flora. When we visited, western azaleas bloomed in profusion, and their fragrance wafted through the forests along with the scent of incense cedars. This trail, designed handicap-accessible, including wheelchairs, works for non-hikers, too. The Park Service has placed a bench, tilted to enable visitors to easily view the top of the giant tree there, which offers a tranquil respite.
For those with handicap placards, very limited parking spaces and bathrooms can be accessed on a paved road near the Grizzly Giant. Visitors must still walk a short distance to view the Griz up close or to visit the California Tunnel Tree, directly behind the Griz.
The loop trail to the Grizzly Giant proves a bit of a challenge, with a round-trip walk of about 2 miles. At 5,000 ft in elevation and climbing up possibly another 500 feet, this may prove strenuous to those not accustomed to altitude or to walking distances. Gauge your abilities and turn around if necessary. I made it with no issues, but I did feel the jaunt--more than I expected.
There are several additional hiking trails in Mariposa Grove for experienced, fit hikers.
Other caveats: In an effort to be ecologically responsible, the welcome center at Mariposa Grove does not sell disposable water bottles. There are water fountains at both the Welcome and Arrival Centers to fill bottles you have brought with you or refillable bottles sold there. No more water is available throughout the Grove, so plan wisely for what you'll need during your trek. Overestimate. The days have been hot--it is the middle of summer, after all. Wear a hat, take sunscreen and possibly bug spray. Hiking poles are helpful, if you have them.
I didn't expect to be as impressed with the renovations as I was. The planning and execution, to the modern bathrooms with flush toilets, to the eco-friendly walkways and the careful thought as to where to place them to maximize the visitor experience, is superb. The Grove is now tranquil with a peacefulness not available in the old space. I'm willing to bet (and will find out for myself soon) that a hiker can easily follow the John Muir adage: ""And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul."
Bass Lake LIVE
July 6th & 20th
August 3rd, 17th and 31st
Bass Lake LIVE summer concert series continues to bring great music and more to the lakeside this summer. Come enjoy this great and family-friendly event with live music, bbq buffet & drinks (purchased separately) & family games. Five events remain through July and August.
The 59th Annual Mid-Sierra Loggers Jamboree on July 7, 2018 and July 8, 2018, located at the North Fork Recreation Center, pays tribute to the loggers of time past and those still keeping the tradition alive today. Participants in the Jamboree help us appreciate and honor the loggers' craft and hard work, while keeping us entertained throughout the competition.
Chowchilla presents the 2018 Music in the Park Summer Concert Series
July 12th, 19th and 26th
Three more opportunities exist to enjoy the experience of live music filling the air in downtown Chowchilla this summer. City of Chowchilla "Music in the Park" Concert Series are FREE shows presented at Veterans' Memorial Park on Thursday evenings from 7:30-9:00pm. Performances will be presented on the on the new Barragan Family Performance Stage.
Hike the Graveyard of the Giants Trail in Nelder Grove with local expert, historian and author Brenda Negley and Forest Service recreation specialist Cori Hayth. The hike is 6 miles round trip: moderate to strenuous but with many stops along the way. This is a hiking tour to observe impacts, fire ecology, and recovery of the vegetation in Nelder Grove after the Railroad Fire of 2017.
Fäsi Estate Winery kicks off their 2nd annual Summer Concert Series on July 14th! There is limited seating at Fäsi Estate Winery, so feel free to bring lawn chairs or picnic blankets with you to ensure your comfort during these events. Entry is free. Food trucks will arrive at 5pm.Live music begins at 6pm.