The best views of the day were when we stopped and walked around Swinging Bridge, which allowed us to get some great shots in the afternoon sunlight.
Next we stopped at Sentinel Bridge and got our first good look at Half Dome.
This morning we had a leisurely breakfast before checking out of the hotel and heading down to the Mariposa Grove to see the giant sequoia trees. Normally at this time of year the Mariposa Grove Road would be closed, but since the first major snowfall hasn't happened yet we were able to venture in. As we entered the parking area it quickly became apparent that we were going to have trouble finding somewhere to park, We did three laps of the parking lot, but had no luck finding a space. Considering the amount of snow along the roadside and ice on the trails that may have been a good thing from a safety standpoint, but it was disappointing not to be able to stop and explore.
We headed back toward the Yosemite Valley and were able to enjoy the sights of the forest from Wawona Road in the daylight. We stopped once again at the Tunnel View with its amazing vantage point of the Yosemite Valley that includes El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall and Half Dome.
We did a quick drive through parts of the valley we didn't cover yesterday, including the Curry Village and Upper and Lower Pines campground areas before heading back to Yosemite Village to park and walk around. We explored the Ansel Adams Gallery, Yosemite Museum and Indian Village before grabbing a late lunch from the deli. Next we stopped at the Lower Yosemite Fall Trail, which had great views of both the Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls at its entrance. As we walked up to the viewpoint for the Lower Yosemite Fall I was somewhat shocked to see the number of people who were climbing up the large boulders in the creek to get closer to the fall, especially as it was starting to get dark and there was a lot of ice on the rocks and in the creek. I really hope no one fell in!
Our last stop before leaving the park was catching sunset at El Capitan. It was quite beautiful and peaceful as people stood in the meadow and watched the sunlight fade on the granite rocks. I couldn't think of a better way to end our two day Yosemite adventure.