The staging location for south Yosemite is Oakhurst at the end of the Golden Chain in California, USA.
Oakhurst, California is a town of about 18,000 people in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains at the junction of Hwy 41 with the southernmost end of the infamous 'Golden Chain' Hwy 49.
This bustling California town which began it's rich historical existence in the 1850s as a stagecoach stop called Fresno Flats is the southwest gateway to Yosemite National Park.
Accommodation at Oakhurst Lodge is comfortable, well located, and complete with pool.
Following an excellent dinner at the nearby Di Cicco's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, return to accommodation discovers many fellow lodgers are here in Oakhurst to participate in a Show and Shine. Photos for Ken and Mike.
The impressive vehicles are meticulously maintained. Following supper, a stroll along Hwy 41 soon finds the nearby, historic Little Church on the Hill founded in 1894.
Strolling in the opposite direction finds a log cutting of a 2,000-year-old Giant Sequoia which was blown over by a winter storm in 1979.
The tree which had a 50 foot (15.3 m) circumference and weighed 900,000 ponds provides a hint of what will soon be experienced at Mariposa Grove, located in the south-west corner of Yosemite National Park.
From Oakhurst, hiking the south-west corner of Yosemite National Park and Yosemite Valley will make the daily commute a routine on Hwy 41 into Yosemite National Park.
At the Park Boundary, and entrance station, Hwy 41 becomes a twisting, turning, roller coaster ride known as Wawona Road. Much of Wawona Road is through dense forest or on scenic edges reminiscent of Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana.
Time is never taken to visit the always fully-booked Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad but every day it appears to be a wonderful place to visit and learn more about development of the area.
Lengthy Wawona Tunnel, between Oakhurst and Yosemite Valley, pops out at the very busy and scenic Tunnel/Discovery View before the short distance from the tunnel past Bridalveil Falls leads to the awesome and incredible Yosemite Valley.
Soon after arrival in Oakhurst, a kind lady reveals THE place to dine at the Sweet Water Steakhouse and Restaurant on Hwy 41, a short distance north of town. The food is consistently excellent, plentiful and reasonably priced.
The bourbon is good, it's a busy place and strangers speak to you. Down home.
If you are very fortunate, your server may be Chelsea who is enjoying her new beach with family in nearby Fish Camp, California.
Prices in the United States are significantly lower than in Canada. A new pair of light duty, Vasque hiking boots at Miller's Mountain Sports across the street from Oakhurst Lodge provides substantial savings.