In February of 2010 we spent a few days in Yosemite National Park, the first trip there for either of us. We stayed in Yosemite Valley, with trips to higher elevation to get to the snow. There was rain and wet snow and it was heavily overcast a lot of the time, but we also had some brilliantly clear weather too.

We rolled into the valley late in the night, so our initial impression was one of hulking shadowy darkness. The first thing I did in the morning was to open the shades and find a view of the Royal Arches.
On the first day, it snowed. We had a leisurely breakfast and spent a long time in the visitor center before driving around to see what we could be seen through the fog and precipitation.
Note the massive granite bulk of Half Dome looming in the background. I am assured that it is there. Maybe if you squint... By the way, this jacket hasn't been waterproof in many years.
The temperature dropped slightly when it got dark, and the snow started to stick to the trees in a wet slushy goop. Who cares! We came here for snow. You can just see three-hundred-foot-tall Lower Yosemite Falls through the gap in the trees. Upper Yosemite Falls, well over a thousand feet tall, is invisible in the fog. We had just arrived, so we didn't know what we were missing.
The trees in Yosemite Valley are primarily black oak, ponderosa pine, incense cedar, and Douglas fir. The long-needled tree here is a ponderosa pine.
The next day was stunning out, with blue skies and infinite visibility. We headed up to Badger Pass, strapped on snowshoes, and headed down the Ridge Trail toward Dewey Point.
Here the trail passes through a meadow. We broke trail the whole way, which was slow.
We didn't make it to the rim, and never got a view of the valley. Here we could just see the far side and Yosemite Falls. There is also a view of the high Sierra beyond. The return trip followed a well-beaten trail, so going back up was far faster than the trip down.
We managed to get an off-season rate at the marvelous Ahwahnee hotel (link is to a good exterior picture, not information). Everything in this room is huge; if you look carefully, you can seen that the tables are twice as long as a full-sized sofa and the lamp bases are the size of a man's torso.
The fireplace is large enough to stand inside. Note the iron chandelier, wall hanging, and painted beams.
This marginally smaller fireplace had a specially commissioned mural. The Ahwahnee was full of motifs inspired by Native American design, if not much like Native American design.
Taking advantage of continued dry weather the next day, we hiked up the Mist Trail. This is Vernal Falls seen from the bridge.
You-know-who standing on the bridge and looking up at the falls. Actually, she's looking at the camera, but she was looking up at the falls a minute ago.
There was enough snow and ice on the trail in spots to make it slow going. These alternated with stretches of bare trail, so even if we had been carrying crampons, they wouldn't have done much good. Some good hiking poles would have been helpful.
Did you notice him in the middle of the previous picture? The soft grey backs and creamy white bellies on the squirrels looked downright freshly laundered.
Shockingly, we could see Yosemite Falls from here, just like everywhere else we went. We are 3.5 miles away.
Hamming it up, trying to look like a lost hiker.
This is what we saw as we were leaving Yosemite Valley the next morning—clouds, fog, and greyness.
And it was raining. We went up to Crane Flat to hike to a small grove of sequoias.
Liz's waterproof jacket is still waterproof. We were at high enough altitude that there was lots of snow on the ground, putting us back in mandatory snowshoe territory. Luckily, trail had already been broken by a large group in front of us.
And we finally reached the sequoias.
All the other trees look like twigs, even if most are one or two feet in diameter.
Many trees were covered with staghorn lichen (AKA wolf lichen), mostly red firs, we were told. I think that the ranger said it was harmful to the trees, but I forget the details.
It was still foggy after our hike when we snapped this photo of the infamous El Cap.
Bridalveil Falls was roaring, like all the other falls we saw. This is a smaller falls, only 600 feet!
We had moved to Yosemite Lodge in the middle of our trip, which is more like a decent motel compared to the Ahwahnee. It does have a great restaurant and more then adequate cafeteria. From our balcony, we could see Upper Yosemite Falls. Our last day in the park was clear and brilliant, but we only had a half a day before starting the drive south.
As we climbed out of Yosemite Valley for the last time, we finally arrived at the canonical view with El Cap on the left, Bridalveil Falls on the right, and Half Dome in the center. The light was terrible for photography, but this was our only chance.
We did a ranger-led snowshoe hike leaving from Badger Pass. We saw this poor aspen that had been clawed by bears and drilled by yellow-bellied sap suckers (which are woodpeckers). The bears are believed to be marking territory. The sap suckers are eating the sap.
The ranger stopped the hike on the top of Badger Pass for an extended photo op.