Yosemite National Park: Day Five

Day five was our last day in the park and had us transferring up to the Tuolumne Meadows. I really wish I had spent some more time in this part of the park and to be honest it really was the feature of the High Sierra Mountains. I will plan a trip again in a few years to hit up this section of the park. 

Much of the meadows are still covered in snow through early July so this time of the year is the prime time to hit up the meadows. Their altitude is right around 8,600 feet. The high temperature was in the low sixties with a low in the low thirties at night. 

Since we only had half a day to spend in this part of the park we basically focused on tow areas. We hiked up the Lembert Dome to view the entire area and then went to check out the meadows themselves and hiked over to the Soda Springs and the Parsons Lodge, which was a lodge built by the Sierra Club for their meetings. 

Overall a satisfying hike, but I can see that there are some amazing day hikes in this area that I want to do in the future. 

Overall Yosemite was wonderful. A bit more crowded then I had hoped, but I did sort of go during the peak of tourist season though. 

You can see all of my photos over at Flickr

Yosemite National Park: Day Four

Day four had Megan and I splitting up. Her feet had given up on her so she did a photo walk with the Ansel Adams Gallery. I decided to do my big hike for day which included the Four Mile Trail (which isn't four biles), the Panorama Trail and then back down the John Muir Trail. I think my total distance was around 16 miles. 

The Four Mile Trail was surprisingly brutal on the way up. I was unprepared for the steep switchbacks on this trail and being that it was late in the week, but legs just didn't have a lot in them. On the trail though I met a lot of interesting people and ended up chatting with a group from South Carolina, Philadelphia and Wisconsin. Ironically the group from South Carolina had an extra permit for their Half Dome hike the next day and they offered it to me. Unfortunately, I was leaving the valley the next day and even if I wasn't I think my legs were too far gone to do the Half Dome. 

We actually finished off the evening by grabbing a nice chair and table at the lodge in Curry Village and playing some Hive while eating some huge ice cream sundaes. 

You can see all of my photos over at Flickr

Yosemite National Park: Day Three

Our third day in the park was our first full day in the Valley. This would have been my day to do the Half Dome, but I unfortunately was unable to obtain a permit to do the hike. What we did instead was hike up the Mist Trail to the Vernal Falls and then ultimately the Nevada Falls. These were both pretty rigorous hikes, but the first portion of the Mist Trail was paved for the first mile or so. I was actually pretty amazed at how many people I saw who seemed unprepared for the hike, wearing sandals and tank tops. 

We ultimately made it up to the Nevada Falls and there was a really nice pool at the top of the water fall to cool our feet off. On our hike down we decided to take the less steep John Muir Trail. This was brutal for Megan and the trip  took quite a while down since it really bothered her knees. 

We also visited the Awahanee Hotel, which is the beautiful hotel in the valley that everyone who has money stays at. 

That evening we went on the stargazing tour, which put us on a bus from the valley back up to Glacier Point. Yes, I did go there a lot. The star gazing tour featured a great tour of  the night sky. We were only able to stay until about 11:00, but you could just barely begin to see the Milky Way coming out. I wish we could have stayed until 2-3 AM though when the Milky Way really comes out. 

You can see all of my photos over at Flickr

Yosemite National Park: Day Two

Day two in the park had us transferring down to Yosemite Valley. My initial intention on this day was to drive down to the valley and then hike up to Glacier Point. After looking at some maps and seeing some recommendations I noted that it would be quicker for us to just drive up to Glacier Point since it was on our way. This ended up being the ideal solution, especially since Megan's blisters were bad. We were able to get to Glacier Point fairly early in the morning and avoided most of the crowd. We were not disappointed by the view. 

Next, on our way back down the mountain we stopped by Taft Point and Sentinel  Dome. Both of these hikes were very light, approximately 1.1 miles each and both again rewarded us with some great views. They were well worth the hikes and probably my favorite parts of the trip. 

That evening we may our way into the Valley and then checked into Curry Village, with three nights to be spent in the Valley.  

You can see all of my photos over at Flickr

Yosemite National Park: Day One

Finally I have had the opportunity to get all of my photos uploaded online from my trip. 

The first two nights in the park we spent at the Wawona Hotel. This was a gorgeous hotel that was built around the turn of the last century. It had a really nice quaint  feel to it and it was one of these places that it is surprising that there was even electricity. It all made for a really quiet experience though. Everyone had the windows open to their rooms and all of the guests were out and about in Adirondack chairs. 

Our first full day at the park was at the Mariposa Grove. This is the most famous grove of Redwoods in the park. We decided to hike the ~6 mile trail from the hotel to the grove. In retrospect I would not have done this again and I would not recommend people to do this in the future. It was not a particularly scenic hike and unfortunately Megan got some major blisters on day one. In the future I would just recommend people to take the shuttle and spend their energy instead hiking up to the vista point in the Mariposa Grove. 

The Wowona Hotel also had an excellent dining room and we had two very nice dinners while were staying there. I had pot roast and trout on each of the nights and the second night I had pine nut pie for dessert.

You can see all of my photos over at Flickr

Yosemite National Park

This past week I spent a wonderful time in Yosemite National Park. I have hundreds of photos to sort through so I will hopefully get those up as daily posts later this week. We brought along an old Olympus OM-1 on on this trip so I am waiting for 10 rolls of film to be developed. I hope they turn out because it was a ton of fun shooting with that camera. 

Overall I had a really enjoyable time on this trip, but I was not in love with the volume of people in the park. I guess it isn't that surprising really, but there were people everywhere, especially in the valley. Megan had a tough time of it hiking, too. She had blisters on her feet after day one. She suffered through it the best she could and we ultimately got to see some great areas of the park. I think I definitely want to go back in the near future and hit up the Tuolumne Meadows. We unfortunately only were there for half a day and that honestly looked like it was one of the more interesting sections of the park in the High Sierra.