Yosemite National Park (Trip 2, 2015)

After our stop in Sequoia, the next day called for another early drive into Yosemite. Staying in Fresno put us about 4 hours away from Yosemite Valley. We arose again before the sun came up and grabbed breakfast for the road. 

My first trip to Yosemite was with my parents when I was much younger so I don't fully remember my reaction to seeing the valley for the first time. I would imagine it's pretty close to how I feel every time I arrive though: awe-inspiring. I was anxious and excited for Krystal to see this place in person. As much fun as I had taking photos back in February and sharing them with her, the valley is still something that needs to be experienced in person. 

Tunnel View welcomed us at about 8a, or so. We continued on and took the Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls. After, we enjoyed a cold beer while watching Yosemite Falls' continuous dump of water before hitting the road again to Sacramento.

Sequoia National Park

In my continuing desire to be outside, a road trip to northern California required a stop in 2 places: Sequoia and Yosemite. In late April, Krystal and I planned to drive to Sacramento to visit her mom. Krystal had never seen either of these parks. In an attempt to fit a whole lot in a little bit of time, we made day trips to both.

Leaving San Diego in the early hours one Thursday, we made it to Sequoia by 10a. We planned to take a few hikes and drive through to Kings Canyon on our way out to stay in Fresno. It was a quick day trip that we fit a lot into: 1 waterfall, 2 hikes, 3 bear sightings, and plenty of Giant Sequoias. Below are a few photos.

Yosemite: Random Photos

I tried my best to bring my camera around with me everywhere. When you're without it is the time you wish you had it most. So, while carrying it on trails is (nearly) as important as bringing water to me, so is trekking around with it between my legs in the car, over my shoulder as we walk to dinner, and with a firm grasp around the lens as we stand around the car after a hike.

The trip was shorter than I wished it was so we didn't get to hike much more than what I have already shared. Below are a few of my favorite images from this trip that aren't necessarily trail-specific.

Yosemite: 4 Mile Trail

Arguably the most popular hike in Yosemite Valley is the 4 Mile Trail. In winter, though, there are far fewer hikers willing to brave the conditions to make it to Glacier Point - At least that's is the assumption. I would venture to say we saw about 15 others on the trail during this 6 hour hike.

The trail itself leads to Glacier Point. In warm months, you can actually drive to this lookout from the Valley. In winter, when the snow falls, the road is closed and you're forced to use your feet.

You begin in the Valley and gain about 3,200 feet. This is one of the  few hikes where the trail actually faces the valley for most of the hike. And the views are amazing. We are able to see El Capitan and Yosemite Falls until we hit Union Point. This is about the point in the hike when we were in the clouds for the remaining mile to Glacier Point. 

The biggest bummer: the view of Half Dome from this location is incredible and we were in the clouds with about 25 yards of visibility. Seriously, google "half dome from glacier point". I guess this just means I'll need to go back to try again.

Yosemite: Vernal and Nevada Falls

As I look back on these photos, I realize how much more the black and whites appeal to me. It could have been the gloomy weather (clouds look great with some deep contrast), but I still think the color leaves the commentary open to "what great colors" as opposed to "what a great picture". Anyways...

Our second day in Yosemite, we hiked Vernal Falls and continued the hike on to Nevada Falls. Still, the water wasn't rushing nearly as hard as I had seen it in past years but I think we're still a little too early in the year. Spring is when the rivers really rush. The hike to Vernal falls isn't very long, but it is steep. Steep, paved paths and steep stairs made of granite make up the Mist Trail. Once we hit Nevada Falls, we chose to take the John Muir Trail back down. It turns out the trail is less crowded when it is "closed due to icy conditions". We figured the sign and gate was a suggestion.