So far I’ve covered our time that we spent in San Francisco and Monterey, Carmel by the Sea and Big Sur. From Big Sur we headed on over to Yosemite National Park. We stayed in another Airbnb and had the most handsome of hosts…meet Riley:
Our actual accommodation was in Oakhurst, which was about a 20 minute drive from a gate to the park…and another hour from the main things that we wanted to see. Our first day we went on a hike to the top of Vernal Falls. It was hot in the sun but thankfully half of the trail was covered with shade from trees. Regardless, I was a sweaty mess within the first 20…errrr…10 minutes.
And getting to the top of the falls was definitely worth the sweaty hike. We found a nice rock in the shade and gulped down water and ate the snack bars we had packed with us. We could have continued the trail further to see another waterfall, however we wanted to make it to glacier point that same day so after we rested up we hiked back down…which was surprisingly challenging. I hadn’t realized how unnerving steep and slippery stairs would be on the way down.
I really liked glacier point. It was surreal to peer over at half dome and really see how massive and steep it is. I had looked into the hike up half dome, which includes an insanely steep mountaineering component, out of sheer curiosity. Props to anyone who has completed it. Just thinking about it makes me want to fall over.
Our second day in Yosemite we had wanted to go rafting but because of the drought the rafting season ended early and we weren’t able to do this. Instead we went to Yosemite Falls.
There is something about the mist from a waterfall that is beyond refreshing. After getting as close as we felt that we safely could, we retreated to a rocky area near the base of the falls and dipped our toes in the chilly water.
After Yosemite Falls we stumbled across El Capitan.
And of course we stopped at a beautiful lookout point that looked over Yosemite valley. Actually, maybe we stopped at this lookout point our first day because it looks like a storm was about to roll in. Anyways, El Capitan is on the left hand side in the middle and if you look very closely you can see Half Dome on the right hand side in the far back, peeking through all of the fog.
Mariposa Grove was closed for restoration while we were there so we decided to go to another grove to see the sequoia trees. We used google map directions and literally drove for one to two hours on horrific dirt roads, driving through puddles the size of miniature lakes just to stumble across another lovely couple who was also using google map directions and realized before we did that they lead to nothing. Thankfully they told us the correct directions and that we had to look for “shadow of the giants” instead of Nelder Grove. We finally found the sequoias and laughed at ourselves all night after we realized that we didn’t have to take the sketchy road that we did, lesson learned! The Sequoias were definitely worth the adventure we went on to find them though. Apparently they are the largest living thing known in this world, how insane is that?
The best part about staying in an airbnb was that after a long day of driving, hiking and sight seeing, we had a beautiful and comfortable home to relax in for the night. Our host was absolutely lovely and we had a camp fire one night with her while we all sipped away on some delicious wine.
And that, my friends, is a quick summary of our adventures in Yosemite National Park. From there we headed over to Oakland, Napa and the Muir Woods to wrap up our week in California. Stay tuned for those adventures!