After a long, winding (and extremely car sick) drive, we arrived in Yosemite. This is the place I’ve been dreaming of ever since I last visited with my family, ten years ago. I must have told Marc “we NEED to go” a hundred times since then. What really stuck with me was the sheer scale of everything, and the memory of being in Yosemite Village, and having to crane my neck all the way back to see the top of the Half Dome mountain I was at the foot of. I’m so glad after banging on about it all these years, it really is as awe-inspiring as I remembered.
We reached our first stop, Bridalveil Falls, around midday.
Ready for some lunch and running out of water/petrol/energy, we were told that the road into Yosemite Village was closed due to a fire.
We made the decision to head towards the south park gate, where there was a store and petrol, and to do a short walk around there instead of getting some cold beers, hiring inner tubes and floating down the Merced River like we had planned.
We fuelled up and set off to walk off the car sickness. The walk we did was the Wawona Swinging Bridge, and it was nice enough, but I’d probably choose a different route next time. It felt good to stretch our legs and have a little paddle after being in a hot car all day.
We opted for an Airbnb outside the South Park Gate in a town called Oakhurst, and I can’t recommend it enough. We could have camped or stayed in a cabin in Yosemite, but it was extortionately priced, and booked up long before we got organised. I loved the Airbnb, the views from our terrace were amazing and it felt like we were in the park, but without the threat of being woken up by bears and rattle snakes…
We picked up supplies and spent the evening watching shooting stars.
The next morning, we woke up early, packed a picnic and set off on our hour and a half journey into Yosemite Village. The hike we chose was The Mist Trail – Yosemite’s signature hike.
It starts off relatively easy, with a family friendly path, but gets more and more strenuous at each waterfall.
The final stretch is absolutely incredible, and Marc and I will remember it forever. You hike up steep, slippery steps, right next to the waterfall, and get drenched in the process.
As you turn back to look how far you’ve come, you see a rainbow right behind you.
It follows you, every step of the way.
Until you’re safely at the top of the waterfall.
No exaggeration, you look like you’ve been for a swim, you get wet through to your pants. But it’s 100% worth it. So. Much. Fun.
We were back down by 11:30am and sat on a big rock in the riverbed to eat our picnic and dry our socks.
Spot the people…
We had some work to get done (holidays are never the same when you’re self employed) so we decided to head back to the Airbnb mid afternoon and to make the most of our terrace (and the wifi).
You can’t really complain when this is the view from your office, can you?
If we had planned ahead a little better, I would have pre-booked the inner tubing down the river for straight after our hike. It would have been so peaceful and relaxing to do, but unfortunately it was fully booked up, and we didn’t bring our own. Definitely get that arranged in advance if you’re heading to Yosemite.
For our last morning in Yosemite, we heading out to Glacier Point. Marc had read about it being the best place for a panoramic view of the whole of the park. From up here, at the highest point, you can see the mind blowing scale of Yosemite. The drive up to the top is pretty hairy at times, but the view is unlike anything you’ve seen before…
We think the smallest waterfall in the bottom right is the one we hiked up. Madness.
This is the Half Dome, my favourite part of Yosemite. It makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, just looking at pictures of it.
Yosemite is such a special place to me, and has burned itself into my subconscious. I have nightmares about driving off the side of the mountains, but also dreams about floating down the Merced river.
Until next time, Yosemite.
Watch my vlog of our time in Yosemite below.