Yosemite is stunning. T-Dub, The Rock and I headed out there Friday morning (its also a very pleasant drive) and couldn’t believe how beautiful it is. As you drive there, you climb up a steep road and then for about half an hour up around 4 or 5 thousand feet and then suddenly the valley opens up before you. The valley itself is at around 2000 feet, is long and flat with a beautiful river and filled with trees, meadows and some wildlife. On all sides the peaks rise up in cliffs, including El Capitan, a 3000-foot vertical cliff which is one of the toughest to climb in the world, Half Dome, and many others.
On Friday we checked out the valley and then headed over to the Mariposa Grove to see the Sequoias. On Saturday we hiked a 17-mile loop around and into the valley, beginning up at Glacier Point at 7200 feet, along the Panorama Trail (completely gorgeous), down and past Nevada and Vernal Falls as they dropped several thousand feet into the valley, along the valley floor, and then back up to Glacier Point along the Four-Mile trail. We had a short section on the John Muir Trail and were very happy that we had decided against Half Dome, the sheer number of people on the narrow and steep trail made it frustrating and slow going. I will have to do it when it’s not the peak season. As it was, we could not have selected a better route for both the hiking and the views.
On a side note, I can tell you, although I am still in decent shape, I can not describe how nice it was to be sitting in the hot tub with a few beers that evening. It was definitely one perk to not being able to get a campsite.
I’ll try to post pics once I download them.