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sloopy
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2009
6427 posts

Yosemite National Park trip review
What an incredible place, everyone should see it at some point in their life. We caught the waterfalls during a great time due to their weather this past year. Besides the traffic heading into the park (expected due to Memorial Day weekend), the only negative was the bathroom situation. Bathrooms throughout the park were awful, imo (guess I’m not a communal bathroom person). We stayed in a tent cabin in Half Dome Village with no bathroom (location was great). If I were to do it all over again I would either get a cabin with a bathroom or backcountry camp so I don’t have to deal with smelling other people shite every time you walk into a bathroom. Porta potty throughout the park were equivalent to Mardi Gras or Jazzfest.

Day 1: hiked up to the top of Yosemite Falls about 7.5 miles round trip and 2,700’ elevation gain. Glad we did this on the first day, I think if we saved it for later in the trip our legs would have been shot. As flat landers, the hike was pretty tough, but nothing you can’t handle if in decent shape. Trail is switch backs most of the way and uphill. Had lunch at the top and enjoyed the views while drying out socks and shoes. Took us about 6 hours round trip. I would suggest starting early in the morning as the crowds build all day and there are limited places to pass if you get stuck behind someone slow.

Image: https://i.imgur.com/YLUnkNb.jpg

Image: https://i.imgur.com/1gd9Iiz.jpg



Day 2: rented bikes first thing in the morning to cruise around the valley. I suggested getting there right when they open to secure a bike. Rode over from Half Dome Village to Mirror Lake and did a short 2-3 mile easy hike to and around the Lake. Left the lake and cruised around the valley until we had lunch at the Majestic Hotel (talk about lunch with a view and also nice to have a clean bathroom). Second half of the day was spent driving up to Glacier point and hiking Sentinel Dome. It was about an hour drive from Half Dome Village to Glacier Point. There are multiple turnouts along the way to catch incredible views of the valley and surrounding areas. We first stopped at Tunnel View, which is one of the more popular picture spots in the park. The next stop was Washburn Point giving way to amazing views of the surrounding domes and waterfalls (Vernal and Nevada). After leaving there we headed to Glacier Point which is similar to Washburn, but looks at a different part of the valley (El Cap and Yosemite Falls). The last stop (heading back towards the valley) was Sentinel Dome and Taft Point. It is about a 2 mile round trip hike from the trail head to Sentinel Dome. I highly suggest adding this to an itinerary as it provided the best views of anywhere we visited in the park (definitely a great sunset hike). Keep your eyes peeled the whole drive into the meadows along the road for bears.

Image: https://i.imgur.com/isqCddc.jpg

Image: https://i.imgur.com/tysACuM.jpg

Image: https://i.imgur.com/bZkjcQo.jpg

Image: https://i.imgur.com/VzlCkhi.jpg

Image: https://i.imgur.com/z4nlH1A.jpg

Image: https://i.imgur.com/J2WfLgJ.jpg


Day 3: Hit the Mist Trail first thing in the morning to beat the crowds. This is a very popular trail and also the beginning for the Half Dome Trail. We had to leave this day so we hiked the trail to just above Vernal Falls and hopped on the John Muir trail back into the valley. I’d say this was about a 5 hour hike. With the weather this year I’d say it was more of a downpour than mist, but it was only for about 100yds of the trail near the bottom of Vernal Falls. On the way out of town we stopped at El Capitan to view some climbers doing crazy stuff, missed Alex Honnolds free solo by 3 days (I’ve been telling myself it was him practicing).

Image: https://i.imgur.com/g0HywmC.jpg

Image: https://i.imgur.com/V0xj7V6.jpg

Image: https://i.imgur.com/73kTyJp.jpg




Tips: I would highly suggest hitting trails first thing in the morning to beat the crowds. It is extremely important to stay hydrated (brought 4 liters of water per person each hike), but be warned there are not a lot of places to get off some of the trails to pee (rocky terrain with nor trees or bushes). There are numerous unmarked foot trails throughout the valley floor, pick some and just go! This is probably one of the best trips that I’ve ever taken, words and pictures can’t describe the beauty of the place. I will be back one day because there is so much more to do in the park. The only thing I would change is the bathroom situation, but we booked really late so everything was full.


steve123
Member since Jul 2011
768 posts

re: Yosemite National Park trip review
Great summary and pics - thanks! Gotta ask - is that a Griz in the pic? Sure looks like one but I didn't know they had them in YNP.


cubsfinger
Chicago Cubs Fan
Member since Mar 2017
757 posts

re: Yosemite National Park trip review
My wife and I returned Sunday from California. We were supposed to go to Yosemite but instead went to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. These two parks are about two hours south of Yosemite. These parks were kept up so nicely and had adequate bathrooms. The crowds were not thick and we got to see some amazing views. I would highly recommend anyone to go see these parks.


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20
PNW
Georgia Fan
Whitefish, MT
Member since Mar 2014
6042 posts

re: Yosemite National Park trip review
quote:

is that a Griz in the pic? Sure looks like one but I didn't know they had them in YNP.


Brown bears don't exist in Yosemite.


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HoustonGumbeauxGuy
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2011
17858 posts
 Online 

re: Yosemite National Park trip review


Will add to sticky later on tonight


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Tigris
Montana Fan
Fernando Poo
Member since Jul 2005
9948 posts

re: Yosemite National Park trip review
quote:

beat the crowds


That is the mantra for Yosemite. It's incredible, some of the greatest scenery in the world. And tiring in a way that wilderness should not be. And increasingly tiring for many of the other national parks too (Hello Yellowstone).

This isn't to be negative about Yosemite - everyone should see it, there is nothing else like it. But there are tremendous places that rarely get visited. One spot comes to mind in Eastern Oregon at an old WPA headquarters site that we fell in love with and had completely to ourselves. Not far from Bend. Eastern Washington is great too. And Nevada away from Vegas. And SE Arizona, and.. Go explore.


sloopy
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2009
6427 posts

re: Yosemite National Park trip review
No grizzlies in Yosemite.


parrotdr
LSU Fan
Cesspool of Rationalization
Member since Oct 2003
6702 posts

re: Yosemite National Park trip review
Great pics and great trip! One of my favorites ever. However, we were lucky enough to be able to the top of Half Dome--if you go back it's a MUST!

A bit harder now, as everyone needs a license for that day. It was a free-for-all when we went several years ago, but we hit the trail head at 6 am and got up there before most.


sloopy
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2009
6427 posts

re: Yosemite National Park trip review
We missed out on a permit, but the cables weren't up when we where there. They were delayed until June 2nd.


Clint Torres
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Oct 2011
1742 posts

re: Yosemite National Park trip review
The hike up the cables looks terrifying; how bad was it?


Gaston
LSU Fan
Dirty Coast
Member since Aug 2008
30116 posts

re: Yosemite National Park trip review
I went down the cables, after going up Snake Dike, when they were laying on the granite. That was a trip.


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auyushu
Auburn Fan
Surprise, AZ
Member since Jan 2011
6786 posts

re: Yosemite National Park trip review
quote:

That is the mantra for Yosemite. It's incredible, some of the greatest scenery in the world. And tiring in a way that wilderness should not be. And increasingly tiring for many of the other national parks too (Hello Yellowstone).

This isn't to be negative about Yosemite - everyone should see it, there is nothing else like it. But there are tremendous places that rarely get visited. One spot comes to mind in Eastern Oregon at an old WPA headquarters site that we fell in love with and had completely to ourselves. Not far from Bend. Eastern Washington is great too. And Nevada away from Vegas. And SE Arizona, and.. Go explore.


Yeah, I actually was extremely unimpressed with Yosemite when I went two summers ago. Part of that was due to all the waterfalls sucking due to the lack of rain that year, but it was mainly due to Yosemite being a watered down version of many other parks out west combined into one park.

I would have probably enjoyed it much more if I hadn't spent a couple days in Sequoia and King Canyon national Parks right before I went to Yosemite, and if I hadn't visited Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, and Monument Valley in Utah.

That plus the tiring aspect you mentioned, Yosemite is just way more of a hassle than it should be to get around, partially due to the crowds and partially due to it just not being particularly well run compared to say Zion.

So I would suggest hitting Yosemite before the crowds and before you hit the rest of the western parks myself.


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HoustonGumbeauxGuy
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2011
17858 posts
 Online 

re: Yosemite National Park trip review


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parrotdr
LSU Fan
Cesspool of Rationalization
Member since Oct 2003
6702 posts

re: Yosemite National Park trip review
quote:

The hike up the cables looks terrifying; how bad was it?


After spending HOURS in quite an arduous hike 8 miles up, you can't NOT climb that last 400 feet. I freaked a bit when I saw it, but it's not as vertical as it looks. (My 12 y/o son pushed me forward on it!). Well worth it once you're up there. Going down is another adventure as you can't see past the initial hump when you're up top.

Here's a couple of pics from my trek. First is the view up, then view down, then me at near the top of the cables. That's a 2007 LSU/OSU Natty T-shirt I'm wearing.






This post was edited on 6/8 at 11:39 am


Clint Torres
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Oct 2011
1742 posts

re: Yosemite National Park trip review
Nice; it's a bucket list experience for me. Need to make it happen.


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LanierSpots
Auburn Fan
Senior Sidewalk Fan
Member since Sep 2010
47380 posts

re: Yosemite National Park trip review
Great review...


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East Coast Band
Alabama Fan
Member since Nov 2010
40722 posts
 Online 

re: Yosemite National Park trip review
Yosemite is my favorite place on Earth.

There is quite a bit to do. As the OP posted his adventures, he lists all around the valley which is the prettiest, and sees about 95% of all the visitors, yet is only about 5% of the entire park. Many of the upper meadows are very nice, the sequoia groves should not be missed.
Not wanting to sound like a big time environmentalist, but I wished the Hetch Hetchy reservoir would be eliminated to bring the little valley back to its original beauty. It was often said it rivaled the scenery of the main Yosemite Valley, but now it's a big lake.


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parrothead
Alabama Fan
big salty ham
Member since Mar 2010
3033 posts

re: Yosemite National Park trip review
Can't wait to get out there next year. Some friends and I started planning a trip out to hike Half Dome in ~a year. Dates aren't set in stone just yet but I know campsight reservations open in January and applications for the Half Dome lottery open in March. Can't wait to get out in it and take it all in.


luvdatigahs
LSU Fan
Alameda, CA
Member since Sep 2008
2532 posts

re: Yosemite National Park trip review
Just went last week. We hiked up the four mile trail to glacier point, then around the panoramic trail, and down the mist trail. Although it was incredibly crowded on the valley floor and at the top of glacier point, the majority of the four mile trail and panoramic trail were not at all. Vernal falls part of the mist trail was also pretty crowded because that's the hike that the majority of the people do. The hike up the four mile trail was pretty exhausting (around 3200ft elevation, and climbing the entire 4.6 miles) but the views were out of this world, could see every landmark in the valley. Most people drive up to glacial point or take buses, but I would highly recommend hiking up there if you are in good to decent shape.


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TheIndulger
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2011
18492 posts

re: Yosemite National Park trip review
I went last month and hikes to the top of Yosemite falls. The views were incredible, but that was an absolutely brutal trail.

Yosemite is an amazing sight to behold.


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