Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Road Trip: 3 days in Yosemite National Park

photo credits to Matt Fonceca
It is good to finally be surrounded by refreshing greens after a ride in the Death Valley National Park, Nevada.

Wanna know about my experience to Death Valley? Click here

The Yosemite National Park is a 4-hours drive from San Francisco, hence a popular day trip destination among visitors to the Bay. However, if time is on your side, I highly suggest you to stay at least 3 days in Yosemite National Park for a chance to truly appreciate its splendor.

Mirror Lake, Yosemite. Photo from Flickr
We initially planned it as a 2 days backpacking trip, however as soon as we reach the park, we had a group meeting and agreed on extending the visit. Yeah, it was good and I'm glad we did!

Day 1: Settle down

Yosemite National Park
We did not had much time on day 1. After watching sunset, we found a picnic area to cook. Had a really nice dinner and hit the road. Driving in Yosemite at night is not laughing matter. Construction work started at night in the park and it was dark, really dark. We finally settled down at a backpacker campsite ($6 per person) at 1 a.m.

Day 2: Do a hike

Yosemite National Park

Endless photo opportunities and gorgeous view along the way. We stopped by a river for breakfast and morning stretches before the main event of the day.

We went to the Wilderness Permit Station to grab our permit (Chris registered online before hand) and 2 bear canister. This is a very crucial step because:
1. A wilderness permit is require for any backpacking activity.
2. A bear resistant food container "bear canisters" is your best bet to prevent bears from getting it's share of your food. Note that the counterbalance food hangs are no longer legal.... and you do not want your car to end up like this.
image via nps.gov
3. Come to hear about the rules and regulations from the ranger.
4. Fill up your water bottles

The hike up was hard for me I did not know why. I was gasping for air halfway up, however I don't find the trail strenuous, I even saw people in their 60s doing it. Maybe I was just drained from too much excitement for the pass 3 weeks! There were signs along the trail about recent sightings of mountain lions/ pumas, however, we did not see one (Thank God.)

Yosemite, half dome

We ended our hike with this stunning view of the Half-Dorm, and we even found a tree resembling the "Groot" from "Guardian of the Galaxy". Earn a free hug by saying "We are G-r-o-o-t!"
Yosemite trees

We spent the night on the mountain with a campfire.

Yosemite camping

Day 3: Swimming, Mirror Lake

Yosemite swimming
After a hike down from the mountain (which is way easier than going up), we wanted to have a dip in the water. We found a water hole just by the road and that was it. Funny story: Lady bugs refused to leave someone's pants alone.

Yosemite national park

Mirror Lake
Yosemite Mirror lake

From the backpackers campsite, you can either take the hiking trail at the end of the campsite all the way until you reach your destination, or turn into the paved road halfway down the trail.
It is a seasonal lake, although it was not in season, almost dried up, the water still manage to catch my reflection beautifully. It is worth the 1.2 mile-hike.
On our way back, we actually saw bear tracks! We had 2 choices: turn into the paved road or continue walking. We ran until we reach the campsite. (what if that was a Brown bear? We will be so dead.)

Yosemite Pizza Place
It was our last night in Yosemite. We had enough of camp food. Degnan's Loft is the only place nearby that remained opened at 8pm (It was located on the 2nd floor. We almost missed it.). We had some freshly baked pizza, really HUGE portion, generous amount of toppings and cheese, greasy but satisfying! Bonus: take a seat by the window for a great view!

Day 4: Saying Goodbye

Yosemite Falls

We went for one final ride around the area before biding farewell to this beautiful National Park. Viewed the Yosemite Falls.

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Thank You for Reading! 
This post is based on my opinion or personal experience. 
 Feel free to share your experience in Yosemite with me by commenting below!

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