Yosemite National Park is home to some of the most scenic and spectacular hikes in the world. Over 3.5 million visitors travel from all corners of the world every year to marvel at the waterfalls and hike the famous trails of the 3rd oldest national park in the United States (Established October 1, 1890). With over 800 miles of trails you are sure to keep yourself busy. Most visitors head straight for Yosemite Valley, but there are many great hikes in Wawona, Tuolumne Meadows and the Hetch Hetchy as well. The park's elevation ranges from 2000ft to 13,114ft (600m to 4,000m), stretching from Giant Sequoia groves housing 200ft trees over 2,000 years old, to breath-taking valleys carved by glaciers, and home to the highest waterfall in America, to alpine meadows filled with rivers, lakes, and wildflowers. Half Dome and El Capitan rise from the central glacier-formed Yosemite Valley, as does Yosemite Falls, North America's tallest waterfall. Three Giant Sequoia groves and vast wilderness are home to diverse wildlife. Tuolumne Meadows is a great area to visit to get away from the large crowds in Yosemite Valley. This area is a few thousand feet higher than the valley and may take some time before becoming completely acclimated. Wawona is in the south western part of Yosemite National Park and is much less visited compared to the Valley. There are several highlights of this area including the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia which was protected by Galen Clark 150 years ago and is home to over 300 massive Sequoias, some of the largest and oldest trees in the world still alive today.
Did this hike in one shot. Started at 5:30am. We bypassed the Mist Trail since we have done it multiple times and went through the John Muir. Also, to conserve energy. It adds two miles to the trip but it is faster. The satellite dome before half dome is all steps and is more difficult than the actual cable climb. I recommend good shoes with grip when climbing the cables and also some good gloves. At the cables it is all purely arm and grip strength. I found that going down using one cable with body weight against the cable was very easy. It got a little busy on the way down I just went underneath the cable and walked down the side where there is no wood planks but still holding cables. All worth it!
Cut your toenails
Hydrate 48 hours in advance
Eat a high carb dinner the night before
Take an extra pair of socks
Get an early start
July 2015 // Ugh! That 1 mile, 1000 ft elevation gain section of the trail was tough!!! But the lakes are beautiful. You have to trek a little ways off trail to get to the second lake but it's worth seeing. There's an island swimmers can swim to. For a day hike, I'd recommend packing energy dense snacks for the hike and an extra hefty lunch to enjoy at one of the lakes. And definitely bring a water filter to refill your water packs for the trek back down. So glad I brought a big lunch because I was starving by the time we got to the third lake even w snacks along the way. By the way, if you fish, check out lake #3. Hubby caught 10 brookies in one hour! LOL. And we saw a peregrine falcon circling over lake #3. What a majestic bird. That was a treat to see.
Fairly easy trail, get there early because parking fills up!
The trail is easy enough, getting to the top of the dome looks a little intimidating to some but it's much easier than it looks. The view is AMAZING at the top. Take your time if you aren't used to the altitude, it really hits you here! My boyfriend and I did this hike and then followed the trail to Glacier Point. We ran out of time from doing that trail so didn't go to Taft Point, plan to tackle it next time.
Thrilling day hike! The ascend up the subdome was the most difficult part of the hike for me. The cables, not as intimidating as I expected. Upper body strength is what will get you to the top. Coming down them was a bit more difficult for me. Overall, great hike with a rewarding view halfway through.
Make sure to have a headlamp and/or flashlight. You will either start the hike in the dark or end it in the dark.
There are a lot of bees on the trail. I was stung by two. We also saw a scorpion on the trail as we were finishing up.
This is a fantastic hike! Mostly flat to start, then a few sets of switchbacks. The last 1/4 mile is a little scary if you're not into heights, you hike along a slim ridge before you get to the end, but it's worth it for the view.
If you can catch it, there's a point in the fall where the trees that line the valley's walls will be yellow on the edges, but green in the center, because the outside ones insulate the inside ones from the cold. Glorious.
This hike was amazing. My boyfriend and I did it over 3 days, our favorite camp being under Fletcher peak near Vogelsang. The trek out of the meadow after Ireland Creek junction is definitely a lung-buster but so very worth the effort. When you come up and over the mountain there is a small unnamed lake before Evelyn which we loved!! This lake deserves a proper name! October was a great time to hike, the days were cool enough and with enough layers the nights weren't too bad. Plenty of green left and some beautiful changing colors. Would do it again in a heart beat.