I visited Yosemite as part of my sponsored trip with Intrepid Travel. It's somewhere I wouldn't have ever thought to go by myself but it was part of the trip package that I picked which was the Wild Western and you have no idea how glad I am to have visited this place!.
Yosemite was the 2nd to last place we visited after Las Vegas and Before San Fransisco. Being book-ended by such iconic cities it definitely feels like it would be easy for Yosemite to get over shadowed but for me it definitely held it's own.
Yosemite is a huge place so our very first day was taken up by the initial drive into the park to the trail with the Wawona tree. This is the famous tree that you can drive through! Look at this picture I took of it
Next we made our way to Tenaya Lake. This is a stunning place as you can see from the picture below. Unfortunately, it was freezing! But this didn't stop us from getting into swim suits and running into the lake. We definitely weren't going to let the weather stop us from saying we swam in a lake at Yosemite. We ate lunch at the lake before getting back in the van so our tour leader Drew could drive us to his favourite place in the park. This meant another long drive through the parks twisting roads which provided us with some spectacular views!
This special place we where being taken too was Tunnel View and it is an iconic view point. For any of you with an Apple Mac you may recognise this place as the default background of the mountains with the sun set reflecting onto the rock? if not you can google it to see exactly which image I mean. I got some of my favourite pictures from my whole 4 months in America at Tunnel view it is just so incredible as you can see from the pictures below!
We then drove to our camp ground where we would be staying for 2 nights. This is where Yosemite showed us how harsh it can be. I was there in early September and the temperature at night was way below freezing. We slept 4 to a 2 person tent to try and share body heat because it was that cold. We slept in multiple layers as well as stuffing our sleeping bags with clothes as insulation. So be warned, make sure you are prepared for the weather.
On our second day everyone was up early for our tour leader to drive us to the tourist centre so we could all choose our hiking routs, as me and a fellow traveller Rachel had already decided we wanted to do the Mist trail up past Vernal Falls to Nevada Falls we stayed in the van to be dropped at the village square closer to the trail. Luckily day time temperatures in Yosemite are a lot kinder as you can see from the image below, definitely t-shirt and short weather for hiking!
The trail itself was amazing so many beautiful sights first the 2 waterfalls are incredible and you are able to hike right to the top of both and look over the edge. There was no better feeling that turning a corner and seeing the water cascading over the top and then no worse feeling than looking up and thinking oh no we've got to get to the top of that as you might be able to see from the image on the right below! The hike was very challenging partly due to the uneven surfaces meaning we often had to scramble up steep inclines on hands and knees, as well as tackle huge 'steps' made out of massive blocks of stone. The last mile or so up to Nevada falls was especially brutal as you zig zag up the side of the mountain and feel like you're getting no where.
However the views from the top are spectacular as you can see from this photo!
After we finished our hike we headed back to the Village Square to relax before meeting with our group to get dinner, we opted for pizza! It was then back to camp for an early night before heading out for San Fransisco the next morning
Have you been to Yosemite? If you have what did you think of it? Or if you've not would you like to?