Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yosemite National Park, Part 1

Hello, hello!

I finally uploaded my photos from our weekend trip to Yosemite, however, I've decided to break them up in to two separate posts because I have so many I want to share! 

(BTW: All the pics in this post are SOOC (straight out of camera)--so no editing...mainly because there are just wayyy too many of them and I didn't feel like bothering with it...)

We left for Yosemite on Friday after work, and decided to take our Jeep Wrangler so we could drive without the windows since it was such a nice day. After strapping Lola in with her harness/seatbelt to make sure she wouldn't jump out, we were on our way! 

Where are we going??




She is honestly so crazy looking...but we love her :)
 
She looks so ridiculous riding in the car, I couldn't resist snapping tons of photos. 

The drive to Yosemite is really pretty and there were great views of the Sierras along the way. 






Once we got in the park, our first stop was the Olmstead Point overlook. The rock formations in the park are just breathtaking! 



Just stretchin' in a national park, nbd.





We drove around Yosemite Valley before heading to our hotel, and decided to take the top off the Jeep to get better views. Driving through the valley is really amazing because you feel so tiny in comparison to all the giant cliffs! One of the reasons we decided to go to the park at this time of year was because we had heard that late April/May was the best time to see the waterfalls in full force, as some of them tend to dry up in the summer. I'm so glad we went this past weekend because all the waterfalls were roaring!

First views of Half Dome!
This is what your hair looks like when it's windblown from riding in the Jeep...and then you fall asleep for part of the trip...lovely. Not.

Bridal Veil Falls
El Capitan


Umm guys? Where did the roof of the car go?

The things you people put me through...

It started getting dark and it was pretty windy...but never fear, hubby brought his night vision goggles...ha. They keep the stuff out of his eyes when it's too dark for sunglasses...only Cam.
Views from the Jeep!
Once it started to get dark, we headed back to our hotel for the night. We stayed at a hotel in Oakhurst, CA which I booked because when you Google "Yosemite Hotels" it's what comes up. However, Oakhurst ended up being about 90 minutes from Yosemite Valley (where a lot of the main hikes/sites to see are), so I personally don't think it's the most convenient location. Yosemite is big, so next time we go we'll definitely be camping inside the park instead.

Saturday morning we got up bright and early and headed back to the park to do a hike. We decided to hike to the top of Upper Yosemite Falls, as we heard it was one of the best (and most strenuous) hikes in the park that offered great views. The hike itself was supposed to be 7.6 miles round trip with a elevation gain of 2,600 feet which is about the height of two Empire State buildings! Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in the United States, so we thought it would be a neat thing to hike to the top of! (Also, we probably hiked an extra mile because the first part of the trail was flat and seemed to be going in the wrong direction, so for the first half mile I kept asking Cam if we were going the right way because I was convinced we were on the wrong trail...so we walked the half mile back to check the map, and it turns out we were going the right way...whoops!)

There were lots of friendly deer in the park

Getting ready to hit the trail...


First view of the falls...
We were headed all the way to the top of the upper waterfall...it's crazy high!
This was after we had already walked an extra mile because I was convinced we were going the wrong way...ha. Ironically, the guy who took this photo for us was a U of M grad and we ran into so many Michigan people on the trail! Cam always likes to wear Michigan stuff when we're hiking because it's a great conversation starter and so many people we passed kept saying "Go Blue!"



The valley was a little hazy in the morning on way up...but the light was much better coming down!




Almost there!
The hike itself was pretty intense, and the switchbacks on the trail seemed never-ending. There were incredible views of the Valley and Half Dome during the climb, and it was really breathtaking once you got to the top.








From the top, we walked down to the falls overlook point (which was actually pretty steep climb to get down there!), and it was really cool to see the rushing waterfall from the top.



Me trying not to fall!

The hike down was a lot tougher for me than the hike up because I was really feeling the impact from the hard granite on my knees and hips. But the light was so pretty on the way down and so we snapped a few more pictures before we made it to the bottom.









Overall, it was an awesome hike and I'd highly recommend it if you're visiting Yosemite! Well that's enough pictures for today, I'll be back with part 2 tomorrow (yes, there's more...)! Have a great day everyone! Xoxo

7 comments:

  1. Such great pictures!!! That hike sounded intense! But I bet a very cool experience!

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  2. You took some stunning photos! When I was there I also did the upper falls hike and remember the beginning of the trail being kind of weird. I think my dad actually started driving up it on accident because it sort of looks like a road, ha! There's something so magical about Yosemite :)

    xxx
    Jenna

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  3. Aunt Deb...in IdahoMay 23, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Where was Lola while you hiked up?

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  4. Gorgeous photos - I can't believe those falls!

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  5. Looks like an awesome trip!! I still can't believe Ryan hasn't been before. We need to go stat!

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  6. This looks so glorious! TAKE ME WITH YOU!

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  7. Wow, looks like a great trip! Can't wait for Part 2!
    I'm glad we're not the only ones who takes the dogs everwhere with them. Thanks for the seatbelt tip too, I'm excited to get them ordered!

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Your sweet words make my day! :)

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