Monday, October 27, 2014

Panorama trail to Yosemite Valley floor

I think the best hike we did during our stay was this hike.  Panorama trail starts high above the valley floor at Glacier Point.  The plan was to take a shuttle up to Glacier point and hike our way down to the valley floor where we would leave our car. 

Since we had to commute from Tuolmne meadows camp site we woke up early and hopped in the car before the sun was up.  Took the hour drive down to the valley floor and took a shuttle up to Glacier point by 8am.  We didn't start the hike till about 9 because when we got to the top the view was jaw dropping.  Half Dome was directly in front of us and Yosemite Valley floor was way down there. 

The start of the hike was a few switch backs and some contouring down to Little Yosemite Valley.  The first waterfall we hit was Illiouette falls.  We stopped at an overlook before we hit the stream bed.  The waterfall was trickling because it was so late in the summer but, that was ok.  We headed down to the stream bed and took a long break, ate lunch and took a dip in the cold river water.  It was really refreshing! 

After lunch and a break we had to do the hardest part of the trail.  We had to gain a little elevation.  It was difficult for us because we were already so high up, us Hawaii people aren't used to hiking at elevation.  Huffing and puffing we finally hit a high point and the trail kind of leveled off.  The next stop was Nevada Falls.  Just under a half mile off the main trail it was worth a visit.  We were greeted by hoards of people.  Chilling under and over a bridge and in the stream so close to the edge of the waterfall.  It was a little disconcerting to see people so close to the edge just to get a picture. 

After Nevada Falls we were feeling a little tired but we made our way down to Vernal Falls overlook.  After about an hour of hiking we hit the stream that Vernal falls gets it's water from.  We took a break there for some photos and water.  There were more and more people the further we got down the trail.  We were all getting tired and hungry.  Before we got to the bottom we all agreed to shower and eat in Yosemite Valley.  Dinner was pizza! 

On the Mist Trail we saw the bottom of Vernal Falls, a big pool that people were swimming in.  It looked inviting but it would have made us late for pizza!  We booked it down the trail and headed to Curry Village. 

The trail we took today was a good day hike.  A solid 8 mile one way hike.  If you have questions ask here! 

I could have stayed here all day and watched this view. 

Heading down a few switchbacks through pine trees. 

Sick views of Half Dome. 

Jenny and Katie blazing their way down the trail. 

Illiouette Falls

Looking down.  

Cooling down.

The top of Nevada Falls.

Deep blue pool made it look inviting but one fumble on this slick granite could prove fatal.

Nevada Falls and a barely visible rainbow. 

Bet these fall colors would be epic if it were later in the year. 

Twins were loving the view!

Vernal Falls overlook. 

Christian taking a break and using the tripod for the stream shot.

The pool was inviting but the pizza was calling my name. 

Panorama trail to Valley floor from Ryan Chang on Vimeo.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Yosemite National Park

We headed to Yosemite National Park after spending a few days in Mammoth.  We took the Tioga pass entrance into the park which is usually closed during the winter and spring time because of snow.  The drive up was beautiful passing huge granite walls and kettle and tarns (lakes formed during glaciation).  The first thing was to check into our camp site and set up. 

We had reserved permits for tent camping in Tuolmne meadows months in advance.  We checked in and gave us camp site "G" at first.  We had heard from previous people that camped there to try and get an "A" camp site.  Unfortunately we wasted some time setting up and breaking down our camp site and finally settling in at an "A" camp site.  Even though it was crowded there, we had a big stream to hang out by and much better scenery.  I highly suggest getting an "A" campsite over others.

After setting up we enjoyed checking out the river and going over to Tenaya Lake to fish a little.  At sunset we hung out at Olmstead point for pictures.  The sunset colors on half dome were a cool pink color.  That night was the only night we cooked for dinner.  We made a camp fire and ate all kinds of foods.  We hit the bed early because the next day we were hiking all over! 

Katie decided that she wanted to hike the North Dome trail.  We all piled in the car with our lunches and gear we needed.  We drove about forty five minutes to Porcupine Creek where the trail head was.  The trail quickly drops down with a paved path to a wooded area.  We saw plenty of squirrels and deer.  The trail winds around for about three miles in a wooded area and then comes to an opening with some granite rock to an overlook.  We hung out there for a bit and made our way to the end of the North Dome hike.  At the end we were sitting on a dome of granite over looking Yosemite Valley.  We could see half dome right across from us begging to get it's picture taken.  More squirrels came around and begged for some food.  It was a great place to have lunch. 

After about an hour we left and took a side trail to Indian Rock.  It's an arch that's found no where else in Yosemite Park.  It was also the only place where everyone had cell reception!  After visiting the arch we decided to drive to Tuolmne grove since it was still early in the afternoon.  I really wanted to see Giant Sequioa but come to find out it wasn't the best place to view them.  I highly suggesting visiting Mariposa Grove and skip going to Tuolmne Grove. 

That night we were so tired that we just wanted to eat shower and sleep.  We went down into Yosemite Valley, we heard there were warm showers for a fee.  At Curry Village there were hot showers with towels for $5 a person.  Even though it cost money I felt so good taking a shower after hiking all day.  We ate at the cafeteria that night and headed back to our home in Tuolmne meadows.  The drive back was really long because you drive along a cliff side with no street lights.  Driving cautiously is a must! 

Katie starting her trek through the woods to North Dome.


The woody grassy area thinned out and granite and sand took over. 

Looking down into Yosemite Valley.

Half Dome seemed like a stone throw away. 

Beggar of food.

Hiking to Indian Rock.

Archy arch.

Giant Sequoia tree tunnel.

These trees lived up to it's name, Giant Sequoia.

The tops of the Giant Sequioa. 

The classic Tunnel View. 

Yosemite North Dome from Ryan Chang on Vimeo.