Yosemite National Forest – Pt. 1
August 29, 2017
Yosemite has been on our bucket list for years now. In July, we set off to experience our first ever proper backpacking adventure. I’ve camped many times in my life, but they have always been the sort where you drive up to a campsite with your car, set up camp, and stay in the same spot all weekend enjoying a river, fishing, tubing, etc. I had never backpacked and moved campsite every night, so I was nervous to say the least. This trip was Eddie’s baby so he spent months researching and planning our multi-day camping trek. We hopped in our car, fully loaded, and hit the road for a mere 5-hour drive. Of course, my English Breakfast tea was kept nice and warm in my new Byta. You can learn about their support of ocean and forest conservation here. Quite fitting considering we were heading into a massive forest ourselves! Oh, and the colour I got was ‘moss green’. Purely coincidental, I promise.
Upon arriving in Yosemite, we tried to soak in as much beauty as possible before beginning our long trek the next day.
We caught a bus up to Glacier Point so we could get this spectacular view of Half Dome.
That night, we stayed at the backpackers campground where we’d begin our trail the following morning. Up bright and early, we repacked our bags for the long walk ahead.
Pictured below: Me at the beginning of the trailhead for Yosemite Falls. That smile quickly got wiped off my face as we headed up the trail. Of course, our first day was climbing miles up a mountain with backpacks heavy and full of food. Joy.
Shame. Poor Eddie had the heaviest backpack by far. We would stop and lean against any boulder we could find to loosen the load!
Or just pose in front of them.
By far, my favourite view of the entire trip was the half-way point of Yosemite Falls. Thankfully, there was a nice breeze that day which allowed for a light shower from the mist of the falls. Exactly what we needed during that scorcher of a day!
Stopping to take it all in. Half dome is pictured here again. Yosemite National Forest is absolutely breathtaking. I would definitely rank it in magnificence alongside the Grand Canyon.
Unfortunately, I have a dodgy left knee from not rehabbing it properly after an ACL surgery back in 2010. I didn’t prepare myself properly for the amount of uneven, uphill walking we’d be doing. Therefore, my knee practically gave in about 3/4 of the way up the mountain – day 1 – awful. I was almost on the verge of tears as I looked up to see this view (pictured below) still left to tackle in order to make it to the top.
Eddie was a total trooper – helping me up (slowly) the last quarter of the trail. We finally made it to the Yosemite Falls Overlook in about 4.5 hours. It was the perfect opportunity to soak in the beautiful view, eat some lunch, and rest my knee!
Whilst I rested, Eddie managed to hike to the stairs of the overlook in order to get a glimpse of the source of the falls. That huge river you see is entirely made of snow melt. We lucked out in that Yosemite Falls is one of the most picturesque things to see in the valley, but it turns out that by July 4th, it’s normally completely dry. This was the first time in 7 years that it was flowing this late into the year.
After a short break at the top of the falls, we continued to hike (up!) to our campsite for the night.
What We Packed:
(I’m only listing a few of the essentials below. If you have questions about any of these, or something I’ve left off, just ask! We have lots of opinions about everything we packed. Also, about 90% of this was purchased from REI and the rest from Amazon.)
Samantha – Outfit Details:
On Yosemite Pt. 2 I’ll be covering our descent down the mountain, bear scares, campsites that dreams are made of, and the most crystal creeks yet. Stay tuned for part two coming soon!