The first stop on our road trip was Yosemite National Park in California.
We got a late start from San Fransciso as we wrapped up a few things before heading out. We drove into Yosemite as the sun was setting, so we missed a lot of the views of the Yosemite Valley, where we spent two nights at Curry Village. But we had another full day to enjoy the scenery.
We opted to stay in a “tent cabin”, which is basically a wooden structure with canvas sides and roof. We were glad to not have to set up a tent in the dark when we first arrived. But the best part? They’re heated.
Unfortunately the first night our heater was broken, but they provided lots of blankets which got us through. We switched tents for the second night and it was heavenly. Winter camping with a heater is definitely the way to go.
The next morning we slept in a bit, in part to avoid a large group of kids that were also staying at the campground and had pretty thoroughly taken over the place that morning on their way home. After a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs and veggies we went over to the Visitor Center to scope out some hikes for the day.
We settled on the 4-Mile Trail at the suggestion of one of the Park Rangers. The top of the trail is closed seasonally due to snow and ice, so we turned around at the gate 2.75 miles in. But not before a 2000 ft elevation change and some spectacular views.
Yosemite Falls were in view pretty much the entire hike. It was impressive to see the whole Falls from top to bottom.
The view of El Capitan was one of the reasons the Park Ranger recommended this particular hike. We got out the binoculars on the way out of the park to see if we could spot anyone climbing the face, but we couldn’t find anyone. It might be too early in the season yet.
At the gate at the top of the trail was this spectacular view of Half Dome. Definitely worth the trip up.
Back at Curry Village we set up to make dinner of salad, Mahi Mahi, and zucchini. It was a good rival to the salmon we had the night before. Needless to say we ate well on this trip. As we cooked, Half Dome towered over us in the background, awash in the glow of sunset.
That night we took a drive out to Mirror Lake to get some great views and photos of the night sky. There were tons of stars and no moon. Before long, though, we were back in our warm tent. The next morning we’d be up and on the road early for our trek down to Las Vegas.
Someone snapped this for us at an outlook on our way out of the park. See you next time, Yosemite. Thanks for the good weather!