Yosemite Valley beholds some of the richest and most beautiful landscapes in California. Spend a long weekend there and you can take in a lifetime of breath-taking views. The park will stop you in your tracks at every turn. It is full of grandeur, history, and inspiration. The valley floor is the perfect place to leisurely take in the towering cliffs and waterfalls. Or challenge yourself to one of the many hikes to view the valley from above. When the sun falls behind the high granite walls eat all the pizza you can at Curry Village, feeling like you’re back at Summer camp. Wake, rinse, and repeat again tomorrow.
In your tour of the park stop by Camp 4 and observe a living history lesson of American rock climbing. You can even take a morning climbing class there. Many of the most famous climbers in the world have pitched a tent at Camp 4, studying techniques and trying out new ideas on Yosemite's looming walls. Some, such as Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia, crafted and sold climbing gear in the parking lot of Camp 4.
We camped in Yosemite early in 2013 and it was incredible. It's the kind of phenomenal place you feel grateful to have witnessed. We challenged ourselves with the 4 Mile Trail, which is actually 10 miles roundtrip and gains 4,000 feet in elevation. The first few miles are full of incredible views of El Capitan and Yosemite Falls, as well as the valley floor and Merced River. The second half of the trail showcases Tenaya Canyon and Half Dome. The temperature was in the 90′s and when we returned to the valley floor we stripped off our hiking boots and socks and waded into the glacier water at Lower Yosemite Falls. It was an exhausting but rewarding adventure. Be sure to bring water and comfortable shoes!
What's your Yosemite Valley story?