October 2-6, 2017
Yosemite Valley is the heart of the park, it’s where most of the popular sought after sights are, along with the visitor center and a few cafe/eateries. There are 3 campgrounds for tent camping or RV’s and one campground strictly for tents. I couldn’t believe how busy this park was, even off peak season traffic was unbelievable. People were camping outside the tents only campground to wait for a spot to open up in the morning - say that again….people camped out to pay for a camping spot?!
Beware of the BEARS!!!
After a summer full of nature and National Parks we finally saw 2 bears - safely from the car of course!
North Dome Trail
North Dome is an 8.8 mile round trip hike, it starts at the Porcupine Trailhead off Tioga Pass road (where we saw the bears)! This trail is unique in the fact that North Dome is lower in elevation (about 600 ft) than the start of the trail head, but there’s plenty of ups and downs along the way, a pretty tough hike with stunning views of the famous Half Dome. We took a slight detour to check out Indian Rock too. When we finished the hike and made it back to the car, it was pretty cold and started snowing, nothing heavy at all but I wasn’t expecting snow!
Hiking in the dark, although a little daunting, was pretty cool. We could hear the waterfalls and wildlife around us but we couldn't see sh**!
And the sun came up! You can see the top of Half Dome in the top right picture - that was where we were headed!
The Cables: this was the scary scary part! The final 400 ft ascent was on the cables, which you can see are almost vertical up the side of the mountain. You don't want to hike this without some good gloves - although gardening gloves do work! The entire time up and down you are holding on for dear life, you need to keep one hand on the cables at all times. If trafficy, as you can see in the pictures, you have to communicate with fellow hikers and help each other out. This is scary but so worth it for the views at the top and the adrenaline factor once you get down the cables!
As you can see the views were out of this world and well worth the scary cable climb!
A few more from the decent in the daylight! Top left is a natural spring for refilling water about 3/4 of the way up. And the last picture was at the end of a very challenging, but rewarding 16.5 miles/10 hour day! Big shout out and thanks to our friends Ellie and Cam who watched Moose while we embarked on this adventure - much appreciated!