Magical Yosemite Valley

Yosemite, New York City, Washington D.C., Letchworth State Park in United States
April 30, 2019 Travel

Around Easter, I attended the Spark AI Summit in San Francisco, California, but I had flown in a few days early to hang out with my friends! We decided to go to Yosemite, and it really is absolutely breathtaking and just feels so magical being there. We drove from the Bay area, and it took like 6 hours because we hit some pretty bad traffic leaving the area (apparently this is quite common). We had booked an Airbnb at a cabin located inside the park (which is massive), but apparently you can also stay outside the park for cheaper, but the drive into the park to do hiking will take longer (an hour vs. 20-30min). Anyway, the way up is super windy, and its kind of terrifying in the dark because it's just cliff on one side... I was very glad I was not driving, to say the least.

Anyway, after having dinner and a good night's sleep, we headed into the park to do a hike! The weather forecast wasn't looking great (rain later in the day), and I'm very out of shape compared to last year, when I was hiking a lot while traveling, so we didn't want to do too long of a hike. We decided on doing half of Upper Yosemite Falls, and then heading back when we got tired, or felt like it. Man, even though we only did half, it was an uphill walk the whole way and I was soo out of breath! But the view was great, so it was worth the pain!

On our way back to the Airbnb, we stopped at Tunnel View to get the classic shot of Yosemite - unfortunately Half Dome was covered by some clouds (rain the forecast was correct after all), but it was still a gorgeous view!

We spent the rest of the afternoon/night playing some video games and board games, and then making some dinner together. Around sunset I looked outside and noticed there were a bunch of deer grazing outside! I tried to get some good pictures but I think I just scared them away, whoops!

The next day, we decided to do another short-ish hike before driving back into the city. We did some of the Mist Trail - but only went as far as to the top of Vernal Falls where we relaxed for a bit on the rocks, before hiking back down to the car. You can get pretty wet from the falls, so I guess that's why it's called the Mist Trail. It is a bit slippery with all the wet rocks, but not too bad, and the falls are beautiful as well, I will let the pictures speak for themselves here.

Afterwards, we started driving out of Yosemite Valley to go back to the Bay area, I tried to take these pictures from a moving car - I was still awestruck by the giant rocks surrounding both sides of me.

Yosemite is truly gorgeous, I really hope I get to come back one day and do even more of the hikes! I would love to hike to the top of Half Dome, but I definitely need to be in more shape (and maybe get over my fear of heights) before I attempt that!