Ahh, Yosemite, the icon of the Sierras. Last time Rose & I visited we skipped the valley and hiked The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne back in 2013. I love the remoteness and solitude of the back-country but this time Jerry propositioned me with: “If I can get a campsite in the valley for Memorial Day, are you in?” I cringed as I said Yes, knowing full well that the valley will be something of a zoo over a long weekend.
We were going in early, replaced the Subi tow with a bike rack and headed out on the Wednesday.
Came in from the south on Hwy 41 and rolled along the winding road which was nice and quiet. Tunnel coming up and my complacency is shattered as I see the yellow sign indicating 10′ 2″Clearance At the Curb! Wait a moment, aren’t we almost 12′ high? Holly Shit, Is the IT, The End? I digest liberal doses of “At the Curb” and veer towards the center line while slowing down dramatically. No crunching sounds as we enter the rounded cavity and I push oncoming traffic over to their curb while keeping my left wheels on the center line.
OK, panic over as we cruise through the valley to our Lower Pines, DBL03 campsite, that’s a double for our two RV’s and a couple of cars.
Weather will be nice on the Thursday but a weak front moves in for Friday/Saturday so we decide on Yosemite Falls for our baptism hike, 2700′ in 3.6 miles. I think we were on the trail by 8am and it felt good to get the lungs and legs into synchronicity on the countless switchbacks or zig-zags that I grew up with in the Cape mountains.
From the top of the falls you can cross the bridge and hike a mile further to the Yosemite Point for more views.
Friday had light rain forecast so the whole group headed out for Mirror Lake. Jerry, like the good campsite host he is, supplied us with emergency poncho’s to ward off the drizzle.
In the afternoon we ride our bikes around the valley floor and stopped in at Lower Yosemite falls to stretch our legs. The short trail is busy. This easy hike attracts all the tour bus tourists to check off one more Yosemite attraction.
Day 3, Saturday, is still a bit iffy weather wise and we head out on the Half Dome trail but will turnaround at the top of Nevada Falls, 4 miles in. The Lower Vernal Falls generate the flying spray for “Mist Trail” as it climbs up alongside the falls themselves.
At the top of Nevada we opted for the slightly longer loop back along the John Muir Trail that traverses the opposite side of the valley.
Sunday, the good weather should be back and it’s time to get up to Glacier Point. Not going to drive the RV up there and that leaves us with Four Mile Trail which is actually 4.8 miles due to improvements to the original toll trail built in 1872.
On the trail by 9 am as we had to take a shuttle and short walk to get to the trailhead. We are now on the opposite side to Yosemite Falls and are rewarded with more grand views.
We reversed our route up and were back down before 1 pm. Today is zoo day in the valley and not even our shuttles could get through. We stood waiting at the Camp 4 stop, which is also the shuttle turn around point, got frustrated and started walking. Then we see a bus coming towards us (not the direction we want) but mange to get on before he fills up with returning hikers like ourselves. Had to ride it back to where we were waiting before heading off in the right direction.
Four full days of challenging hiking – well enjoyed by all.
Monday we broke camp and Rose & I pointed the RV up Tioga Pass to get over to Hwy 395 and take the back way home.
A couple of days alongside June Lake and a visit to June Lake Brewing before heading down to Benton Hot Springs, a favorite of ours. This time we’re in in site #9. The uniqueness, and what you pay for at $60 per night, is that each site has it’s own hot spring, all yours to go in at any time of day or night!
Last stop was down the road at Diaz Lake, just south of Lone Pine. First time there and had some horsy visitors from the pasture next door.