Full disclosure: I am not a camping gal. I love the outdoors and will happily do a day hike and have a bon fire, etc. But pitching a tent in November? Not exactly something I was raised doing. My four roommates I went with are very experienced. In fact, there is no other group I would spend three nights in the mountains in a tent with. Which is why this trip was so special.
We arrived late on a Saturday night, spending the night at an airport hotel, then picking up a rental car to head out Sunday morning. We made a pit stop to grab some groceries and then were on our way out of San Francisco!
About halfway on the drive (time, not distance-wise), we stopped for a bite in Jamestown (at Here's the Scoop). It was gloomy driving up through the mountains - not going to sugarcoat it, I was worried that I'd be stuck freezing in the Rocky's for three days.
However, we woke to a gorgeous, sunny day. It was truly unbelievable. Still jet-lagged (and awake from an uncomfortable sleep... note: always bring a sleeping pad) we started the day pretty early and headed out on our first trail. We chose Vernal and Nevada Falls via Mist Trail - a great choice. Before heading out though, we packed up some snacks and a lunch.
First up: Vernal Falls.
About an hour later, we found our lunch spot.
Oh, hello, beautiful Nevada Falls.
But before we knew it, we were headed back down to base camp on the John Muir Trail.
Before the sun set, we drove out to Tunnel View. It is an incredibly picturesque spot, but even pictures don't capture the beauty. We stayed for about half an hour and stood in awe of the landscape.
For our final day in Yosemite, we hiked the Yosemite Falls Trail up to Columbia Rock.
Holy switchbacks. I failed to get a great picture of the switchbacks so you'll have to take my word for it. But they are brutal. I am just warning you. Please remember that I warned you. They are long.
Here is our hike number two lunch view. Not too bad, right? Such a lovely view of Half Dome, too.
When I researched the park leading up to our arrival, every website was telling me that the foliage would be poor. Obviously, that is discouraging. But look at this! The trees along the valley were perfect fall colours.
Until next time, Yosemite! You are loved.