The Big Hike: Yosemite National Park

Finally after arriving at the Yosemite National Park the day before, we went to bed early to be fully rested and fit for the big hike.

We stayed at the Best Western Yosemite hotel, which is just outside the park and therefore not as expensive as one of the park lodges. In hindsight though, I think I would prefer to stay inside the park next time and stay for a few days instead just having only one day for hiking. Even though it’s incredibly expensive!

We had a big breakfast at the hotel and then went off for a 1,5 hours drive to the Yosemite Valley.

The roads were very steep and narrow and since I had to drive I don’t have many pictures of the picturesque landscape around us.

Seriously, the roads were quite difficult to drive, especially for someone like me who is not used to driving at all and who is (by general consent) a bad driver.


Finally arriving in the Yosemite Valley!

Arriving at the valley, we decided to leave the car in the middle of the Yosemite Falls Trail and the 4 Mile Trail to Glacier Point. We took in our beautiful surroundings, then went off to the 4 Mile Trail. Excitement!



The first few hundred meters were probably the most difficult for me because we went up about 300 meters in just about half an hour or so. This was difficult because I’m not good with such a rapid change in heights (except airplane maybe) and last time I went hiking like this I got altitude sickness. This time, what with being older and better informed and prepared, I took my time with climbing up, taking a rest every 5-10 min just to get my breath to normal again. Also, every 30 minutes a rest for full five minutes, otherwise I might have collapsed!


While getting my breath back I was able to enjoy the views, which were simply amazing. After the first hour or so we were a little bit surprised about how high in altitude we already were. We thought we might reach the end in about another hour, couldn’t have been more wrong though. Valuable lesson learned this day: Do not rely on the map they give you at the entrance! It is not accurate!

It took us another two hours to get to the peak! At least we got a full view of the Yosemite Falls!

We had a lot of fun since the hike was so exciting and we were looking forward to it so much.

There was still some snow lying around, since the trail was in the shadows. Other than that though, it was quite a warm day, about 21 degrees Celsius.



Finally at the top

After almost 3 hours and wondering about whether this hike will ever stop or not, we finally arrived at the top of Glacier Point. It was quite an exhausting hike actually, but still, beautiful scenery and lots of fun during the way up.

On the map that we received at the entrance of the park there were no restroom facilities marked at Glacier Point, so I was very relieved to see not only restrooms but also a little kiosk that sold snacks, souvenirs and most importantly water! We had drunk our entire ration of water for the hike on the way up already, so I got worried about not having enough water for getting down.



The scenery… I can’t find the words to describe how breathtaking and impressive the scenery was around us. We could see the entire Yosemite Valley, the falls, El Capitan, Half Dome and all the surrounding mountains.

I felt exhilarated and grateful for being able to see so much on our journey. The Yosemite National Park was definitely my personal highlight!


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