Hello everyone !
I recently was in fall break, which means I had one week free from classes. Of course, this was the perfect occasion to go away, once again, and see a new place in California. My friends and I therefore decided to go camping in Yosemite for three days, which would still leave us some time to study for our exams after the break (yes, student responsibilities and all that you know…)
Day 1. Vernal and Nevada falls.
This was my first time actually camping. I mean, I had done it once before but it was for a music festival, so I guess that does not really count as it did not imply going for hikes everyday !
We decided to leave at 7:30 on Sunday with my friends considering that it was a 4h drive from Monterey. Once we arrived in Yosemite, we parked the car and started hiking so we would not lose too much time on our first day there.
We took the free bus inside the park to go to the beginning of the hike to see the Vernal and Nevada falls, and had our lunch next to a beautiful mini lake. We needed our strengths after the ride, and before the hike !
After our sandwiches in our stomachs, we started following the trail. It was Sunday, and during the fall break, so there were a lot of people there, but it was okay, we managed to go at the pace we wanted. In addition, it was really sunny, which was so nice.
The waterfalls were really impressive in the sense that they were rather close and super high ! In order to go to the top of the Vernal one, we had to climb the giants’ staircase, which is basically a staircase composed of huge rocks, which means you have to climb it (sort of) rather than use it as a normal staircase, because it is too big !
But honestly, the view was worth it ! Once a the top, we took pictures, and did a loop to go back to our car and go to the campground we had booked. Once we arrived, we had to pitch the tent and start the fire and the barbecue .
Our first night in Yosemite was a success, I have to say: grilled cheese with veggies, beers, a warm fire, everything surrounded by friends, what else does one need ?
Day 2. Ten lakes trail & Lukens lake.
The first night in the tent was not as terrible as I would have thought it would be. Even though I woke up constantly, it was not that cold (either due to the fact that I wore 3 sweaters inside of my sleeping bag, or because we were 8 of us sleeping in the same tent !).
Anyway, around 7:30-8am, it was time for breakfast – oatmeal and coffee were our basics for the morning, and after that, it was time to go on a hike again !
We opted for the ten lakes trail. This time, we were the only ones there (we only crossed paths with two other guys), it was like it was our forest. The hike was supposed to be quite flat, but we soon found out that it was rather a “mountain flat”… But again, the view was worth it.
However, we did encounter some difficulties when we realized around 2pm that it was impossible for us to find the rest of the trail. Indeed, we arrived at one point where it simply…disappears. After trying to find it for about half an hour, and considering the fact that the temperature was getting colder and the sky darker, we decided to have lunch at the top of one of the mountains, and go back without having seen the ten lakes.
This, of course, was a great disappointment for us all, so we went to Lukens lake instead, with was only a 1 mile hike. This was perfect considering it was already about 4pm, and that we were pretty tired !
Some of us (definitely not me, to be honest) were brave enough to dive into the lake (for like 10 seconds, but still!) and after this refreshing break, it was time to go back to the campground to start making dinner again.
Day 3. Taft point & Sentinel dome.
Tuesday morning arrived so quickly unfortunately ; our last day of camping !
After waking up around 7am, and eating breakfast, we had to clean everything and put the tent back in the car. We were pretty efficient, motivated by the idea of doing one last hike before going back to Monterey.
As we had to be on the road by 2-3pm, we wanted to go on a rather small hike for our last day. We decided to check out Taft point and the Sentinelle dome, and boy, we were so glad that we did that.
After a relaxing lunch break, and after having enjoyed the sun, we continued to walk a bit.
I think this was my favorite hike. Not because it was the shortest one, but because it was simply beautiful. We were at one of the highest point in Yosemite, and had an impressive view over all the valley. Words cannot really describe the view we had, so I invite you to check out my pictures !
Yosemite as a first camping experience was truly amazing. I was with a lot of friends, we were pretty well prepared, nobody got hurt, and the weather was amazing. I think I was very lucky and could not have asked for more. I am very grateful to have been initiated to camping in such ideal conditions.
I am 100% sure I will go back to Yosemite before going back to France in January. Being in the mountains, in the forest is just so relaxing ! It is a great place to disconnect from everything and just focus on the nature surrounding you. In addition, since I’m living next or not far to the beach both in Monterey and back in France (in Bordeaux), I’m not really used to be in the mountains, but I can say without a doubt that I’ve fallen in love with this new scenery.