To begin our trip, Taylor and I flew from Philadelphia to San Francisco where we met his family. Once we arrived and found everyone, we headed outside to retrieve our 15 passenger rental van. We all hopped aboard and started the 5 hour trek to Yosemite. The traffic in San Francisco is real and painful. Thankfully time passed quickly, and when we were about an hour away from our cabin, we stopped at a grocery store to stock up on food for the next few days. Just picture 10 of us running around a grocery store and leaving with several shopping carts PILED with food. We weren’t planning on eating out so we needed to grab as much as we could to survive.
The views on the way up were incredible! We had to stop several times to take pictures because you can’t pass up scenery like this! Fun fact: Yosemite National Park is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and is roughly the size of Rhode Island.
Yay! We finally made it!
We were up the following day bright and early and left the cabin at 9am. This wasn’t much of a problem for anyone since California is 3 hours behind eastern time. We all packed our lunches and backpacks and set out for a full day of hiking and exploring.
One of our first stops was Bridal Veil Fall Vista. This was a really simple half mile trail that lead to the falls.
Our next stop was Cathedral Beach where we could view the Three Brothers Vista. From there we visited the Swinging Bridge picnic area for lunch.
These pictures don’t do the scenery justice. Everywhere you looked was breathtaking.
If you’re wondering why we’re all pointing at the sky, there were people rock climbing up these huge mountains. Rock climbing takes so much strength and energy and I have no idea how they do it, but i’m sure the view at the end is worth it!
Once we arrived back to our cabin for dinner, we all got out our enos and relaxed. You can’t take a trip to the mountains and not bring your hammock…
I wish I would have tracked how many miles we walked throughout our entire time in Yosemite. Judging by how sore my legs were the next morning, I could tell it was a lot!
Remember that picture of Half Dome in the very beginning? Well this is me standing victoriously in front of it.
This has to be one of my favorite views in the world. You just can’t find this over on the east coast.
Laugh at the hat all you’d like, but the sun burn was REAL being that high up!
After we were done hiking on day 2, we went back to our cabin and had another dinner at the house. We were up bright and early the following day as usual to squeeze in as much as we could.
The third day was my favorite! We were going to see the massive sequoia trees at Mariposa Grove!!
This is me standing next to the roots of a sequoia. HOLY MOLY! Sequoia trees are not the oldest or tallest living things, but they are the largest in total volume. As you can see, Sequoias do not have deep tap roots, however they spread a good distance and they remain close to the surface where they can absorb more water. They estimate that their roots only dig about 6 feet, but they can fan out more than 150 feet.
When you are walking through the sequoia tree forest, some of the most iconic trees are named, so it makes it easy to pick them out, such as the Grizzly Giant which is one of the largest trees in the Mariposa Grove and is estimated to be 1,800 years old!
Some other favorites include the Faithful Couple, the Clothespin, the Telescope tree, and the Wawona Tunnel.
The Wawona Tunnel tree is one of the most famous trees in the world. Between 1881 and 1969 you could actually drive your car through it.
After we walked THROUGH the middle of the tree, we stopped to take a picture. What a great looking group:)
Incase you don’t believe me when I say these trees are MASSIVE!
Although there are a ton of old sequoia trees to see, the forest doesn’t offer a ton of young and growing ones. This is because these massive trees need direct sunlight, enough moisture, and bare mineral soil. There are so many trees in this forest that there isn’t much sunlight for the tiny guys trying to grow.
We spent all day wondering around and looking at these beautiful trees. I would highly recommend adding this to your itinerary if you ever get a chance to visit Yosemite. Heck, go to Yosemite just to see these trees!! You won’t regret it. Somehow, we ended up on a hiking trail while we were viewing everything, which lead us to more awesome trees.