Yosemite National Park 16-Apr-2018

Majestic Hotel Yosemite National Park California

Although we’ve been to Yosemite National Park more than a few times since, the last time I can recall being on the valley floor was 1973. The LovedOne thinks she was there with her family ages ago, but can’t really remember. Neither of us had ever stayed at the iconic (and very expensive) Ahwahnee Hotel. So, as part of a recent roadtrip around various western national parks and monuments, we made a one-night reservation at the hotel and drove to Yosemite. The summer-time crowds and traffic jams in the valley are legendary (and becoming worse) but, thanks to our fortuitous arrival in a snow storm, we found the place remarkably uncrowded and quiet. Despite the cost, the hotel was a great experience, as was dinner in its huge, timbered dining room. It snowed all night but conditions were full bluebird by morning! After breakfast, we were able to enjoy a pleasant stroll to Yosemite Fall before heading-off to our next park. Continue reading “Yosemite National Park 16-Apr-2018”

Yosemite High Sierra Camp Loop 1/7-Sep-2015

Yosemite High Sierra Camps California

In 2013, we’d backpacked two of the five High Sierra Camps (HSC) in the Tuolumne Meadows area of Yosemite National Park. These camps have been in operation for 99 years – they’ll celebrate their 100th anniversary along with that of the National Park Service itself in 2016.  They form one of the classic backpacking loops in the Sierra Nevada. By availing ourselves of their tent and food services, I was able to make my backpacking load manageable and thus show the LovedOne the interior of the Sierras (which made this spendy option more than worth it to me). This year we got lucky in the lottery and were able to get the whole loop (map) for the two of us plus Wayne and Diane, our two long-time friends. We also went goldilocks with the weather – not too hot or too cold.  The winds kept shiftng in our favor so that we only had noticable smoke from the 100,000 acre Rough Fire in Sequoia National Park our first and last mornings on the trail. No biting bugs either!

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Yosemite & the High Sierra 13/22-Jul-2013

Sierra Nevada Yosemite High Sierra Camps

After the LovedOne tweaked a disc in her cervical spine our ability to do multi-day backpacks pretty much came to an end (this was before we discovered ME-2 Packs). I despaired at ever being able to share with her the High Sierra – where I had spent almost all of the 1980s backpacking and climbing. Then it dawned on me (duh!) that the Yosemite High Sierra Camps offered us another chance. With these, you carry just your personal gear – which I can do for both of us – and the camps supply tents and food. There are a total of five camps and the ideal trip is to hike them in a continuous loop. But access is limited by a lottery (which this year had 3900 applications for 900 spaces), so we weren’t able to score a loop but did score the highest (Vogelsang), lowest (Merced Lake), and most remote (both) of the five camps. Continue reading “Yosemite & the High Sierra 13/22-Jul-2013”