Yosemite National Park

Welcome back! This is our first T R A V E L post here on Indigo Child Blog and we are so excited to tell you about our experience at Yosemite National Park! Yosemite is one of Scott’s favorite places on earth and this trip was his second time visiting the park and my first! He was so eager to show me all the amazing views Yosemite has to offer. Making a road trip out there was such an amazing and wholesome experience, being surrounded by nature makes you feel connected to the earth and forget about all the other things that are consuming your life. I can’t wait till we make another trip back to the park. Now let’s get into it!
Scott and I left LA at midnight, and drove for 4-5 hours until we hit the South entrance and headed up to glacier point. It was still dark when we arrived at Glacier Point, maybe like 3 or 4 people who were already there waiting for the same thing as us, an amazing sunrise. Where we were located on Glacier Point was a perfect view of half dome and the Valley below. It was like waking up with giants and I was completely taken back by how huge these mountains were. Scott set up his tripod and began taking a time lapse of the sunrise, which was breathtaking. After viewing the sunrise we headed back to the car to eat breakfast burritos that I had made the night before. After that we drove down the road that leads down to glacier point, stopping at various scenic points on the road. Our next stop was Taft Point, which is located on the same road. We hiked from our car into the forest, down the giant, rocky hillside until we reached the cliffs and the famous lookout point. We spent an hour or two hanging out looking down the edge and admiring the view. We laid our bellies on the ground and peaked our heads over the edge imagining what it would be like if we fell, scary. After exploring the area to the fullest, we made our way back to our car and traveled down to the valley for the first time. We drove through the tunnel into the Valley where I saw for the first time, the famous Tunnel View. We stopped and shared the view with what seemed like hundreds of tourists but still managed to take in the grandeur of the spot. By this time, it was mid afternoon and the sun was shining bright on us creating the perfect afternoon to admire nature. Finishing our drive down to the valley, we were surrounded by trees and all things green, it was so beautiful it felt like we weren’t in California. We made our way to the visitors center to grab a cold beverage and go to the bathroom. We tried to avoid spending a long period of time here as this is where all the massive crowds of tourists seem to congregate.Getting back to the car, we wanted to drive around the Valley floor to get a lay of the land. After we drove around for a while, we decided it was time to check into our motel and relax for the night. Our hotel was located in Mariposa, which is the town 45 minutes outside of the park to the Southwest. We grabbed some fast food and called it a night once we were checked into our motel.
The next morning Scott and I were eager to go back into the Park, we had some photo/video ideas in mind for the day and it was nice to have things planned out. Driving into the park from the western entrance, near el portal, it was a VERY scenic drive. We got out of the car a few times because it was so gorgeous, and it was great being able to just do our own thing stopping where we wanted, taking a few shots, then hopping back in the car. The first place we checked out that morning was Bridalveil Falls. We parked our car and made our way down the trail, where the paved pathway eventually comes to an end near some huge boulders that continue on to the waterfall. Scott and I wanted a closer look, so we went up a little further jumping from rock to rock, it was quite fun. After that we walked back to the car and headed to tunnel view again for more photographs. This time we decided to hike up the rocks to get away from the crowds in order to have a more private spot to sit and enjoy the view. We spent an hour or so on the rocks relaxing and enjoying ourselves before we headed back to our car to go down to the valley. For the rest of the day we stopped at various spots along the road and wandered through a couple of the meadows along the valley floor. Towards the end of the day we decided to set back towards our motel and call it a night.
On our third day in Yosemite we woke up early and made our first stop at tunnel view, in an attempt to catch a good view of the fog still lingering In the valley. Luckily for us, the fog was in full effect and it made for the best view we had seen at tunnel view so far. After that, we decided we were going to spend the majority of the day on foot, walking around the valley as much as possible. We started our journey near Sentinel Meadow and set out on foot from there. We crossed the meadow to the Yosemite Falls trail and walked up to the lookout at the base of the falls. After that we took various side trails that took us further from the roads and offered a more intimate experience without the hoards of tourists piling out of buses. Hours went by as we wandered without direction across bridges and along the Merced river, getting a much different feel for Yosemite than one gets while sitting in a car. As much fun as it is seeing all of the popular spots and checking scenic points off your park map, I would highly recommend taking the time to just disconnect and take Yosemite in. When the sun was setting and the clouds were starting to roll in, we stumbled upon a large granite wall that seemed like a popular spot for climbers giving us some entertainment as they scaled the near vertical rock faces. We walked back to our car just before it got too dark and had a peaceful ride back to Mariposa.
The last day in Yosemite gave us a unique perspective as we woke up to pouring rain. Originally, our plans were to take Tioga Pass across the back country and down the eastern side of the sierras before we made our way back to LA. However, thanks to the storm that rolled in overnight, the pass was closed off. We were a little bummed out but we decided to drive back up to Glacier Point in hopes that it might be drier up on top of the valley. The rain was less intense but everything was still socked in, and offered little more than a view of thick grey clouds. After spending a few hours of hoping that the sky would clear up we decided to call it and make our final decent out of the park. Overall the trip was an amazing experience, especially since it had been my first time visiting the park. Scott and I would both recommend visiting Yosemite to anyone who is considering making the trip. It is just simply a place that you must see in person, pictures don’t do it justice, and it’s something you have to experience to understand the magnitude of the beauty it offers.
Check out the pictures from our trip in the gallery below and take a peak at the video we made as well which can be found here.
Half Dome Pano
Tunnel View with fog still lingering in the valley below
Sentinel Meadow
The view from Sentinel Meadow looking up at Half Dome
Bridge Meadow
These wooden pathways allows you to walk across the thick fields of grass that cover the valley floor
Courtney in Tree
Courtney checking out the massive granite boulders that find their homes amongst the thick forests
Half Dome Fog Star
The rising sun created an amazing display of light while standing on Sentinel Bridge one morning
Babe and El Cap
Courtney looks up at El Capitan while standing on a fallen tree in the middle of a meadow
Scott Tunnel View
Scott looks out from a ledge we climbed up to just behind Tunnel View
River Square
The Merced River on an especially wet, and rainy day in the park
Courtney Orange Tree 2
Courtney looking up at an orange tree near one of the valley’s many meadows
Half Dome Meadow
Another shot of Half Dome towering above Sentinel Meadow in the foreground
Deer Tonge out
A funny shot of a deer sticking its tongue out at us near Glacier Point
Half Dome Through Trees
A view of Half Dome through the trees up at Glacier Point
Half Dome Plants Sunrise 2
A shot of the sun rising over the mountains and through some plants at Glacier Point
Babes Ear and Half Dome
Courtney huddled up for warmth as she takes in the view of Half Dome
Half Dome Close up
A close up of Half Dome from Glacier Point
Babes and Half Dome
Scott and Courtney kissing in front of a sunrise at Glacier Point
Full Frame Sunset
A panorama image of the sunrise over the Yosemite Valley taken from Glacier Point
Half Dome Reflection
Half Dome reflecting in the Merced River
Wet Road
The roads were drenched during our last day in the park, but made for a good subject

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