Americans love it, the world is simply mesmerized by it, welcome to Yosemite National Park. Not so long ago, two great free climbers managed to scale the full height of Yosemite’s El Cap or Dawn wall.
This feat is not something that happens overnight; in fact, the two free climbers, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson planned their ascent for many years. Judging by their sheer dedication, Yosemite is really something worth traveling for. For your next itinerary, make sure that you have your ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) Visa with you for a smooth travel experience when entering the USA.
There are not so many free climbers in the world, some are just casual indoor wall climbers, myself included. But given the chance, I would also do my best to summit the magnificent and scary Dawn Wall of Yosemite.
Nonetheless, you don’t have to be a professional climber to fully experience Yosemite. Any dedicated backpacker can explore Yosemite in a whole new way without clinging to ropes and sticking your fingers on a little crack on the wall to inch up closer to the summit.
Backpackers have the tendency to pack up heavily and chances are that they fail to even reach half of the summit because of dead weight. The novel idea is to leave almost all of the heavy stuff behind and just bring your normal day climbing stuff.
The popular High Sierra Camp Hikes offer the best hiking on Yosemite with the emphasis on convenience. High Sierra Camps allow you to hike the best high country trails without carrying over 40 kilos of heavy camping materials.
There are 5 camps on a stunning 85 kilometer loop, each with their own amenities such as tent cabins, cots, blankets, even the trekker friendly chuck wagon that spits outs ready-to-eat meals.
To make your hike easily manageable, you can start at the Tuolumne Meadows Lodge tracking the loop from behind; think about it like reading a book starting from the last page.
The advantage of this method is that it somehow gives an illusion that everything is off to an easy start. However, nothing is easy on Yosemite National Park. You really need to work it if you want to enjoy your hiking adventure.
Tracking the river also allows you to pass through fantastic meadows littered with wildflowers all the way to Glen Aulin camp, followed by May Lake just 13 kilometers ahead.
When you get to the Sunrise Camp, you start having sudden surges of adrenaline. Whilst you’re tackling Sunrise Camp, you can be invigorated by the breathtaking view of the early sun rays that hit the ground at first light.
The colors are simply stunning and for the lack of words simply profound. The technical climb is at the Matthes Crest, strictly for professionals only or if you have a background for really challenging climbs.
If time is not on your side, you can proceed directly to Vernal Fall whilst passing through the Mist Trails. The scenery here is simply stunning; with the the tall plume exhibiting natural light shows doing most of the talking.
Yosemite hiking is not for the faint of heat but with sheer dedication, anybody can discover the great secrets of the national park.
*Image of valley view Yosemite via Shutterstock
*Image of half dome mountain in Yosemite National Park via Shutterstock