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Beth Massi is a Senior Program Manager on the Visual Studio team at Microsoft and a community champion for business application developers. Learn more about Beth.
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Last week Alan and I headed up to Yosemite National Park with my sister and her boyfriend and Robert Green (VSTO MVP and log-time friend) and his wife, Colette. We had an absolutely fabulous time and I recommend that everyone in the world come visit. And believe me, Memorial Day weekend it seems like everyone in the world is doing just that! ;-) Luckily we stayed the whole week so after Sunday people left the valley and we were left with a peaceful vacation.
The falls are full, the Merced river is flowing high and the flowers are all in bloom.
We all agreed that heaven must look something like this. This is the view from inspiration point just as you come through the Wawona tunnel – showing Half Dome at the east end of the Yosemite Valley, El Capitan to the North and Bridal Vail Falls to the South (click to enlarge).
And here’s Half Dome (left), Vernal Falls (lower) and Nevada Falls (upper) from Glacier Point. Stunning. We hiked down the 4-mile trail from Glacier Point down to the valley with views of Yosemite falls (first and fourth picture above) the whole time.
We stayed in a cottage in Yosemite West and did a lot of day hiking and long valley walks. The highlight was Robert, Colette and I hiked 16.4 miles up to the top of Half Dome and back on Tuesday which took us about 10 hours. You hike up to Vernal then Nevada falls first and then a long walk up the John Muir trail through Little Yosemite Valley and cut over onto the Half Dome trail. I’ve done it once before about 15 years ago but I didn’t remember how hard those cables were, especially coming down, but we did it!
Yosemite only takes about 3.5 hours to drive there from my house so I’m already thinking about our next long weekend….
I really enjoyed this vacation.
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Robert and I really enjoyed the trip also. Great adventures, great company and great food equal a GREAT vacation. We really benefitted from your expertise of the park. Thanks. What’s next?
I had a blast! So did Jenn and Chris. I think I'll be heading back up to Yosemite very soon -- it's so close!
Next? How about CA Central Coast? Ocean & Pinot Noir, how can we go wrong?
Awesome! It's been way too many years since I visited Yosemite - let alone climbed Half Dome. It's definitely one of my favorite places on the planet!
For a future trip: I *highly* recommend doing a two-night hike from Tenaya lake (on the Tioga Road) down to the valley via Cloud's Rest and Half Dome. It's a net 5000 foot drop, and only a 1200 foot climb up to Cloud's Rest - from where the view surpasses even that from the top of Half Dome.
That sounds awesome! Have you ever hiked the hig country from Hetch Hechy to the valley? I've also heard that Devils Postpile is also a must see.
I've never hiked from as far away as Hetch Hetchy, but I have hiked part of that trail through the Grand Canyon of the Tuolomne, which is awesome.
Devils Postpile near Mammoth Mtn is great too - I hiked part of the way in with a group that went from Devil's Postpile to the Yosemite Valley floor via Tuolomne Meadows and down the Tenaya Creek canyon trail. It's 60+ miles, IIRC - I only did the first 5 or so then turned back (didn't have time for the whole trek).
Now I'm really dreaming about the next vacation ;-)
Thanks for the info!
Beth, if you have a longer period of time and don't mind the drive, I'd suggest King Canyon's National Park. You can get there by driving over the Sierras and then down to the town of Bishop. My wife and I did a seven-day, ~60 mile hike there a few years back.
There is some incredible scenery and it's much, much, much less crowded than Yosemite's back country trails.
We also tried our hand at the JMT two summers ago (211 miles from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney), but had to bail out about half way through.
But something we're going to try to do again once our children get old enough.
Your pictures are gorgeous! I especially like the one of half dome and the falls :) Me and my husband are going there this summer.