The UK is in lockdown and we have no idea when the world is going to be back on its feet leave aside the travel industry. But you have this urge to get away from the four walls of your room – what should you do?
Planning a trip and a budget trip to the Yosemite National Park can be quite a laborious process and once you are back in the office you will hardly have enough time to figure out the logistics- from selecting the right hiking gear to buying the most weatherproof tents! Now is probably the best time to get started.
Famed as the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, the Park is located some 200 miles from the city of San Francisco. Whilst regular Greyhound buses run between the city and the park, renting an SUV where you can offload all your camping essentials is perhaps the wisest decision! If you are a company of four-five friends, it can be quite economical and convenient with each one of you taking turns at the wheel!
Gear up to buy the right hiking and camping gear
Temperatures are usually quite sublime however, mornings can be freezing especially if you are bare-bones camping in tents on campground sites, essentially living in a forest. Make sure you stock on plenty of coal, gas lighter, oil and stripped woodblock from the supermarkets on your way. Throw in bags of hot dogs, loaves of bread beside a barbeque grill and you have provided yourself with an ideal dinner menu after a long hike! Camping equipment from tents to sleeping bags are available at Amazon. Make sure you buy the temperature regulated sleeping bags for the fire burns out in the middle of the night!
On the loop: Verna and Nevada Falls via the mist trail
The loop is the most popular circuit for most hikers. Often considered easy, the loop can be divided into three landmarks- the vernal falls, top of the vernal falls and top of Nevada Falls. The entire loop is estimated to be around 5.4-6 miles and can be completed in six-seven hours for an average backpacker and hiker. The first two phases of the hiking journey is quite easy-going with plenty of hikers climbing up the rocks with you. However, they thin out in the last stage of the loop where the trail gets rougher and sometimes roads are invisible meaning you have to carve out your path through tree trunks and rocks. In parts, you will require the stamina to jump up the haphazard stone staircases. Pro-tip travel light but carry plenty of protein bars, disposable refillable plastic bags. Regardless to say, the falls are instagrammable and the climb will give you a high like none other especially when you look down at the world from 2000ft above the ground.
Rock-climbers paradise: El Capitan
If you are a rock climbing expert, not an adventurer then the 3000ft granite stone monolith is your climbing paradise. Professional climbers take about 3 hours to scale up these steep mountains. However, if you aren’t one and interested in capturing time-lapses then you can easily relinquish another hour or two! Caution: You are no Alex Honnold. Therefore, do stock up on ropes and other safety gear!
Sunsets at Glacier Point
It arguably offers the most stunning view of the sun hiding behind these mountains and the upper terrace also gives you a view of the Half Dome. Note, for hiking up the Half Dome you need to apply for prior permission and need to be tested for your physical fitness owing to greater elevation and thinning of the oxygen levels in the air.
Other tourist attractions include the majestic Yosemite falls, passing through the tunnel view and the Merced river!
The climb is tough but the view is great and if you plan to rest in nature’s lap then you need to work towards it from now!