48-hour guide to exploring Yosemite
Yosemite National Park. Have you ever been? OMG. Yosemite is seriously the ultimate playground! You can easily spend a week or two here and still not have seen the entire park. But for the short weekend traveler that wants to see as much of the park as you can, I've put together the ultimate adventure guide to exploring Yosemite in a quick 48-hours.
You'll want to make the most of your trip by getting a super early start. Wherever you're coming from, make sure you are all packed up and ready for the first hike well before noon; Upper Yosemite Falls. Seven mildly strenuous miles with 1700ft of elevation gain. Amazing views of the valley below and fun opportunities to get sprayed by the almighty upper falls himself. It took us about three hours up and three hours down; this includes picture time, rest stops, and soaking it all in at the top. This trail is very easy to follow; lots of fellow hikers both young and old alike. This hike is sure to keep your heart pumping and blood flowing. *TIP: pack LOTS of water and bring a light lunch, you'll want to reward yourself with a bite to eat before you head back down.
Once you're done with Upper Yosemite Falls, it should be time for check-in at your accommodations. We stayed at Camp Curry, a community tent grove in the based of the valley ran by the Yosemite National Park Rangers. $69 got us our tent, one bed, community restrooms and showers, food court access, and a community area for people to meet and mingle. Other accommodations in Yosemite include The Ahwahnee, Yosemite Lodge, and pitch-your-own-tent space. Besides these four, all other hotels are easily an hour drive out of the valley. There is nothing worse than wasting your precious time and gas when you could be resting for you next adventure. So my biggest suggestion is to book your accommodation at one of these four as soon as possible.
I hope you got a good night sleep because there is a BIG day ahead of you. This day includes 17 miles and 10 hours of adventure, so prepare yourself. It's not so much strenuous, just LONG. Wake up bright and early and get started on four mile trail. This trail takes you from the valley all the way up to Glacier Point, perhaps the most notable view of Yosemite. Absolutely astonishing. From there, you're going to take Panorama trail all the way down. With this trail, you'll merge onto Mist Trail which will leave you with amazing views of Nevada Falls and Vernal Falls. Soon gorgggg! TIPS: bring LOTS of water, pack enough food for 10 hours, wear good hiking shoes, bring a light jacket as the temperature changes drastically throughout the day, and keep a good pace to ensure you are done by night fall. If you're lucky enough to have another night in Yosemite, shower up and enjoy the stars! If you're driving home, drive safe!