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Yosemite Valley 4th of July

by Lisa

Half Dome towering over the meadows of Yosemite Valley

Dan and I rarely travel back to a previously visited location. Yosemite Valley is now an exception. Two years ago we came through Yosemite Valley as part of a backpacking trip from Tuolumne Meadows (in the High Sierras) to Half Dome and then to the Valley.

When we started planning our John Muir hike, we decided that we wanted a few extras days to spend in Yosemite Valley so we booked ourselves into the Curry Village tent cabins (now known as Half Dome Village.)

And then we had to sit and wait 11 months.

Well, the wait is over and here we are with one more night left until we leave on our hike, which means our time in Yosemite Valley is drawing to a close.

We’ve had a great time in the Valley, even with the busy 4th-of-July crowds.

We arrived in the Valley Saturday afternoon and then spent 2 hours in traffic trying to make our way to Curry Village. We made the most of it, getting out of the car to walk and take in some of the views of the Valley walls and waterfalls.

Curry Village tent cabins

The lounge at Curry Village. Great deck complete with rocking chairs!

Sunday morning we woke up early (no thanks to noisy children!). We got ourselves moving and caught the Valley Shuttle to Camp 4, which is the trailhead start for Upper Yosemite Falls. We hit the trail just before 9 am and started our steady climb upwards. Upper Yosemite Falls is one of the top 10 tallest falls in the world and we had to hike from 4,000” all the way up to 6,700”. Climbing out of Yosemite Valley is hard! Thankfully it gave us a phenomenal view of the Valley and an awesome perspective on the falls.

Upper Yosemite Falls and Half Dome

It took us a little over 2 hours to hike to the overlook above the falls. It was amazing to stand on top of the granite dome above Yosemite Falls! We also took some time to soak our feet in the river and relax in the beautiful temperature of the higher plateau.

We took our time on the way back down the trail. We really didn’t want to twist an ankle or scrape a knee right before starting on the JMT! Once we made it back to the Valley floor we treated ourselves to a great dip in the Merced River.

Enjoying a lazy afternoon at the Mercy River with a great view of Yosemite Falls

​Monday started out as a much lazier day. We slept in and didn’t really start moving until after 10 am. We didn’t want to push ourselves too much the day before our hike! We wandered up to Happy Isles and then decided to work our way up the Mist Trail, which gave us access to awesome views of Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls. We managed the 2.6 mile round-trip hike in about 2.5 hours, with a good break at the base of Nevada Falls.

Ready to hit the trail!

Tomorrow is our “last shower,” our “last meal” and the start of our 3-week trail adventure! Wish us luck and look for updates at the end of July.

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