I hadn’t been to a National Park until June of 2013, and since then I have had the pleasure of going to a few. The National Parks are definitely pretty cool, so I wanted to start this series so I can highlight the parks as I travel to them, share some photography and talk about the hikes I did, and hopefully learn a little more about the park in the process. There is no specific time-frame for the completion of this series, and it may end up containing info on National Forests, National Monuments, State Parks, etc. Drum-roll, please.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park was first protected in 1864 and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. The park spans an area of nearly 1,200 square miles, within which you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient grand sequoias, and more. Visitors are able to experience the parks 800 miles of hiking trails and 282 miles of road. The park is best known for its waterfalls. At 2,425 feet, Yosemite Falls is the highest in North America. Hikers also take notice of the granite mountains, namely Half Dome, at 8,842 feet and Mt. Lyell at 12,114 feet. Source: National Park Service


Yosemite Falls and Half Dome are two of the most popular hikes at Yosemite National Park.

Half Dome

Half Dome is considered to be a strenuous hike at 14 – 16.4 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of 4,800 feet. Most hikers take 10 to 12 hours to complete the round trip hike. At the end of the hike, you must ascend up the cables. The cables allow hikers to climb the last 400 feet without climbing gear. This section of the trail is usually open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  If you want to hike to the top of Half Dome you MUST HAVE A PERMIT! Source: Half Dome Day Hike NPS

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls Trail is considered to be a moderate to strenuous hike at 7.2 miles round trip, with a 2,700 foot elevation gain. The NPS suggests that the hike time is between 6 and 8 hours for most hikers. This trail is open year-round. Source: Yosemite Falls Trail NPS Earlier this month on a visit to San Francisco, a few friends and I were fortunate enough to take a day trip over to Yosemite National Park and hike the Yosemite Falls Trail. The hike was definitely challenging, and we were slow getting going in the morning so it didn’t leave much time for dilly dallying! We completed the hike in about 5.5 hours. Note: All photography is available for purchase. Please contact me for pricing details.

Yosemite Falls full falls selfie 2

The falls and required selfie #1.

Yosemite Falls Overlook Upper Falls

Made it to the top! Left to the overlook, and a view of the upper part of the falls!

ledge feet

I *may* have slipped under the fence to get pictures right by the ledge… but I plead the fifth. falls rainbow selfie

A view of the falls from the ledge and required selfie #2.

Granite mtns lower falls rainbow

Headed down… a view of the granite mountains and of the falls nearer to the bottom.