Kam Goes To: Yosemite National Park

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I spent last weekend in Yosemite National Park with my guy. Earlier this year we submitted an application for permits to hike Mt. Whitney and shortly after we got our permits, we decided to have a follow-up trip to Yosemite to do it again.

We first went to Yosemite the first summer we started dating…four and a half years ago! It was time for us to return, and backpacking seemed like an inexpensive alternative with less stress compared to booking campground reservations.

Day One: Young Lakes via Glen Aulin trail (to campsite)
Young Lake. The lower one.
 This hike was really challenging for me. I think it was a mixture of a heavy pack, not training, and the giant gap between trail markers that made this really hard on my psychologically. While it was definitely physically challenging, I almost gave up a few times just because I wasn’t mentally into the trail. We encountered very few people, were not hiking together most of the time (I am painfully slow when it comes to uphill), and I was hot one minute when the sun was peeking around the few clouds and being soaked the next minute! Mosquitoes are still abundant this late in the season due to the late storms.

We arrived at the lake about 7 hours after we left the trailhead, which if you can believe it, works out to be less than a mile and hour. Granted, we took breaks for snacks, hydration, and lunch, but if this was a day hike we would’ve made it in a lot sooner. We made camp next to a giant boulder, explored a bit, rested, and made dinner.
Day Two: Young Lakes via Dog Lake trail (to trailhead)
Boyfriend heading across a beautiful meadow, toward Lembert Dome

We woke up early the next morning sore from the day before but determined to make it out of the camp and on the trail as soon as possible. After a bit of a mishap with our breakfast, we were on the trail in no time. This time, it was mostly downhill and shaded, so we took about 5 hours instead of 7 to do a little less distance than the day before. No rain this time! The views along this trail were a lot different than the day before and we took plenty more photos on our way to the trailhead than any other time.

In all, it was another great experience for us. This is only our second backpacking trip and we need to decide if we are going to plan a trip for later this month for backpacking on Catalina Island. We already decided we will not backpack when we go to Bryce Canyon NP and Zion NP in October. Maybe another time, though.

Quotes of the weekend
“This is why John Muir didn’t bring his wife with him”
“That was the longest mile and a half of my life”
“Some hipster left their shoes behind”
“Why do we like doing this??”
“From now on we stay in a nice lodge and go on nature hikes 
where the trail is paved and there are signs telling me about plants and animals”

Walking out of the freezing creek. I wasn’t built for the ‘actual’ crossing.

This trip got us thinking:

  • Hammocks wouldn’t be a bad idea. They are much more lightweight and possibly less damaging to the surrounding area
  • We could probably get away with a smaller bear canister
  • We need to carry less water if we are going to be near obvious water sources. This judgement will be based on things like the weather, elevation, actual water sources, etc.
  • We’re considering switching to down sleeping bags so they are more lightweight and compress down even more than our synthetics
  • Noah should’ve turned the mosquitoes away from the ark
  • Extra batteries for the camera would’ve been nice

How do you spend your time outdoors?
Do you enjoy camping?
You can read about our ‘road to whiney’ if you’d like to see how we prepared and what-not…spoiler alert: we weren’t able to summit.
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Adventure Backpacking Camping Hiking National Park Weekend

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