Vote Charlie!

Yosemite Valley with Natt, Beam, Chris

Posted at age 35.
Edited .

This week Monday I went back to Yosemite for a night, with Beam, Natt and Chris. It was a quick trip, but we got one good day hike in up to Glacier Point. I saw my first rattlesnake, a few other creatures, and many beautiful views. I definitely need to get back and do some more hikes!

A few weeks ago Natt asked me about going to Yosemite, as Beam wanted to go on another trip before he starts a new job. The only night available was the Monday of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, so that’s what we did. We reserved a little cabin-tent combo with a wood frame and tarp cover, which was around $230 for the night. It worked out pretty well!

I was tasked with researching how we should get to a cool lookout area called Glacier Point. I found you can drive to it, but it is an hour and 20 minute drive from Curry Village. Hiking is also an option via Four Mile Trail, for about 10 miles round trip. That seemed doable to me even though the others weren’t big into hiking. Natt and I chose to go with that plan, and he decided to do the hike right away Monday.

Map of the Four Mile Trail in Yosemite Valley

Map of the Four Mile Trail in Yosemite Valley

I plotted the trail route in City Strides, exported the GPX file and imported it into Google Earth, and then took a screenshot of that for some perspective to show the others what the hike would be like. I noted it’s recommended to bring 4 liters of water per person, but there is a water fountain at the top open from May.

The Four Mile Trail in Yosemite Valley

The Four Mile Trail in Yosemite Valley

Natt picked me up at home Monday morning at 7:17 with his fancy Tesla. We stopped somewhere around Tracy, California, to charge and get some food. We walked around this driving-oriented development and settled on Panera. We all got breakfast sandwiches and ate there. By the time we finished, the car battery was nearly full. We stopped again in Groveland and got some food at Mar-Val Market (the same place I got groceries on my last trip with Harry, Vivian and Alan). Then once we got to Yosemite Valley about an hour later, we stopped at Base Camp Eatery for some more food before the hike! Beam got extra chicken fingers for the hike, and I just got a gyro to eat right away. I probably should have brought more exciting food for the hike, but figured my bland protein bars would be enough.

Base Camp Eatery

Base Camp Eatery

We parked on the roadside near the trailhead, in the last open spot. There was a parking lot nearby, but the sign said the gate closed at dusk, and we thought we’d better not chance it. Since we hadn’t checked in yet, we just left most of our stuff in the car out of view, and it worked out.

The Four Mile Trailhead in Yosemite Valley

The Four Mile Trailhead in Yosemite Valley

The hike was pretty chill. We stopped a few times to rest or snack, and I was proud of Beam for making it up all the way on his first such hike.

Northern Pacific rattlesnake

Northern Pacific rattlesnake

View of Yosemite Valley from the Four Mile Trail.

View of Yosemite Valley from the Four Mile Trail.

Hiking up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point with Upper Yosemite Fall visible in the background.

Hiking up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point with Upper Yosemite Fall visible in the background.

View of Yosemite Valley from the Four Mile Trail.

View of Yosemite Valley from the Four Mile Trail.

Hiking up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point

Hiking up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point

Sierra mountain kingsnake

Sierra mountain kingsnake

Hiking up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point

Hiking up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point

As we ascended the switchbacks of the hillside, our view of the Upper Yosemite Fall kept changing. Initially it was way above us, but we eventually were above it. The whole valley was beautiful and I could not stop looking at it.

View of Upper Yosemite Fall from the Four Mile Trail

View of Upper Yosemite Fall from the Four Mile Trail

View of Upper Yosemite Fall from the Four Mile Trail

View of Upper Yosemite Fall from the Four Mile Trail

We had some great views of Half Dome along the way also.

The famous Half Dome as seen from the Four Mile Trail

The famous Half Dome as seen from the Four Mile Trail

View of Yosemite Valley from the Four Mile Trail.

View of Yosemite Valley from the Four Mile Trail.

View of Yosemite Valley from the Four Mile Trail.

View of Yosemite Valley from the Four Mile Trail.

We made the recommended short side track to Union Point about two thirds of the way up. There was a nice little railing installed to let me lean over the edge somewhat securely. :-)

The lookout at Union Point, about two thirds of the way up the Four Mile Trail up to Glacier Point

The lookout at Union Point, about two thirds of the way up the Four Mile Trail up to Glacier Point

After a few hours in the heat, it was a nice surprise when Beam remembered the chicken strips and brought them out. The fact they came in a restaurant takeout box made it all the more hilarious out here in nature.

Hiking up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point

Hiking up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point

View of Yosemite Valley from the Four Mile Trail.

View of Yosemite Valley from the Four Mile Trail.

We eventually reached snow! This was a bit of a relief because I feared we were lower on water than I expected. Beam mentioned when I asked at some point that he had run out (not sure when he was planning to tell me!), so I shared with him from my 2.5L reservoir, and Chris did as well.

Hiking up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point

Hiking up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point

View of Yosemite Valley from the Four Mile Trail.

View of Yosemite Valley from the Four Mile Trail.

I believe this is a female sooty grouse

I believe this is a female sooty grouse

Hiking up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point

Hiking up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point

Hiking up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point

Hiking up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point

Hiking up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point

Hiking up the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point

Chris and Beam had somehow gotten to the top way ahead of Natt and me. I saw this building powered by a generator that I presumed to be the seasonal store. Natt and I walked over to Glacier Point lookout itself and walked around, eventually looking for Chris after we didn’t see them for 30 minutes.

Store at Glacier Point.

Store at Glacier Point.

View of Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point.

View of Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point.

View of Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point.

View of Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point.

View of Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point.

View of Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point.

Either Vernal Fall or Navada Fall, Yosemite National Park

Either Vernal Fall or Navada Fall, Yosemite National Park

Once we found a Chris near the store, we learned they didn’t actually go to the lookout area and thought the store area was all that was up here. They talked about how comical it was to not be expecting anything up here, certainly not a store or vehicle access, and that it felt like ascending suddenly into Disneyland, with ice cream and sandwiches! Then we all went to the lookout together before heading back down.

Developed area at Glacier Point.

Developed area at Glacier Point.

View of Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point.

View of Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point.

Oh, the restrooms were locked, and the water fountain was not working! Thankfully the store sold water, so I bought 3 750mL bottles for about $2 each. I turned out to have enough water in my reservoir for the whole trip back, as it was much less hot and easier to go downhill. But I’m glad I had backup just in case.

These bathrooms and water fountains were locked and not functioning May 27. Thankfully the store was open and could sell us some water, as Beam had run out and I was low.

These bathrooms and water fountains were locked and not functioning May 27. Thankfully the store was open and could sell us some water, as Beam had run out and I was low.

Sierra Fence Lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis taylori

Sierra Fence Lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis taylori

I think it's a common raven

I think it's a common raven

View of Yosemite Valley from the Four Mile Trail.

View of Yosemite Valley from the Four Mile Trail.

Mountain quail

Mountain quail

Once we got back to the car, there were tons of mosquitos and it was dark, barely. We headed up the trail starting a bit after 13:00, and it took 3 hours, 40 minutes to get to the top. Then we headed back down starting at 17:50 and it took 2 hours, 15 minutes.

We checked into our cabin, had a quick shower in the little facilities which were kind of like boy scouts camp, and then we went to eat. I ordered a pizza and we got drinks at 1899 Bar.

After the hike, we checked in, showered, and got some pizza and drinks at the 1899 Bar. It was pretty nice and the food was great!

After the hike, we checked in, showered, and got some pizza and drinks at the 1899 Bar. It was pretty nice and the food was great!

After the hike, we checked in, showered, and got some pizza and drinks at the 1899 Bar. It was pretty nice and the food was great!

After the hike, we checked in, showered, and got some pizza and drinks at the 1899 Bar. It was pretty nice and the food was great!

The next morning, we packed out, and Natt drove us around to some sights in the valley. We didn’t do any more serious hiking, but it was a nice relaxing morning.

Small deer unafraid of humans near our cabin in Curry Village.

Small deer unafraid of humans near our cabin in Curry Village.

Curry Village tent cabin we stayed in for one night.

Curry Village tent cabin we stayed in for one night.

Curry Village tent cabin we stayed in for one night.

Curry Village tent cabin we stayed in for one night.

Lower Yosemite Fall

Lower Yosemite Fall

People scrambling on the rocks at the base of Lower Yosemite Fall.

People scrambling on the rocks at the base of Lower Yosemite Fall.

Lower Yosemite Fall

Lower Yosemite Fall

Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley

El Capitan

El Capitan

Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley

View of Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View.

View of Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View.

We headed out in the afternoon and made the journey back, stopping for a charge in Groveland, California. We had lunch at Cocina Michoacana, and I ordered a huge chimichanga. Next time I’ll try to be more vegetarian…

Charging the Tesla in Groveland, California.

Charging the Tesla in Groveland, California.

I ordered a chimichanga at a Mexican restaurant in Groveland, California.

I ordered a chimichanga at a Mexican restaurant in Groveland, California.

And that’s a wrap!