We knew we wanted to camp in Yosemite, and later in summer or September is always so warm for me, we thought we’d try for June, which meant getting online before 7am in January when the campsites become available 5 months ahead. We were trying for North Pines but half that campsite was closed for possible flooding, wise since we drove through and several sites were indeed still flooded mid-June! We ended up with the last spot in Upper Pines next to the bathroom & dumpster, but we still had a great time…who knew after such a gorgeous hiking day to Nevada Falls that it would SNOW in JUNE?!?
Friday June 9th
We made it to Yosemite just at sunset, and I had to bring my own rock from home, but I have finally made egg in a hole on a rock on a campfire and it was perfect! 😃 red wine, Brie fondue with crackers, sweet potato salad, and s’mores rounded out tonight’s campfire cooking. Hiking tomorrow since there’s a chance of SNOW on Sunday! 😳❄️☃
Saturday June 10th
Tons more photos and videos later, just a quickie post now since not enough signal…almost 10 miles in 8 hours today starting at 4035 ft above sea level climbing up to 5607 ft at the top of Nevada Falls and back down, walking through a bonus snowmelt waterfall, drenched by mist from Nevada Falls, and the Vernal Falls Mist Trail was truly epic even with double rainbows “all the way!” Glen is already asleep in front of the fire after dinner and I’m pooped too! Rain and/or snow forecasted for tomorrow so we will hang around the Yosemite Valley floor checking out as many waterfalls as possible…good night!
Here is the full album of our 10-mile 2000ft up & down Saturday hike on the John Muir Trail to Nevada Falls & Mist Trail along Vernal Falls. Truly epic amounts of water were amazing to see!
Sunday June 11th
It was already raining before 10am at our campsite, and tiny hail or sleet in the valley with clouds all around the peaks, but we decided to drive to Glacier Point anyway. By 5000 ft up we were driving though snow flurries and some snow was still on the ground! When we got to Glacier Point we laughed since we couldn’t see anything through the clouds, but we stayed long enough for enough clouds to blow away and back again to have some stellar views after all! We could see our full hike to both waterfalls and even zoom my iPhone through Glen’s binoculars to see people at the top of Vernal Falls! Halfdome was never completely clear since the clouds stuck to its face, but I got to pet a gorgeous adorable friendly Malamute dog! We found new tshirts for each of us at the gift shop, and then it started snowing again!
As we headed downhill from Glacier Point, the weather started to clear, so Tunnel View was absolutely stunning! We got drenched in the mist of Bridalveil Falls, got moody and sunny photos of Halfdome, and walked to the base of Lower Yosemite Falls where we stood in more waterfall mist. Definitely a difference when you’re already chilly from snowy weather rather than overheated from a sunny hike! Glad we had a clear afternoon since more rain due this evening, plus maybe even snow again by 5am…
Thankfully the canopy we set up this morning kept our table and wood dry, and it was clear long enough this evening to start a roaring fire and cook dinner, but by dessert the rain started winning so we moved the canopy to the fire’s edge, and waited out the rain. After all our cleanup we moved the canopy over our tent since it might snow by 5am! Sure glad we have wool socks, fleece, and down comforters in our little tent since it’s already 37F! Isn’t it almost midsummer? 😉
Monday June 12th
Two deer strolled right through our Upper Pines campsite Sunday morning right by me! Before we needed the rain fly over the tent, we could see Glacier Point through our tent window, but Halfdome was through the trees over the bathrooms. At least running water, mirrors, and flush toilets were much better than the San Simeon portapotties! It was an annoying campsite because so many people kept walking right through our site to the bathrooms or dumpster, but at least we were actually camping in Yosemite Valley, which is an online crapshoot 5 months in advance! It was really cold last night, but thankfully it was dry enough this morning by the time we got up that we had an easier time packing, but we will still need to set up the tent at home to dry out completely.
We checked out from our campsite, spotted other people taking my wildflowers on front of Halfdome photo, were amazed at a giant log perched on a rock midrver, and spent about 30 minutes looking for parking by Yosemite Village…even Monday traffic was crazy! We saw a little of the visitors center, then walked to the hotel for our fancy lunch reservation. The trademark name issue is still under dispute so most signs have been updated to The Majestic Yosemite Hotel, but the paper maps and some trail signs still say The Ahwahnee.
To end our camping weekend we splurged with a sit-down meal in the grand dining room of the Majestic Yosemite Hotel, originally the Ahwahnee Hotel. They asked if we wanted to sit in the area where Queen Elizabeth sat, so of course we said yes! Sadly you can barely see Yosemite Falls through the giant window anymore because of a young tree growing and covering the view, so I took a photo of the painting showing what the view used to be. It was a lovely lunch and a delicious dessert!
Since we left later on Friday than we hoped, we took Hwy 140 into Yosemite since Google Maps claimed it was almost an hour less due to rush hour traffic leaving the Bay Area. I’d never driven that way so I missed my traditional first valley view vista point, plus there’s no big park entrance sign, so we already had planned to take Hwy 120 home. Good thing since Hwy 140 was closed today due to a new rockslide! We got the photos I wanted, and Glen wanted to start a travel sticker collection on the car carrier, so we ceremonially put on our first sticker at the big entrance sign! We made it all the way home by 10:30pm but are exhausted, so full unpacking will be tomorrow. Good night!