Hiking in Yosemite – steep slopes and spectacular scenery

Hiking in Yosemite - Half DomeAfter many days of eating and drinking I was keen to get out and about and see a different side to California.  Luckily (or meticulously well planned depending on how you look at it) our next stop was hiking in Yosemite National Park.

As is probably becoming clear I am a sucker for a view, and our drive and hike in Yosemite provided some of the most dramatic yet.  As we drove into the valley we were met with views like this…

Hiking in Yosemite  - view-of-Half-Dome-(from-bridge)Wow!

As we were there quite early in the season lots of the hiking routes were still closed. I had been recommended by a friend to try and do one of the hikes that leads up to Half Dome but due to the snow we had to change our plans – instead we ended up hiking up to the top of Yosemite Falls.

Hiking in Yosemite - Yosemite-falls-(from-the-bottom)Scaling the heights of this bad boy is a hike I would thoroughly recommend (a word of caution on this recommendation however, I love a walk, a speedy one – the boy describes it as a march – and so this route may not be for all).  

Hiking in Yosemite - view-of-Half-Dome-and-Yosemite-Valley-(2)

The hike is a 7 mile or so round trip (although you can stop a bit earlier at the base of the falls) and its a pretty challenging climb, but the views you get of the Half Dome along the way are breathtaking.Hiking in Yosemite - view-Half-Dome-(from-half-way-up-falls)And the falls are amazing.

Hiking in Yosemite - Yosemite-Falls

I’ve yet to make it to Niagara, Iguazu or  Angel Falls, so for me this was one of the most spectacular yet.

Hiking in Yosemite - Yosemite-Falls-(from-base)

The top of the trek takes you to a platform which looks down over the top of the waterfall. This was pretty amazing but not one for anyone who suffers vertigo – even I felt a little wobbly…

Yosemite---view-over-Yosemite-FallsBut there was a rainbow, so that set me right again!

Another point to note if you are doing this trek in the winter season, there is A LOT of slush and snow (even at the end of April) for which, unusually for me, I was woefully unprepared…my ‘breathable’ trainers meant some very soggy and cold feet by the end of the day.

In retrospect, given the road trip we were about to embark on, a long hike probably wasn’t the most sensible idea (cue some very stiff muscles) but I was so happy playing mountain goat for the day and would love to try some of the other trails – any particular recommendations?

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