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Trailblazers Take On Yosemite (Part 4)


DAY 4:

We agreed upon a slower and later start to the day today since it was a very chill day with fewer time constraints. Our bodies worked hard these last couple of days, so a very relaxing and more observation-based adventure day was welcomed.

Breakfast was yet again made by the wonderful Michaela and Eric. Breakfast burritos were on the menu! One of my ALL-TIME favorite meals. We spent some time sippin’ on coffee afterward, plopped down in our camp chairs. We chatted for a few and then got our daypacks ready to go! 

hiking and camping in yosemite

The first stop was Tuolumne Grove, home to some of the most magnificent and giant Sequoia trees I’ve ever laid my eyes on. This trail is a 2.5-mile loop, and along the way, we had the opportunity to stand in awe as we bent our necks backward and looked up at the gentle giants.

Did you know that Sequoia trees can live to be 3,000 years old, and they actually “communicate” underground using mycelium, which allows them to support one another, help each other grow, and nourish each other?


hiking yosemite

As we strolled through the grove, our guides told us all the neat facts about Sequoia trees, mushrooms, plants, and the land we were on. We even got to walk through one of the hollowed-out tree trunks!

hiking and camping in yosemite

Post 2.5 mile loop, we sat at the empty picnic tables located at the trailhead, finding pockets of the sun to warm our bodies while our lunch was being prepared. We had a make-your-own charcuterie board bar! From crackers to bell peppers to dried mango. YUM.

We still had about half of the day left, which means more low-key exploration! Our next destination was Tunnel View, and let’s just say we could have sat there all day long. Sure, it was right next to the road, and a tunnel (hence the name), but Tunnel View was indeed an iconic sight, and all that went away. Imagine a wide panoramic view of massive granite mountains to waterfalls, with forests sprinkled in between. Postcard worthy.

We all had caffeine on the brain, so we headed to The Village for a coffee pit stop! We made our way to Lower Yosemite Falls with iced coffees and lattes in hand for a quick walkabout. It was REALLY neat knowing that we were all standing proudly ON TOP of the waterfall the day prior. The power and crashing of water on the rocks at Lower Falls gave us a misty shower as we passed by. 

We snapped some photos, soaked in the landscape, and headed to the gift shop, where we purchased stickers, mugs, shirts, and little souvenirs that reminded us of our time in this magical place.

hiking and camping in yosemite

Before we left the park for the last time, our final stop was at El Cap, located on the north side of Yosemite Valley, checking in at 3,000ft tall from base to summit. (Same place I mentioned earlier!) It is a goliath of a rock face and a destination for daring climbers. Remember how I told you we saw headlamps on the Dawn Wall (Southeast face of El Cap) leaving the park the other day? Well, we got to see those climbers working on a pitch that evening. Sure, they were the size of ants, but it was absolutely incredible and hard to fathom them being up there, trying to chase the summit.

dawn wall yosemite

I personally felt some sadness as we left the park that evening. I was sad because this was our last night together. I was obviously overwhelmed with gratitude for this opportunity but sad that our time together was ending.

However, the last night did not disappoint. We spent it laughing, sharing stories, eating pasta for dinner followed by cupcakes and s’mores, and absorbing as much time as we could as a family before we parted ways. It was a really special night around the campfire and one that I know none of us will forget. 

hiking and camping in yosemite

DAY 5:

Our final yet pretty early morning was still full of coffee goodness and a wonderful breakfast. Michaela and Eric set up an oatmeal and yogurt parfait bar! This was more of a grab-and-go approach because we needed to have our bags packed, our tents broken down and put away in the trailer, and on the road by 7:30 because this was the morning we all flew out. 

At 7:30, we accomplished our mission. We were wheeled up and headed to the airport! We had about a 2-hour drive to the Fresno airport, where we would say our final goodbyes. 

And the final goodbyes left all of us with a heavy heart, but in the best way possible. We all just became friends, fast. The trails brought us together. Yosemite brought us together. Everyone’s bravery to say YES to this trip brought us together.

—The universe brought us all together for a reason. 



Meet the author

Bethany Taylor

I’m a PNW-based outdoor educator, adventure athlete, highly-caffeinated creative, all-women adventure trip host, safety advocate, and obsessed dog mom. I am here to help you chase more stoke-filled days outdoors with confidence through education and empowerment.

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