Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Kathryn's Hols- Day 6 - hiking in Yosemite, glacier point, sentinal dome, taft point

Despite the best intentions we got up a bit late and wandered down for an ok breakfast at the food court of the lodge. We bought a few supplies for our day hike and then gave a lot of thought to hiking up The 4 Mile Trail to Glacier point. It is apparently a bit of a trudge up 3,000ft on asphalt. Our waiter from the evening before had said in rather camp fashion, "why walk when you can drive?". We had dismissed this thought but with one thing and another we decided to take a relaxed drive up to Glacier point.

Getting back to the car we were pleased we'd been diligent about getting all the food out of there as two cars along a bear had smashed its way into a car.

The drive up to Glacier point is fantastic with loads to see and lots of photo opportunities.

yosemite valley with el capitan

fall colours in yosemite

routine burn results

Right from the car park you can get some awesome views of Yosemite without hiking for hours. I hadn't realised that Yosemite was quite so accessible. Of course this makes it a bit crowded but on balance it is nice that there is a spot like this which anyone can easily get to.

half dome

half doma, liberty cap, nevada falls,

The last photo shows Liberty Cap on the right about Nevada falls. I think an excellent hike would be from Glacier Point (catching the bus to get there) along the Panorama Trail and down by Nevada Falls and Vernal Falls. Potentially some excellent camping there too. Apparently this is a strenuous 6 hour hike (8.5 miles) though I'm sure it must be mostly downhill, so one for the trekking poles.

Having mostly meandered and driven today we decided to hike a bike. Sentinal Dome is a couple of miles from the car park and gave really nice views of the park (and an opportunity for a bit of Yoga).

half dome from sentinal dome

only 1 tree on sentinal dome

yoga on sentinal dome

The whole week Kathryn had been seeing shapes in the rocks in her mind's eye (did you notice the dog in the rock outside wild cat cabin?). Well, from the top of sentinal dome I finally spotted one for myself...

north dome and quarter dome ?

Sentinal Dome is rightly a popular walk but we'd been advised to go on to the less popular Taft Point (a 6 mile loop in all). The way there was a typical Yosemite walk in the woods with lots of potential for running into wildlife. When the path passed among big rocks I couldn't help checking for wildcats up there. This was a lovely walk ending in the unusual Taft Point, a rocky outcrop with some awesome fissues in the rocks on the way to the edge. As you followed the path, looking down the various hollows on the right, what looked like shallow dips were actually huge fissures in the rock dropping down thousands of feet!

From here we got amazing views of The Three Brothers, the topmost of which is Eagle Peak where I'd hiked before; as well as the top of Yosemite Falls, at the top of which I'd camped before and more recently so had Doug and Alex (it's where they saw the bear).
3 brothers - eagle peak from taft point

top of yosemite falls

Getting dark by now and worrying a bit about bears playing with the car, we trudged back. We then headed south to Wawona to for the night, ready to see the Giant Sequoias. It was a smokey old drive because the rangers were burning off parts of the forest at the edge of the road (which looked dodgey) but the sunset was impressive...


We stayed in the Wawona Hotel which was quite historic but expensive. Food is ok (not as good as the Mountain Lodge) and service during the meal was ok. However, after paying the bill we got a knock on the hotel room door claiming we had run out without paying! They'd lost the credit card paperwork and decided that was our doing. Pretty unimpressive so memorable for the wrong reasons.


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