Thursday, September 27, 2007

Yosemite NP

We left SF early on Saturday morning in attempt to reach Yosemite NP early enough to still go for at least a short hike on that day. We arrived in the park around 2pm and by 3.30pm we set up our tents at Porcupine Flat camping ground (located at 8100ft/2480m).

The afternoon we spent hiking up to Tenaya Lake. We were there shortly before sun down and it was pretty chili. Luckily, there was a small campground with a restaurant where we got hot tea/coffee/cacao that warmed us up. Moreover, we must have looked so sad and cold that the nice lady did not ask us to pay for the drinks. (That reminds me of a striking difference between my own and my friends' attitude towards this nice gesture. I was warmly touched by the generosity of the woman that had told us to get the drinks for free, whereas my friends were totally unimpressed by that fact and said something along the lines: "it was just a few bucks, she did not lose anything by giving it to us for free".)

Tenaya Lake:

View to Half Dome, Mt Watkins, Clouds Rest, Sentinel Dome from the trail:

On Sunday we set out for a full-day hike to North Dome. The round trip was around 11.5 miles and it involved the elevation change of 1,742 feet (less than 600 meters), so it was rather an easy hike. But it was incredibly beautiful and the view from the top of North Dome was just stunning. Half Dome seemed to be within hands reach. The weather was perfect and there were hardly any other hikers on the trail. I would strongly recommend this hike to anybody who will be visiting (or passing through) Yosemite.

On our way to North Dome we took a short (0.3 mile) detour to view the Natural Arch in Indian Ridge. It is the only (visible*) natural arch in Yosemite National Park.

Here we are on top of North Dome. In the background you can see impressive Half Dome.

That's a view to Mt Watkins (on the left) and Clouds Rest (on the right) also from North Dome.

On the trail we saw many chip monks, but the one on the picture was the cutest. It came to beg us for some food while we were having our lunch on the summit of North Dome.

Also this raven showed a lot of interest in our food. It was very brave and accustomed to people. I even managed to make it eat bread from my shoe.

*According to my guidebook there is a second natural arch in Yosemite NP, but as it is located in Yosemite Creek it is invisible to tourists.