Mountain Eye Candy

While the holiday season gets into full swing you are probably getting bombarded with sales alerts, deals, and a whole lotta consumerism. To give you a little break from the madness, here is some Mountain Eye Candy from my November trip to Yosemite National Park. If you haven't been to Yosemite in the fall, I highly recommend it. If you have never been there, well, it is time to make that happen. Yosemite has some of the most breathtaking vistas on the planet and was the catalyst for the park system (for both California and National). I have a post in the works to help you plan an epic trip to this majestic park but, for now, just sit back and be inspired by these mountains. 

On the first day I decided to do a quick warm up hike to Vernal Falls before nightfall. At this time, my plan was to hike to Clouds Rest the next day. Tioga Pass had been closed for the past two weeks due to snowfall, so I wasn't sure if I was going to be hiking 20+ miles basically straight up the side of a mountain, or a more gradual elevation gain over 17... 

A little reminder that my hike to Clouds Rest will be quite a bit more challenging if Tioga Pass doesn't open...

Vernal Fall. A small trickle at the (hopefully) end of a couple drought years. 

The weather gods were definitely in my favor over the weekend. The next morning I awoke to perfect hiking weather and Tioga Pass opened, allowing us hikers to make the trek to Clouds Rest from Tenaya Lake. Normally, I am all about taking the bigger challenge but, as I was still recovering from an injury, the slightly easier hike was more than welcome. 

Making tracks! First to the top since the last snowfall. 

Giving Half Dome a little much deserved love.  

Looking out on the Eastern Sierra from Clouds Rest. 

Looking out on the Eastern Sierra from Clouds Rest. 

An amazing glacier valley just a scramble off the trail. 

Polar plunge, anyone? 

Enjoying a sunset view of Clouds Rest. 

Clouds Rest on the left, Half Dome on the right.

After a nice, long hiking day, I decided to enjoy some time in the Valley and then take a drive up to Glacier Point. I had no memory of ever being there, though my mom assured me I had (I must have been teeny tiny at the time). 

Seeing these colors is just one of the many reasons to visit Yosemite in the fall. 

Um. Ridiculous. 

Clouds Rest is just to the left of Half Dome in this photo. 

The view from Glacier Point was absolutely stunning. If you ever want to visit Yosemite and cannot get around easily, this is the place to be. Anyone can get up there. (Because of that, be prepared for the crowd. I definitely saw a pair of high heeled, furry boots, and more than one fancy leather jacket.) For most of you, I would recommend going in the off season or at least making a trip up for sunrise/sunset. 

Sunset was 100% worth the wait and the late drive home.  

In February, some of us Wayfarers have a cross country trip planned to Glacier Point. Stay tuned for a little "how-to" plus photos gallery for some inspiration for a snowy Yosemite trip!