FIRST RULE OF TRAIL CLUB: GROW A TRAIL BEARD
Oh what? You have a fucking epic beard already??
Fuck yeah. You're set.
Since you're already channeling your inner John Muir, the visionary who wandered the vastness of Yosemite eventually helping to make it into a National Park, you'll want to look into staying in the backcountry. There's a list of backcountry camping areas listed on the Yosemite National Park website, but first you'll need a permit. You can get that here
. If you don't have a permit, they won't let you in and the last thing you want is to hike 10 miles and be turned away. Aren't you glad I told you? You're welcome.
The next thing you should think about is... BEARS.
Yes, bears. So if you have't already, go down your local recreation retailer and rent yourself a bear canister for $5 for the weekend. It's a cheap way to insure you'll have a good time, but don't forget whiskey. If you don't plan on hitting the backcountry and opt for staying in a designated campground in the valley there will be bear lockers set up for you to put your coolers, food, and drinks into when you sleep at night, but if you're the adventure type that I think you are then a bear canister is absolutely necessary.
Once you've figured out your food situation the next thing to think about is where you will be hiking. Oh, you're from out of town and you have no idea what to look for? Damn. Well we run this photo blog on Tumblr and there's Yosemite pictures among other awesome places. Take your pick:
Hope that stoked the stoke for you because Yosemite is the most visited National Park in the entire U-S-of- fuckin-A and believe me there's lots of competition. There's great hiking everywhere, so make sure you've got a good pair of hiking boots/shoes. Always make sure you have enough water and snacks to fight off hunger. If you want list of things to bring REI
has a good checklist. Now... Let's talk hikes and shit!
If you're looking for more "easy going" hikes you're in luck. One of my favorite places EVER, is a 10 minute walk from the main road into Yosemite. Check out Bridalveil Falls as its even more beautiful than it's poetic name suggests. It's been said that, "it's more beautiful than the first time a groom sees his new wife when the bridalveil falls." Man, American literature at the turn of the century is some next level shit. See that Double Rainbow? What does it mean?? It means you need to get the hell outside and enjoy the fresh air immediately. Like now. RIGHT NOW. Ok, let's go. Here's a pic.
- Double Rainbow
Glad you're on board. One of my favorite hikes that's not to crazy to get to is The Mist Trail. Look it up. I love it so much I visit every time I go. It's a hike that literally climbs the side of towering waterfalls that line the canyon. It's like walking up your own stairway to heaven. You begin with Vernal Falls and a few minor falls to a loop back over Nevada Falls. It's a great place to stop and have a lunch break near the rock pools.
- If you are in the mind set I like to call, "GO BIG OR GO HOME" then prepare yourself for the next hike. It's a 16 mile boot banger that will take you up The Mist Trail then connect you to the world famous John Muir Trail. I see that beard. I know it's starting to tickle you right now. That's because your beginning to understand your end game. Behold one of the most famous sights in Yosemite: Half Dome. If you've got the balls to climb to the top, the world is your oyster and I owe you a shot when you come back home. That's not enough adrenaline for you? Wow, you've got balls of steel. Good. You're gonna need them. Walk across the summit of Half Dome to a place called the Diving Board. There aren't any signs, but you'll know it when you see it. Walk to the edge and take it in. That's a 4,437ft drop straight down to the valley floor below. I hope you brought you're squirrel suit, some Red Bull, and a GoPro, because those are the type of logos you'll see on the people who stood at the exact spot you are standing on.
- The Diving Board - Half Dome
There's also some great places in Yosemite Valley that are fun to look at and not as hard to get to. Yosemite Falls and Ribbon Falls
empty into the valley near the main lodge. The main lodge has hot showers, good food, and alcohol. You can stop there after your epic day out in Yosemite and take it all in. I'd love to tell you more, but you'll just have to wait for my next post. There's a glass of American Frontier Whiskey on the table and I've got to get it in my belly. Until next time my friends.