PRSNT ADVENTURE: YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

Life is an adventure & ultimately we should treat every day like it's an opportunity to make reality out of our dreams. Last week we were supposed to go to a yoga & music festival but quickly realized upon arrival that there was wayyyy to many people there & the vibes were not quite what we had expected. A quick decision later and we were on our way to Yosemite National Park.

Photo: Ryan Griffin / @Pac_fighter

Photo: Ryan Griffin / @Pac_fighter

As we got to the valley we had no plans or reservations and had to completely go with the flow and freestyle with what was available. Sometimes that ends up being the best way. We ended up meeting some very generous people, a young couple from Brazil/ Chile and an older couple from San Fransisco, who let us pitch a tent on their camp site the first nights.

Susan and Frank [made up names to protect the individuals] became our adopted grandparents, letting us pitch a tent on their site at North Pines camp grounds in Yosemite Valley. When the morning sun peaked through the big pine trees, we gathered outside their camper for a bite and share conversations about the up's and downs of life. This time created a beautiful bridge across two generations

Susan and Frank [made up names to protect the individuals] became our adopted grandparents, letting us pitch a tent on their site at North Pines camp grounds in Yosemite Valley. When the morning sun peaked through the big pine trees, we gathered outside their camper for a bite and share conversations about the up's and downs of life. This time created a beautiful bridge across two generations


YOSEMITE VALLEY

There are a total of 5 camp grounds centrally located in the Yosemite Valley. You have Upper and Lower Pines (closets to the Mist Trail and JMT head), north Pines where we stayed, Camp 4 (climbers camp located below El Capitan) and a walk in camp ground (no car parking). If you want to reserve a spot you need to do so when they open registration online. It fills up in minutes so make sure to be quick on the shutter. If you don't get a camp site reserved, you can always post up at the half dome village in the morning (get there early) to get on the list and grab a cancellation. They announce at 3pm each day, you can always try to share with someone else in line and better your odds.  You might get a site, depending on the number of cancellations that day. 

A little morning yoga / PRSNTfit 

A little morning yoga / PRSNTfit 

Taking a rinse (no soap shower) in the cold, refreshing river 

Taking a rinse (no soap shower) in the cold, refreshing river 

The beautiful river runs through the upper, lower and north pines campgrounds (it used to have way more water in it) and it's a perfect spot to take a dip to cool off in the hot day. Temperatures in Yosemite during the day in the summer gets up to 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit. The nights can get quite cold so we recommend bringing a good sleeping bag and wool layers. 

GOURMET CAMP COOKING

Jet Boils are staple camping utilities for us. You can boil water in no time and the different cooking options makes it easy to make gourmet camping meals.  Chanelle doesn't go anywhere with Navitas Natural goodies and I always have my yummy superfood from The Raw Chocolate Company to spice up my oatmeal.

Jet Boils are staple camping utilities for us. You can boil water in no time and the different cooking options makes it easy to make gourmet camping meals.  Chanelle doesn't go anywhere with Navitas Natural goodies and I always have my yummy superfood from The Raw Chocolate Company to spice up my oatmeal.


HIKING TRAILS

There are numerous hikes around the valley of Yosemite. You have some that starts down i the valley like 4 mile hike and Yosemite falls, but there is no longer water in the falls so it's not as exciting as back in the day. We found the hike to Sentinel Dome and Taft Point from the parking lot with the same name, to be great for a quick, light exercise with a stunning view. Follow the signs towards Glacier Point from the valley. It's not only a good warm up for the longer hikes like Nevada Falls, Half Dome or Clouds Rest, but it gives you a very good overview of the valley and it's surrounding mountains, providing you with some awareness of where you are at once on the forest trails. You can also drive to Glacier Point and get a closer view of Half Dome, but this is a really touristy spot. The views from the top of Sentinel Dome are stunning and you can pretty much see everything (including Half Dome, El Capitan and the John Muir trail up to Nevada Falls from here.

The terrain surrounding Sentinel Dome is perfect for trail running 

The terrain surrounding Sentinel Dome is perfect for trail running 

Balance, strength and coordination in one go at the top of Sentinel Dome with a stunning view of Half Dome

Balance, strength and coordination in one go at the top of Sentinel Dome with a stunning view of Half Dome

From Sentinel Dome you get a stunning view of El Capitan

From Sentinel Dome you get a stunning view of El Capitan

Watching the sunset on our way down from Glacier Point #jetboil

Watching the sunset on our way down from Glacier Point #jetboil

HALF DOME

To hike Half Dome you need a permit, and these are a little tricky to get. You can enter a lottery online and if you "win" you will receive an email saying you did in the morning. Give yourself at least two days to get a response, for example if you wanna hike on Sunday you apply on Friday. If you don't win, you can apply again. It charges you about $4 each time you apply, but it's worth that investment. 

The John Muir Trail starts at the Valley Floor of Yosemite National park and continues through amazing landscape all the way to Mt Whitney

The John Muir Trail starts at the Valley Floor of Yosemite National park and continues through amazing landscape all the way to Mt Whitney

Good gear pays off on long hikes, do not forget your hiking shoes, like us ;)

Good gear pays off on long hikes, do not forget your hiking shoes, like us ;)

As soon as we got our permits to hike Half Dome, we packed our gear and headed out. Our permits allowed back country camping over night, but since this was a spontaneous trip we had to rent bigger pack packs at the shop in half dome village at the mountain shop for $15/day. We only had brought our regular tent so we had to get creative on the pack job. There are two options for trails; the Mist Trail and the well known John Muir Trail. We decided to take the JMT as it's a bit less steep and more comfortable with big packs. Don't get us wrong, this trail is still quite steep, starting at the valley floor on 4000 feet climbing switchbacks 4000 vertical feet up to the top of Half Dome.

Nevada Falls looking beautiful from one of the look outs of the JMT

Nevada Falls looking beautiful from one of the look outs of the JMT

The recommended amount to bring for the Half Dome day hike from the valley is 4 Liters per person. #zealoptics

The recommended amount to bring for the Half Dome day hike from the valley is 4 Liters per person. #zealoptics

The top of Nevada Falls is your last change to fill water, so make sure to bring a water Filter, especially if you are overnighting. 

The top of Nevada Falls is your last change to fill water, so make sure to bring a water Filter, especially if you are overnighting. 

Nevada Falls is also a great place to stop and take a refreshing dip and cool off from the heat.

Nevada Falls is also a great place to stop and take a refreshing dip and cool off from the heat.

LITTLE YOSEMITE BACKPACKERS CAMP

From the Valley to Little Yosemite Camp Grounds it's about 4,3 miles. From the top of Nevada Falls it's only about 1 mile and much flatter terrain, so you don;t need more than about 40 min- 1 hour from there

From the Valley to Little Yosemite Camp Grounds it's about 4,3 miles. From the top of Nevada Falls it's only about 1 mile and much flatter terrain, so you don;t need more than about 40 min- 1 hour from there

There are bear boxes provided at Little Yosemite Camp Grounds, but if you are hiking further to the next camp grounds you need to bring a bear container yourself

There are bear boxes provided at Little Yosemite Camp Grounds, but if you are hiking further to the next camp grounds you need to bring a bear container yourself

The nights and mornings are quite cool and temperatures go down to 30 degrees Fahrenheit this time of year. In the day time it tends to heat up and get as high as in the 90s so it's good to layer so you can shed through out the day

Our set up at the back packers campgrounds was pretty sweet. The camp grounds are locate in the back country, 4.3 Miles from the Valley Floor. You do need a permit to sleep there [a ranger checks everybody who comes through] #CLWR

Our set up at the back packers campgrounds was pretty sweet. The camp grounds are locate in the back country, 4.3 Miles from the Valley Floor. You do need a permit to sleep there [a ranger checks everybody who comes through] #CLWR

The view along this trail is heart opening

The view along this trail is heart opening

Chico Bags are our favorite lite daypacks

Chico Bags are our favorite lite daypacks

Get To The Cables Early In Order To Beat The Crowds. It gets quite crowded by the time everyone from the valley makes it up there. Be There Before 10am and you should be dialed. If You Are Hiking From The Valley Floor That Means Starting Your Hike Around 5am as it's 8.2 miles to the top. 

Get To The Cables Early In Order To Beat The Crowds. It gets quite crowded by the time everyone from the valley makes it up there. Be There Before 10am and you should be dialed. If You Are Hiking From The Valley Floor That Means Starting Your Hike Around 5am as it's 8.2 miles to the top. 

Photo: @Pacfighter

Photo: @Pacfighter

In the back you can see Clouds Rest

In the back you can see Clouds Rest

View of the surrounding mountains

View of the surrounding mountains

We made it to the cables at 10 am, after a quick hike from Little Yosemite. We found some worn gloves at the base of the cables that people had left behind. We highly recommend using gloves, as you get a much better grip on the cables up. It's quite steep and can be slippery on the rock. 

TIPS ON HALF DOME:

  • You need a PERMIT to hike Half Dome 
  • Bring a headlamp
  • Bring an airhorn
  • Layer so you can shed
  • Bring gloves if you have to clim the cables
  • Calculate 4 L of water per person for day hikes from the valley floor to Half Dome
  • Get to the cables before 10 am to beat the crowd
  • Bring plenty of snacks with you
  • Bring water filter if you are over night camping
  • Cable climb takes about 15 min
The hike up the cables takes anywhere from 10-20 min, depending on how comfortable you are with these kind of climbs and how many people there are Photo: Ryan Griffin / @Pac_fighter

The hike up the cables takes anywhere from 10-20 min, depending on how comfortable you are with these kind of climbs and how many people there are

Photo: Ryan Griffin / @Pac_fighter

Embracing Life To The Fullest At The Top Of Half Dome Photo: Ryan Griffin / @Pac_fighter

Embracing Life To The Fullest At The Top Of Half Dome

Photo: Ryan Griffin / @Pac_fighter

Stoked to be up there

Stoked to be up there

That iconic rock

That iconic rock

Taking a moment, reminding ourselves to #BPRSNT
We are all creatures of the divine, perfectly imperfect
— @BPRSNT
Taking it all in on the way down via the John Muir Trail. Calculate about 4 hours from the top of Half Dome to the Valley Floor

Taking it all in on the way down via the John Muir Trail. Calculate about 4 hours from the top of Half Dome to the Valley Floor

EXPLORE THE VALLEY FLOOR WITH BIKES

We highly recommend bringing bikes to the valley if you have space. There are bike paths everywhere and so much to see. With a bike you can move around efficiently and peacefully.

We had originally brought our TERN folding bikes along for a music festival, but we ended up using them to get around in the Yosemite valley instead

We had originally brought our TERN folding bikes along for a music festival, but we ended up using them to get around in the Yosemite valley instead

Pedal that lactic acid out of your hiking legs 

Pedal that lactic acid out of your hiking legs 

With a bike you can see so much in one day

With a bike you can see so much in one day

A relaxing day in the hammock by the river after our big hike, feels well deserved

A relaxing day in the hammock by the river after our big hike, feels well deserved

Making sure I refuel with organic multivitamins on the go from #PURPS

Making sure I refuel with organic multivitamins on the go from #PURPS

Check out how small these bikes get #TERN

Check out how small these bikes get #TERN

 

PACKING LIST 


PACKING LIST FOR OUR TRIP:

All the essentials for an adventure into the back country. We could have been out for 2 nights with what we brought. 

All the essentials for an adventure into the back country. We could have been out for 2 nights with what we brought. 

  • Big Back pack 60 Liters
  • Sleeping Bags 15 degree
  • Tent (We used our regular tent)
  • Water filter (we purchased the Sawyer from REI- to filter water from rivers, streams etc.)
  • Water Gators (3 Liter-always an option to fill less)
  • Map of Trails
  • Airhorn (Hiking in the dark with bears and wildlife)
  • Goal Zero solar chargers
Take note of what you used on your trip and what you were "missing" to be more prepared for your next adventure

Take note of what you used on your trip and what you were "missing" to be more prepared for your next adventure

  • Light clothes for hiking (smart to bring things that dries quick)
  • Wool layers and down jacket for cold nights
  • Extra socks
  • Light hiking shoes
  • Down booties for cold nights
  • Small, lightweight Towel
  • Light packs (Chico Bag)
  • Fanny Packs for day hikes 
  • Zip Locks for Trash and Poop
  • Hat (PRSNT)
  • Sunglasses (ZEAL and Oakley)
  • Goal Zero charger
  • Sunscreen (We love All good)
It's a fine line between bringing to much and not enough. Remember that you have to carry your pack up steep sections, so be mindful of what you "need" and don't "need" 

It's a fine line between bringing to much and not enough. Remember that you have to carry your pack up steep sections, so be mindful of what you "need" and don't "need" 

 

  • Camera
  • Carabiners
  • A little bit rope / paracord for emergencies
  • Knife/ Leatherman
  • Headlamp
  • Compass
  • Jet Boils (The Flash)
  • To-GO-Ware (spoon is most likely enough)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • A little sponge + Dr. Bronner's soap to clean Jet Boils after cooking
  • Dice or cards to play games at night
  • Journal and pen 
  • Lighter and waterproof matches
  • First Aid Kit (w/ blister bandages and manduka honey for cuts)
Maca maple cashews from Navitas Naturals

Maca maple cashews from Navitas Naturals

Organic, Raw and delicious snacks from The Raw Chocolate Company 

Organic, Raw and delicious snacks from The Raw Chocolate Company 

Basically leave nothing behind on the trails but good vibes. (yes you have to bring your poop back out with you or dig down your poop 6-7 inches :)

Basically leave nothing behind on the trails but good vibes. (yes you have to bring your poop back out with you or dig down your poop 6-7 inches :)

If you had a peak through our packing list you should be pretty ready to go. Have fun and enjoy the adventure that awaits.

If you had a peak through our packing list you should be pretty ready to go. Have fun and enjoy the adventure that awaits.


OUR GIFT OF THE PRSNT

We hope you enjoyed this gift, shaped by our experiences and urge to explore what this planet has to offer. The aim was to create a journey for you to follow, through images and words, in the spirit of awakening the adventurer that lives in us all. We hope we inspired curiosity for the outdoors  and presentness in your heart. Please feel free to share this blog post if you found it helpful.

Nature inspires us to love and give unconditionally

Nature inspires us to love and give unconditionally