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Here’s the thing about Yosemite… you must go now! It is just as breath taking and awe inspiring as John Muir said it would be. I have lived in Northern California for most of my life, and although my parents inform me that I have visited Yosemite as a child, this was the first time that my memory bank stored the experience. This place is magic. I can’t pinpoint the exact source of high in this place but my best guess is all the fresh air from the giant sequoias is causing an immediate reaction in the human brain.

Once you enter Yosemite National Park you will not want to leave… ever. Seeing the face of half dome is enough to make you want to kneel down and believe in a higher power. I had the unique experience of traveling to this amazing place with my two best friends and a caravan full of  visiting explorers which only enhanced the foreign experience. This place feels other worldly and yet it is a little over 4 hours drive from San Francisco city center. Here are my recommendations for hikes & lookouts to stop at on your journey in Yosemite.

Yosemite Valley // Where you can see Lower Yosemite Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, El Cap, Yosemite Creek & more
Olmstead Point // This lookout has a trail attached to it and you stand on a massive white rock mountain and see the entire valley and it feels like you are on the moon staring down at earth.
Hike to Elizabeth Lake // You park in a campsite and walk up Unicorn Creek to Elizabeth Lake and it is absolutely stunning in June.
Lembert Dome // From the road this white mountain looks like a climbing only wall but you can walk up 80% of it without getting on all fours.
Taft Point // A quick hike through the forrest looks innocent enough until you get to Taft Point cliff! This is the most incredible view and picture taking spot I’ve ever seen. People with a fear of heights beware, it’s not for the faint at heart.
Tunnel View // Standard tourist spot for taking pictures of the valley but really gorgeous scene
Glacier Point // That perfect view of Half Dome lives here and the start or end of a hike called // Four Mile Trail // which is actually 4.8 miles climbing or descending down 3,200 feet of switchbacks. This trail is challenging and warm so bring water and your knee braces for this one. Completely worth it.

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