Honestly, I’ve been to the Park countless times over the years, but just being there, right now, is such a worthy use of one’s time. If you live in California, or are thinking about a visit sometime this summer, go now! The scenery, always inspirational, is even more accentuated right now. Beyond the numerous activities one can get themselves into, just the sheer beauty that slaps you in the face when you wake up in the morning and take in your immediate surroundings is worth the drive in-and-of-itself.

Still, early Monday morning I wasn’t really anticipating the mechanic telling us we’d be “lucky” to be on our way home by Tuesday. Surrendering to the situation, I figured it was International Surfing Day and all, and without any waves to paddle out for, why not surf some concrete with the renegade dogs we linked up with in Tuolumne?

And why not join the masses and go explore as much as we can while we’re in the Valley? I mean, this was the first thing I saw biking out from our camp spot at the Upper Pines in the early a.m., what’s not to be stoked about?

Biking is the best way to get around the Valley (unless you want to ride the convenient shuttle) evidence by these guys on their cruisers

as a quick ride can bring you to such classic gaping landmarks as Yosemite Falls.

We weren’t the only ones checking out the unreal trail of water spewing it’s way down the granite walls of the Valley,

but  another quick hop on the bike and we were on our way to the infamous Camp 4. Along the way there’s a sweet wall with a bunch of nice single-pitch climbing routes. I’ve climbed here in the past and while it’s super minimal compared to what you can get into as far as climbing in Yosemite, the set-up is quick, the effort minimal, and the fun factor is high. I was super fired up to see a few kids that couldn’t be much older than 5 climbing with their parents on a few of the easier routes. There’s great resources available about top-roping and sport climbing in the Valley (supertopo.com) that I highly recommend if you’re looking for some mellow climbing to do while in Yosemite.

Continuing the tour we kicked it at Camp 4 for a bit, meandering through the boulder field,

sizing up potential problems to work (check out the falls in the background),

slacklining on one of the many lines set up,

before we sought some shade and swimming in one of the nearby river pools. It was hot down in Yosemite Valley, especially when you’ve only felt summer for a couple of weeks, and man did it feel nice. We chose to ditch the bikes for a bit and explore our swimming opportunities by foot along one of the many paved/unpaved trails strewn about the Valley.

If you think Tahoe has a lot of water running right now, Yosemite Valley is like Tahoe on steroids. The water level is extremely high, evidenced by the many raging waterfalls, and a bunch of the trails are actually flooded.

They’re not difficult by any means to pass though, and when they bring you to vantages like these they’re actually pretty welcoming.

Before we knew it the day was drawing close to end. Luckily we caught the buffet at Curry Village for a pretty solid dinner before they closed, and still had enough juice to do some bouldering by headlamp at the Curry Boulders

before passing out pretty tired and stoked on our gaping explorations of Yosemite for the day. In fact, the day was so enjoyable I momentarily forgot about the fact we were still stuck in the Park…


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