Solo Weekend in Yosemite Valley

“I am well again, I came to life in the cool winds and crystal waters of the mountains.”

The trip filled my life and heart even more. A few months ago, I had a hard time going to solo to San Fran because I felt alone even when I’m surrounded by people. Nowadays, my heart is bursting with joyful feelings that take too many adjectives to describe. Even alone, I didn’t feel that way. I made friends with Europeans and was able to have some internet connection to communicate with friends.


I left by 5:30am and hit some traffic in L.A. What’s new? I passed  the time by listening to the radio and a podcast.

I took it easy and made some stops, first in Bakersfield to have coffee and breakfast at Cafe Smitten.


Then it was an easy drive (no traffic) to Fresno. I listened to a specially made playlist 🙂 and Brene Brown’s “The Power of Vulnerability.”


I entered through Yosemite South and made my way to Yosemite Village by 2:30pm. I took the shuttle from the Village Store and to the Mist Fall trailhead by 3:15pm.

The first part is a gradual (but tiring) uphill on pavement.

Once you get to the Vernal Falls footbridge, you will ascend stone steps for a long time to the top of the falls. There is a flat, wide area to relax at the top.



Continue on to Nevada Falls. One girl told me this part of the hike was easier – while there are no steps, the trail is gradual and rocky and much more like a trail.

There are bathrooms along the way and the signs are well marked. The only portion that was sketchy was from the base of Nevada Falls onwards, but all you have to do is wait a few minutes to see people hiking back.


After reaching the top, I took the loop trail back. It brought me back to a intersection of 3 trails. I decided to go back down to the the top of Vernal Falls and down the stone steps to the original trail.

I finished the ~8 mile trail in a little over 4 hours to take a break when I slipped twice on the way down and made some friends along the way.

Almost sunset when I reached the bottom of Vernal Falls

I stayed about an hour away at Yosemite Bug in Midpines. I was surprised by how nice the $40 accommodations were. I stayed in a room with 3 bunk beds with a Kiwi, an Irish girl, and a German couple!.


I wanted to take an easy day so I slept in, ate a breakfast at the cafe, and drove into the Yosemite Valley by 12:30. I was super lucky to find a spot immediately.

I started at the Village Store, taking care of business like buying and sending postcards.

I took a loop to Lower Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Lodge.


I passed by the Village Store and my car for lunch.

Then I walked to the Majestic Lodge and Mirror Lake.

There were lots of people so I stopped avoiding them in my photos.


I walked more than I had on Friday’s hike but at 10% of the elevation gain. I was able to see everything and relax walking around for 5+ hours.


I planned to hike Upper Yosemite Falls on this trip, but  in the end, I decided to skip it and take friends there another time. I should have hiked it on Saturday but went all out on Friday’s hike.

I let go of the FOMO. I ate breakfast at the June Bug Cafe (their pancakes and cold brew are so good!) and did some quad stretches and heart opening yoga in the yoga studio at Yosemite Bug before heading home.

“When you live with an open heart, unexpected, joyful things happen.” – Oprah

On the way home, I spent time on the phone with my friend to discuss some plans for my next trip.

I’m already in talks about a trip to Yosemite again next month to hike Upper Yosemite Falls and see the sequoias at Tuolumne Grove and Mariposa Grove (opens June 15).




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