It has been a long and sedentary lockdown, and I have been greatly missing my rock climbing adventures of last winter and summer. I have been interested in backpacking in a very long time, and since I’m not currently in contact with anyone else who rock climbs, it is the most adventurous outdoor activity that I can actually do. For my first ever trip, I decided to head to one of my favorite places, Yosemite National Park. The permiting system was easier than I expected: choose a trailhead, make sure it’s not reserved for your date, and fill out a simple form. I opted for the McGurk meadows trailhead, and planned to hike to and camp at Dewey Point with Mia.
On Wednesday, we got up early and drove out to the park. I decided to head through the south entrance, as I wanted to check out the giant sequoias of the Mariposa grove and show Mia the full experience of tunnel view.
Then, we decided to check out lower Yosemite falls. With a low water season, not as spectacular as always, but beautiful nonetheless.
On the way back to the car, we were delighted to spot a wild black bear munching on some berries!
It was a successful first day. The next morning we set off to the McGurk Meadows trailhead. After a few miles, we arrived at the meadow.
A few more brutal miles uphill, and we were rewarded with this view from Dewey point.
The next day, we decided to head back on the Pohono trail towards Taft point, to see more panoramic views and the fissures. We also stopped for a (not-so-quick) dip in this river. Incredibly cold but certainly refreshing.
Instead of camping for another night, we opted to just head back to the car. We were running out of food (although we definitely would survive with plenty), and both felt like the quick trip back in the morning wasn’t worth an extra night of not-so-comfortable sleeping arrangements. Got a wonderful dinner at In-N-Out and got home late.
Learned a couple lessons from this first backpacking trip:
- Try to only use the stove to boil water, as cleaning the pot is way harder than expected
- Pack lighter meals like fully dehydrated, just-add-water type meals, and focus on calories per unit weight. We were hungrier than expected.
- Make sure to choose a trail with a beautiful campsite (which this definitely was), as it makes the whole post-hike lounging much more enjoyable.
- Always leave extra time to go swimming in rivers and lakes! An essential part of backpacking.