2015 Redwood and Yosemite National Parks

The big vacation this year took us out west and as we often do involved plenty of hiking with a little shopping and taking in the local areas. We were in two primary areas this year, Redwood National Park and Yosemite National Park.

While in the Redwood area we rented an incredible apartment in the heart of Old Town Eureka. We treated ourselves to donuts and coffee from the Donut Mill a few blocks away our first morning there and then took off for a day of hiking. The next day we took another hike combining several trails into a loop covering redwood forests, a canyon covered in ferns, about 1.5 miles down an oceanfront beach (hiking that far in sand is harder than we thought) and then back through forests to our starting point. Next came a day of taking in the Old Town section of Eureka, shopping, getting some pics of the Carson Mansion, and walking by the docks. We also enjoyed a fantastic meal with entertainment provided by owner Ken Evans at the Banana Hut. We didn’t get to meet his wife, Fatima but we certainly did enjoy the fruits of her labors in the kitchen. If you go, you might want to make sure Ken is going to be in the front of the house, it wouldn’t have been quite the same without his presence.

Following our visit to Eureka and Redwood National Forest we traveled on the 17th to a home we rented just outside of Mariposa near Yosemite National Park. The next couple of days involved more hiking followed by a couple days of shopping and walking around both Mariposa and also Merced. We had some “excitement” one day when returning to the home as we were prevented from doing so as there was a fire near the road to the home. We were eventually provided with a way to get around it (an interesting “road”) and made it back. We followed that with a couple more days of hiking (did you know that parts of the Mist Trail are so steep that there are actually stair steps…over 600 of them) and then on our last day we drove up to Glacier Point where we hiked around a bit and got some incredible views of the valley. We could even see several of the trails we had taken along with both Vernal and Nevada Falls.

Name Date Miles* Elevation Gain Highest Point Trail Rating
Lady Bird Johnson Trail 6/14/2015 1.9 107 1331 Easy
Rhododendron / South Fork / Foothill Trails 6/14/2015 7.22 1686 978 Difficult / Moderate / Moderate
James Irvine / Fern Canyon / California Coastal / Miner’s Ridge Trails (Loop) 6/15/2015 12.03 1955 614 Difficult / Easy / Easy / Moderate
Deer Camp Trail 6/18/2015 9.81 1216 6459 Moderate
Lower Yosemite Falls / Mirror Lake Trails 6/19/2015 8.93 1053 4202 Easy / Moderate
Harden Lake / Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne / Lukens Lake Trails 6/21/2015 13.01 1702 8221 Moderate / Strenuous / Moderate
Mist Trail (Vernal and Nevada Falls) 6/22/2015 9.04 3219 6072 Strenuous
Totals: 61.94 10,938

* Note that I’m not using the mileage and elevation gain reported by the site I use to reference the trail as I have in the past but rather will be using the information reported by my wife’s Garmin GPS watch. As an example as to why, I found the first trail reported on various web sites as being everywhere from 1 mile to 2 miles. With 100% difference I’m just listing what ground the Garmin GPS track reports that we actually hiked.

As with the pictures of our vacation last year I’m using Google Photos again. What that means is, you’ve got to click on this link (or on the image below) which should open a new window allowing you to see almost 500 photos and a few videos. Videos this year were taken with my Nexus 6 and the focus is quite jumpy. I’m sure they’re working on a fix.

Taken from Glacier Point