Recommended 5 Day Yosemite Itinerary

half dome and el capitan in yosemite national park

Yosemite National Park is a protected area located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, USA. Established in 1890, it is one of the oldest national parks in the United States and is known for its breathtaking scenery, diverse habitats, and rich cultural history.

Yosemite covers an area of over 1,200 square miles and includes several distinct regions, including Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows, Hetch Hetchy, and the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias. The park is home to an array of iconic landmarks, including El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Glacier Point.

Yosemite is also home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, including black bears, mountain lions, deer, and numerous bird species. The park offers many recreational activities such as hiking, camping, rock climbing, and fishing, and provides ample opportunities for visitors to connect with nature and experience its beauty.

In addition to its natural beauty, Yosemite has a rich cultural history, with evidence of human habitation in the area dating back thousands of years. Today, the park attracts millions of visitors each year and remains a beloved destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Here’s a suggested itinerary for a five-day trip to Yosemite National Park:

Day 1:

  • Arrive in Yosemite Valley
  • Visit Yosemite Falls and hike to the top (7.2 miles round trip, strenuous)
  • Explore Mariposa Grove, home to hundreds of giant sequoias

Day 2:

  • Drive to Glacier Point and take in panoramic views of the park
  • Hike the Four Mile Trail (4.8 miles round trip, strenuous)
  • Visit the Ansel Adams Gallery to see his famous photographs of Yosemite

Day 3:

  • Take a scenic drive on Tioga Road to Tuolumne Meadows
  • Hike to Cathedral Lakes (6 miles round trip, moderate)
  • Visit Olmsted Point for more breathtaking views

Day 4:

  • Visit Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, a picturesque lake surrounded by granite cliffs
  • Hike to Wapama Falls (5 miles round trip, moderate)
  • Visit the historic park museum at Hetch Hetchy

Day 5:

  • Take a leisurely hike to Mirror Lake (2 miles round trip, easy)
  • Visit the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center to learn more about the park’s geology, history, and wildlife
  • Depart Yosemite

Note: This itinerary assumes that you have your own transportation and are in good physical condition for hiking. Make sure to check the park’s website for trail conditions, as some trails may be closed due to weather or other reasons.

Bandanas, The Underrated Backpacking Accessory

Every backpacker should have at least two bandanas in his or her pack. The bandana is of course very light and small, yet it has literally hundreds of practical uses in the great outdoors. Here are but a few:

  • Use it to handle hot pots and pans
  • Use it as a sweatband
  • Use it to secure yourself in your hammock
  • Use it like a whip to keep bugs out of your face as you hike
  • Use it as an absorbent emergency bandage
  • Use it as an emergency tourniquet
  • Stuff it in your pot to keep the contents (silverware, cup, etc.) from clanging around

Alvin Langdon Coburn

One of the first modernist and abstract photographers, took this stunning shot of the Grand Canyon Amphitheater in 1912. Without an Instagram filter.

Wendy Red Star

Wendy Red Star was raised on the Apsáalooke (Crow) reservation in Montana. Her work explores Native American cultural appropriation, stereotypes, and romantic ideals perpetuated in popular culture, art, & photography.

The Best Backpacking and Camping chair

The Best Outdoor Backpacking and Camping

Alite Designs’ Monarch chair is without a doubt, the best backcountry backpacking chair ever made – light, stable on any grade, bomber. That’s the good news. Bad news is you’ll never own one because they went out of business. We have 2, including an early prototype from OR we call the cow chair. Grand Trunk acquired their assets last year, perhaps we’ll see the rebirth some day. What makes it so great. Light? Packable. Most importantly, it’s completely stable on any grade or surface, one of the reasons its best outdoor backpacking and camping chair around. I think the design was inspired by the Alite founders trying to find comfortable seating in Dolores Park in San Francisco where the steep hilly grade makes it a challenge to get comfortable.

Best Thing In The Backcountry Since Sliced Bread?

We’re not saying the Omnia Stove is the best backcountry invention since the, um, sleeping bag. But we’re not saying it isn’t. At 1.1 lbs, it certainly beats lugging a cast iron dutch oven into the backcountry. If it works as advertised, game changer. We’ll let you know once we test one out.

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

For your consideration, a post from ’05 we wrote mocking Outside Magazine for its lack of diversity, 15 years ago almost to the day. Next items, for your consideration, their covers from the last 3 years. Would you call this an improvement? That’s the best they could do?🤷‍♂️