1 night backpacking trip to Yosemite National Park

This was my first solo backpacking trip ever and after this trip, I was so confident to keep doing it. And honestly, I love doing it, until now.

Lam Tran Lam Tran 5 months ago
1 night backpacking trip to Yosemite National Park

After my epic trip to Ansel Adams Wilderness in late summer 2017, I had craved for another trip again. But the weather was getting colder and colder and then winter came while I didn’t have any proper gears to backpack in the cold season. I didn’t have a tent back then. I knew I have to think more seriously about upgrading myself for more gears so that I could comfortably do backpacking anytime I want. I kept researching gears and trip reports and then I found a great trip report on Theoutbound about Pohono Trail in Yosemite NP and I set my destination at Dewey Point. Looking at the mileage and elevation gain, I thought it will be doable just by myself. At the end of April, when the weather was getting warmer and the roads in the park were snow-free (except for Tioga Rd) for my rear-wheel-drive SUV to travel there without a problem, I drove to the park, grab my permit in the valley, stopped by the store to get a chicken sandwich for breakfast and then arrived at the Tunnel View trailhead at 10 AM. Tunnel View has always been packed of visitors and the trailhead was busy with many day hikers. But I didn’t see any other backpackers at the trailhead and that was a good sign for a solitary trip.

The trail was very steep right at the beginning and it kept climbing up through countless switchbacks. I only got a few open air view to look back at the valley then the dense forest covered everything. I kept grinding up, only stopped whenever my heart rate went over 180 to calm my breath down. There was 3 water source along the trail to refill water but this trip was my first one of 2018 season and I got a lot more tired than I thought to consume more water. Fortunately, the last 2 miles to Dewey Point were covered with many snow patches. I put clean snow in my water bottle and kept it close to my body to make water. I didn’t train my body prior to the season so I moved very slow and I took 5 hours to reach Dewey Point.

The view up there was stunning. It has a wide panoramic view of the opposite wall of the valley. I put my pack down and walked around finding spot to take some photos of myself enjoying the view while the sun was setting fast. After a few photos, I sat down at an edge to relax and watched the last sunray disappear behind the mountains.

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park, California, USA

After watched the sunset, I pitched my tent and lit the campfire up at the existed fire ring, only needed to move some stone to cover it from the wind. It was so peaceful to me. I enjoyed solitude, cleared my mind, and truly found my inner peace. I sat down and cherished the moment until around 7 PM, I walked around to collect snow and boiled them to make dinner and tea and kept enjoying the night. It was so quiet up here. I didn’t encounter any single soul. But when I walked to the edge of the clip, I could saw lots and lots of tiny car’s headlights in the valley, busy moving around. I had a feeling that I was in another different world with them, up here, serene and tranquil, only 4,000 ft higher than the crowd below. The feeling was so strange but interesting and I liked it.

I went to sleep early and had a very good sleep. I woke up at 5 AM intending to photograph the sunrise but only saw clouds, slowly floating around at my eye level. I didn’t feel disappointed at all because the view was really beautiful in a different way. Only one word to describe its beauty, magical.

I made instant ramen for breakfast then had a hot cup of coffee. While brushing my teeth, the clouds started to spread out and by the time I packed up my tent it was already sunny.

I took a few photos with the bright sunny scenery but to be honest, I liked the gloomy cloudy ones better. On my way down I stopped by the very least visited Crocker Point and discovered a great view of the valley. I knew I will come back and camp here in Crocker Point with its stunning view. And yes, I came to this spot a year later, this time, with 4 other friends, camping at Crocker Point and we had a great time together.

The amazing view from Crocker Point

Crocker Point
Crocker Point
Crocker Point, California, USA

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