A Weekend in Yosemite National Park

I’m reading my last post on my stay in Yosemite and I can’t believe I forgot to mention our flooded tent situated on one of the park’s campgrounds. It was October 2014 and one of the last weather-allowable weekends to camp and explore the national park. We had no idea there would be a downpour on our first night’s stay so we foolishly opted not to put the rain cover on our tent. When my boyfriend and I got back to our campsite that night, we discovered about a foot of water in our tent had drenched our pillows, mat, and blankets. We slept in our friend’s SUV that night, barely sleeping a wink.

This time around, it was June 2016 when a different group and I stayed in a cozy Airbnb log cabin in the town of Columbia, CA – just over an hour drive from the park. Columbia is basically an old mining town that looks almost trapped in the early 20th century; we saw a man riding in a horse drawn carriage – I kid you not.

The Friday evening before our trip, we were shocked to find that Obama and the First Family had plans to visit Yosemite that weekend. Needless to say, traffic was bad. To avoid the crowds, we devised a strategy which happened to work in our favour. Instead of going from the outside in, we decided to venture to the inner parts of Yosemite first and then tackle the more touristy and outer areas of the park on the latter day.

If you’re looking to avoid crowds on your weekend to Yosemite, consider our plan:


  • Olmstead Point – a vast view of the valley and great for taking photos.
  • Lunch at Tenaya Lake – we may have seen only about three other groups here on this busy Saturday. It was the most serene and relaxing meal spot.
  • Tuolumne Meadows – I short little hike where you can see deer and venture up a big rock formation to get a good view of the surrounding mountains.
  • Hiking the Cathedral Lakes Trail to the Cathedral Lakes – this took us about 5hrs to conquer the 7 mile round-trip hike. It didn’t appear difficult at first, but the elevation caused us to be out of breath pretty fast. Despite the sun being out in full force, this hike led us to through mounds of snow, which led us to the most pure and refreshing stream of water to drink from. Traipsing through the slippery surface, streams, and sometimes rocky terrain was totally worth it when we got to the Cathedral Lakes (you’ll see what I mean in the pictures below).


  • Glacier Point – this viewpoint is pretty much a must-see. It has the best perspective of breathtaking Yosemite Valley.
  • Lower Yosemite Falls – when the description said it was an easy hike, they weren’t kidding. From the road, take a leisurely stroll to this falls for a sight you didn’t even have to work for.

Our Weekend in Yosemite in Pictures…


Olmstead Point


Our Lunch Spot: Tenaya Lake


Rock Above Tuolumne Meadows


Where we Found the Purest Drinking Water on the Cathedral Lakes Hike


The Sights at the Top of the Cathedral Lakes Hike


Cathedral Lakes


Taking in the Beauty of Cathedral Lakes


View of Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point (the Big Formation is Half Dome)


More of Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point (Upper Yosemite Falls in the Distance)


Posing in from of El Capitan


Lower Yosemite Falls


Getting Close to Some Yosemite Wildlife

Share your thoughts on Yosemite National Park below!


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