Songs of Sierra Nevada

Do you wish to seek the extraordinary? Immerse yourself in a different world and pretty much be in awe from the moment you wake up till your eyes can’t stay open anymore? Come my child, the walls of Yosemite await.

Nestled in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains is an unforgettable place. Monolithic granite rock faces, picturesque valleys and cascading waterfalls make Yosemite the real rockstar of Cali. Spread across over 747,000 acres, every corner is a stellar view. I was lucky enough to visit this iconic national park during its 150th anniversary, but I’m pretty sure it would have been as magnificent on any given day.

Valley view; Photo Credit: Riccha Paul

The incredible walls of jagged granite

The first thing about Yosemite that grabs your attention is the incredible walls of granite that almost appear out of nowhere as soon as you get close enough to the park.

A few miles in is when you get to experience the sheer grandeur of Yosemite. Tunnel view is a popular destination where folks can get a glimpse of the valley. The El Capitan cliff is to the left, the U-shaped valley in the middle and the Cathedral rocks to the right. If you look close enough, you’ll see half dome just below where the clouds rest over clouds rest. Guess they really didn’t need much of an imagination there! The slightly darkened spot is where bridal Veil Falls would be gushing down, but we visited the park in September and unfortunately, it was bone dry 🙁

tunnel view; Photo Credit: Riccha Paul

El Capitan - An adventure of a lifetime!

El Capitan is every rock climber’s dream cliff. You’ll see many a climber carry their gear to start their journey to scale the chief of all cliffs. At a whopping 3000ft from bottom to the summit, you’ll even see base jumpers get their share of an adrenaline high.

We, of course, didn’t do any of those adventurous things. We did buy a carabiner from the mountaineering store.

That counts, right?

Looks just as good under the stars, right?

#vacationgoals

What we did do was hike the mist trail to Vernal and Nevada falls. This 7-mile trail is said to be absolutely sublime and even though the falls were dry (no mist for us on this trail!), it definitely lived up to our expectations. Oh, the views of the valley! What I appreciated during our hiking experience was how well maintained the trails were and how mindful our fellow hikers were. The sense of being an observer in nature’s home felt humbling. 

Where you'll find a piece of my heart

I had to save the best for last. My absolute favorite part of Yosemite was the view of Half Dome at sunset from Glacier Point. We decided to drive up there and what a drive it was! Fragrant pine trees set the perfect mood for what was to come. The magic actually begins just after the Sun has dipped below the horizon. This is when Half Dome lights up in gorgeous hues of pink. I’ll just let these photos do the talking. Here is where you will find a piece of my heart.

Half Dome before sunset/after sunset; Photo Credit: Riccha Paul

Edited by Dominic D’Cruz