I had been in LA for a few days and one evening I decided to pack up and hit the road and drive overnight to the Yosemite. I mean, the sunrise from the top is every hikers dream so I made it a goal.
If you aren’t familiar with Yosemite, it’s a large National Park in Central California that people come to visit from all over the world! It’s most famous for el Captain, which is a flat faced wall of rock that stands about 3,000 ft tall. A lot of rock climbers travel to venture it. If you watch the movie Free Solo on Hulu you’ll get a weary view of it all as a guy free hands it.
What to Bring
- That beautiful body of yours.
- Warm clothes… watching from the top of the valley can be cold any time of the year at sunrise.
- Lawn chairs
- Hot coffee or tea (optional). I use instant coffee crystals and my Jet Boil so that I can have hot coffee out in nature.
- Your favorite fury friend to snuggle with (optional)
- Head North on Hwy 41 from Fresno (also known as Wawona Rd)
- Turn Right onto Glacier Point Rd and follow it up as far as you can go.
- Sometimes this road is completely closed depending on the time of year you go. When I went in April it said the road was closed but part of it was still open and I was able to get pretty high up for the sunrise.
Along Glacier Point Road there is a marked lookout point where you can see all the way to Bakersfield, California. I saw it both at night and during the day and both are amazing.
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At the Sunrise Location
The valley was amazingly beautiful. You can stay in you car and still soak up all of the beauty. I would recommend stopping at every possible stop you can. My favorite stop was at this meadow about .3 miles before the visitor center. You have a view of the Giant falls, pristine water and a bright green meadow. I pitched a hammock and took a nap to the peaceful sound of the waterfall.
I initially wanted to stay at Glacier for a few days but I get stressed out when I’m in nature and there are a million people. It was extremely crowded and all of the hikes had long lines just to park.
I made the best of my time and got a nice beer and walked around the valley sidewalks and took in all of the views (because it is one of the most beautiful places in the world).
Soak it up and drive on the side roads and not just the main roads, I promise you’ll find some hidden gems!