Waking up in Yosemite Valley was a nice change of pace to our trip. Warm showers and cozy beds helped us regain some of our energy from the week, giving us a solid foundation for a busy day ahead.
We set out on a morning hike up to Vernal Falls, which brought an entirely different vibe from our previous hikes. Huge rock faces, giant green trees, and rushing waters greeted us at every turn.
There were an abundance of photo ops along the trail!
Nearly every bend had something worth stopping to awe over!
As we continued to climb, more and more of the falls became visible. Weaving around the mountain, we quickly understood how Mist Trail got its name.
The views from the top were well worth the climb.
But they were even better with friends.
We rewarded ourselves with a brief shopping moment at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center before meeting Cory, a park naturalist with the conservation team. Cory led us to meet Sis and Jasmine, two women from the Southern Sierra Miuk Nation.
Our time with Sis and Jasmine was incredibly special. They invited us to tour the sacred Wahhoga land. We learned about the renovations the land is undergoing to support the needs of their tribe, gave offerings to their ancestors, and felt the love and power of their people all around us. To respect this space, we refrained from taking photos, but will carry the memories with us for a lifetime.
Back with Cory, we learned more about Yosemite as a whole, explored literature about the area and native people, and discussed the ecological developments within the park.
After a wonderful lesson, we said our goodbyes to Yosemite Valley. On the drive to our next lodging location, we stopped to reflect on the week we had spent together, journaling together as the sunset. Slowly, it began to sink in that our adventure was coming to a close. With one final day in California, we settled into our rooms and prepared for San Francisco.