The Canyons – Yosemite
Yosemite is what everyone expects – glorious but crowded. The busy valley offers spectacular vistas to El Capitan, Half Dome and Yosemite Falls, but to get a real sense of what Yosemite is about, get out onto the trails and lose yourself in the splendour of this glacial canyon. A favourite of mine was a short hike from White Wolf campground to the alpine Luken’s Lake. The path leads through dense forest, carpeted with wildflowers and leading to a pristine blue lake. It was on this trail that I came within 10ft of a beautiful brown bear, her shoulders rolling like waves as she walked towards us near the shallows. Terrifying but hypnotic, she slowly wandered past without giving us another glance, and as my heartbeat slowed all I felt was pure exhilaration.
Heading up Tioga Road leads you to the alpine reaches of Yosemite, with sweeping views down the valley and clear blue lakes ringed by snow capped mountains. I was worried that the crowds would put me off Yosemite, but heading off to explore the lesser known paths let me find my own piece of this beautiful landscape.