The Best 12 Hours I've Ever Spent in Yosemite

1:00 PM to 1:00 AM in Yosemite National Park: chillin, hiking, photos, thunderstorms, and sunsets.

It's almost impossible to get a campsite in Yosemite. Let alone the week of...luckily that's where Hipcamp comes in. We may not have been inside the park. But we were close. And we booked the site week of. AND it was clean and quiet and not crowded. Thank you Luke for snagging that site for a couple of nights! I'll definitely be going back there when there's some snow on the ground!

We got to Yosemite in the early afternoon. Made our way to the Merced river and posted up for a while. Naps were taken. Photos were taken. Food was eaten. Life was good. All just waiting for the sunset.

Whattup Ray Ban? My girlfriend is hot, you should send us some product to shoot for you. 

Anyways, Taft Point was the desired location for sunset. So we left the river about 4pm to head up there. Glad we left when we did, there was a 30-90 minute wait in a side lot before we could make our way all the way up to the point. Luckily we timed it perfectly, because we're perfect, and we only had to wait 15 minutes or so. 

We got to the trailhead at the perfect time. Beautiful light coming through the trees along the hike in. Thunder going off behind us the whole way. We knew we were in for something special!


The hike in is super easy, only 1.1 miles. But watch your step, once you get out onto the point there's a minor drop to the valley floor below. 

We really wanted shots on the diving board rock. Everybody has their own take on that view and I really wanted to create something special to share. Unfortunately there was a wedding ceremony going on over there. Unbelievable. Coolest wedding ever #weddinggoalz. Luckily Everything about Yosemite is just breathtaking and we still managed to get what we came for. Banger freaking photos man!

The thunderstorm caught up to us and we started getting rain and thunder and lightning. Not wanting to be caught out on the open granite with the lightning we packed up and headed back to the car. Hiking back in the dark was a blast. Singing nonsense and talking loudly and obnoxiously to keep the bears away. It must have worked because we didn't see a single bear. Not sure if I'm bummed about that or not...

We went back to the valley and bought pizza and beer for dinner. The perfect end to a great day...except it wasn't the end. After dinner we made our way back to Tunnel View to get some more photos under the stars. Stopped at the river to shoot El Capitan really quick. After feeling like we were being watched (by a bear), we got back in the car and went to Tunnel View. Stayed there for over an hour shooting away. It was insane watching the light from the moon hit the valley in different ways as the clouds moved in front of it. 

Exhausted, we drove back to the campsite. Luke was a trooper through the drive and managed to stay awake through the whole thing. Thank God. We all passed out immediately when we got back. The next morning we had a lazy morning making breakfast and breaking down camp. It was the best trip to Yosemite any of us have ever had. Mother Nature came through for us once again. 

Published: November 3, 2016

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Benjamin CanevariExplorer

Woodland