Robin Laub, a Life Stylist

There’s no place like Dome!

Road trips are IN this summer and IN for the fall season, too. So why not hop in the car and drive to Yosemite National Park? 


You’ll be impressed by the waterfalls, cliffs, rock formations, and bears. Yes, bears. Ha! Plan ahead and make lodging reservations as it’s imperative to make a reservation during these COVID times. Don’t just show up or you’ll be disappointed when the Park Ranger motions you to turn around after you waited in that long line at the park entrance. There are signs well ahead of YNP informing you of the new permit rule, but due to the impact of COVID, many visitor services and operations are affected. And, before you go, remember to think ahead of what to place in your backpack in order for your trip to be relaxing and enjoyable. For more information, check this out


Things to love about Yosemite: 

1) Various Trails to Hike

Always bring and use your mask! Bring several just in case. 


2) Mirror Lake


Mirror, mirror on the wall this lake needs a major rainfall Ha! It’s a quick hike if you plan on visiting Lower Yosemite Falls, but not a must hike.



3) Lower and Upper Yosemite Falls


Lower Yosemite Falls is an easy and short one-mile hike that’s dry in late summer. Upper Yosemite Falls is a much more strenuous hike with many switchbacks, but the waterfall may be disappointing with very little water. It’s still a great eight-mile hike! Expect more spray from the Falls in spring and early summer.


4) Vernal Falls Hike to Nevada Falls to Half Dome


Park at Curry Village and walk the mile to the trailhead and hike up to Vernal Falls, which is pretty much straight up. The waterfall was beautiful, however, the flow was not that strong. If you’d like more of a WOW waterfall during this summer season, keep going up to Nevada Falls. And if you’re really hardcore, fill your backpack with plenty of water, snacks, and GU for the hike up to Half Dome. Whew!


5) Sentinel Dome Hike Coupled with Taft Point 


This easy to moderate hike is a fantastic one with spectacular views of El Capitan. It will take an hour in the car from Yosemite Valley, so know that in advance. But it’s worth the car ride. Pack your lunch and eat atop Taft Point gazing out at El Capitan’s stunning view. We were told that it’s a great hike at sunset. Bring those headlamps!


And, as your Adventure Stylist, I couldn’t leave you without some more packing tips:

Bring a cooler of your favorite snacks and foods, but remember not to leave it in the car because of those cute bears walking around. 

Clear out your car center console or any interior storage compartments of candy wrappers, wipes, and other sweet-smelling items like lip balm! I did spot a cute black bear creeping its’ way through Curry Village undoubtedly, hungry, so we swiftly turned around and started banging our sticks to keep it away. 

Make sure you fill up your gas tank before entering Yosemite Valley. Don’t be a stress case like I was with an empty tank having to drive on fumes to the closest gas station nine miles out of the valley. Talk about anxiety after a gorgeous day of hiking. Well, that’s the fun of it all, right? Not! Ha! 


I have to admit right now is a PERFECT time to visit Yosemite because of this permit rule. There are barely any people on the trails and to beat the heat and the crowds, simply start hiking at 6:30 am. It’s a magnificent national park so put it on your road trip list if you haven’t already done so!


Travel Tip: Next time...Half Dome. Yikes!


Prepare yourself for a wild adventure and if you need any more hiking or packing tips, Just Ask!