Hi everyone! Group 3 is back again with more updates after our three-day road trip to Yosemite National Park. We simply cannot get enough of what nature has to offer even though we just visited Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Parks two weeks ago.

First Day – Mirror Lake Trail and Stargazing

On the first day, we took a relatively short hike to the Mirror Lake and spent an afternoon there chilling (and practicing our rock skipping skills – we could do up to 7 skips!). A pity that the main water body has mostly evaporated due to the summer heat; but, if you look at the photo close enough, you could still see the reflections!

Mirror Lake – Look at Glenda’s perfect posture!
Chilling has a double meaning here

We then spent our evening enjoying the beautiful sunset near Sentinel Dome, which was made even more memorable by a surprise visit by a deer just as we were immersing ourselves in the sounds and sights of its biodiversity.

The color gradient during sunset was absolutely stunning. Indigo, purple, pink, yellow

At 9pm, the stars started to fill the night sky. Never in our life have we seen so many stars at once. It felt extremely surreal, and tugged on my heartstrings even more having taken the astrophysics module back at Stanford. Some of the notable astronomical objects we identified include the Milky Way Galaxy, Jupiter, Scorpius, and the Little Dipper! Yosemite is hands down one of the best places in the world for stargazing because there is so little light pollution.

And the best part? We actually managed to catch two shooting stars!

The night sky was literally littered with stars. Seeing is believing.

Second day – Porcupine Creek Trail to North Dome and Home-cooked dinner

We started our second day at the Porcupine Creek Trailhead and started hiking towards the North Dome. The total distance round-trip is around 10 miles. RIP legs but the view was rewarding!

The Half Dome view en-route to North Dome

We then headed back to our Airbnb and whipped up a wholesome Asian meal for ourselves! (Also, shout-out to Theresa for being such a great host!)

Glenda just gave up hiking along this steep slope
“Home-cooked” Asian dishes, served with B&J’s ice cream at the end!

Day 3 – Panorama Trail and Mist Trail

On the final day, we decided to challenge ourselves with a 20-km modified Panorama Trail to include the Nevada and Vernal Falls. We first took a bus tour up to Glacier Point before starting to hike downwards. This trail was especially interesting because the terrains and sceneries change at every part of the trail. Being so up-close with the majestic granite cliffs and the waterfalls was not just breath-taking – it also magically took away the pain that was building up in our legs. I will let the pictures speak for themselves!

At the vantage Glacier Point: Half Dome is to the left, and the Nevada waterfall is to the right (which was where we hiked to in this trail!). So proud that we managed to do it!
Really mesmerized by the amazing views at every part of the trail
Nevada Fall – if you look closely, some of the water vaporized during the fall!
Viewpoint on top of Vernal Fall
Did you spot that pot of gold at the bottom of the Vernal Fall?

We reached Happy Isles Trailhead at 5pm, and stopped by a Vietnamese restaurant for a good bowl of Pho on our way back to Stanford. A perfect meal to end the trip! 🙂

More activities coming up. Stay tuned for more updates!

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