Yosemite Valley, with El Capitan on the right, taken from the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point.
Five full days with the kids at sleep-away camp. What were Morgan and I to do with ourselves? Run!
We settled on Yosemite because of its proximity, and because of the diversity and drama of its environment. We also decided we wanted to stay in one place and take day trips, rather than carrying our gear from point to point and camping, so that we could run without being weighed down and recover with a hot shower and cold beer at day’s end.
Yosemite National Park is so vast — 1,169 square miles — that the options for running and hiking seem as limitless as the view from the top of Glacier Point. Planning where to go in a limited number of days inevitably makes for tough trade-offs. We consulted lots of helpful resources, such as iRunFar’s Yosemite Guide and the park service website.
We wanted to go everywhere, from Tuolomne Meadows to Wawona, but given our training level and the park’s jagged elevation profile, we knew we should limit ourselves to “only” 15 – 20 miles per day. We also didn’t want to spend an hour or more driving or riding a shuttle bus on windy roads to trail heads. We therefore decided to stay in Yosemite Valley at Curry Village and focus on the valley’s renowned trails and summits (Half Dome, El Capitan and Glacier Point), saving destinations like Lyell Canyon, Clouds Rest and Buena Vista Peak for another trip.
(Note: for a review of Curry Village lodging and tips on what to bring, please see our travel blog post.) (more…)