Jonathon ReedExplorer

Adventure-based photographer and videographer. Sunriser.

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about 4 years ago

Look west, at least once

I think a lot of the iconography of Yosemite faces east in Yosemite Valley towards Half Dome and Cloud's Rest, and for good reason. But any amount of time on the south rim will show you the utter beauty of the western valley. El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks, Old Inspiration are all worth seeing—especially from Taft Point at sunset. Don't leave until the sun has gone down. Go beyond the photo-op railing to the un-boundaried rock face where you can experience the open air with nothing between you. It's worth it.

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over 4 years ago

Scenic but crowded

Recommend getting off the beaten path to really get a feel for Yosemite. Hike up the Pohono Trail or find another route that will give you some scenic views without the clamouring tourists and noisy cars. Get out there and enjoy!

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over 4 years ago

Great way to experience Yosemite

Didn't even realize that Yosemite Valley existed from up on the south rim. Saw a handful of people and other than that just magnificent sunsets and the grandeur of the valley. Absolutely recommend. Bridalveil Creek had running water when I hiked the Pohono Trail at the start of October.

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over 4 years ago

You've got to see the south rim

Hiked the Pohono Trail beginning at Tunnel View, so our first night on the trail was at Dewey Point. It was absolutely stunning. No people there—despite the bustling crowds of Yosemite Valley—just the trees and the wind and the orange sunset sky. You've got to experience it.

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over 4 years ago

Pretty remarkable

The highway itself is pretty remarkable as it winds its way along the Santa Lucia mountains above the Pacific Ocean. Some other spots to look up would be the Henry Miller Memorial Library, the New Camaldoli Hermitage and Limekiln State Park. But all you really need is the Pacific. Buy gas before you get to Highway 1. There's gas available but it's expensive.

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over 4 years ago

Very unique—but beat the crowd

Highly recommend, as Hillary said it's a hike unlike any other. The water, the boulders, the cliffs all make it an extremely memorable spot. Water was very cold mid-fall but still not unbearable. Saw lots of people with gear from some nearby adventure outfitter (e.g. socks, shoes, splash pants, walking stick) and as far as I could tell unless you're getting a dry suit or something like that, it was a rip-off. Your feet are getting wet no matter what. Cannot stress enough how much I recommend going as early as you can. We caught the first bus and saw about 10 people for the first few hours, and then on the way back crossed paths with literally over 1,000 on our way back before we got back to the shuttle stop. It was worth being more cold to avoid that throng of people.

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over 4 years ago

Hidden gem

Absolutely magnificent. The trail from Hurricane Wash made for a hot but easy hike into the gulch. Camped before Jacob Hamblin Arch to avoid the group of tents gathered around its base. Compared to Arches National Park, though, this place was deserted. And in my opinion, Coyote Gulch was more stunning than anything I saw at Arches. The river was cool. The canyon walls were awe-inspiring. Photos don't do it justice.

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over 4 years ago

Golden stone

Checked it out at sunset and the colour was absolutely stunning—glowing in the late summer. As big as a cathedral. Absolutely worth visiting. Hang around and the tourist crowd will ebb.

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over 4 years ago

Great photo, but crowded

Dozens of people there to catch the sunrise. Still utterly beautiful, just missing the peace of desert solitude that you can get at other spots. Wished I could have gone in the winter season. Nevertheless, if you have a campsite at Island of the Sky (typically Willow Flat or Dead Horse State Park), spend one daybreak at Mesa Arch.

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over 4 years ago

Desert adventure

Wow. Nothing but sand dunes and sky and distant mountains. The sand was easier to climb than expected (that being said, the dunes were higher than expected). Be ready for unrelenting wind. Bring extra tent pegs.

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almost 5 years ago

Rugged and wild

One of the best adventures on the coast of Lake Superior. The Pukaskwa is rugged and wild and follows the coast through coniferous forest, above granite bedrock and across lonely beaches. Great adventure. Kid-friendly, if your kids are up for a challenge.

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almost 5 years ago

Worth seeing but keep it brief

In and of itself, Kakabeka Falls is stunning; it's hypnotizing to watch the water tumble across the rocks. Definitely worth seeing. Drawback is that it's pretty urban. Paved trail, railed viewing platforms, that kind of thing. More of a brief stop on a road trip than an adventure destination.