California Dreaming Part 6: Yosemite Day 3 (Toulumne Grove Redwoods and El Capitan)

California Dreaming Part 6: Yosemite Day 3 (Toulumne Grove Redwoods and El Capitan)

It was our last day in Yosemite. After watching Alex Honnold climb El Cap in the riveting documentary, “Free Solo“, El Capitan was definitely on our list. I also wanted to fulfill my lifelong dream of seeing the giant sequoias. The best place to see them in Yosemite is at the Mariposa Grove, which was unfortunately closed because of the wildfires. The only place open was the Toloumne Grove, where they had about a dozen trees, more than enough for me!

So many cool plants here and it’s a relatively easy hike.


There were a lot of pine and dogwoods. Then… we saw them, the giant redwoods!

I got a bit emotional after seeing these big giants. It brought me back to when I was a little girl. I read a book as a ten year old girl in the Philippines about the life of a giant sequoia that was told in an anthropomorphic way and I have always wanted to see one.

These guys are HUGGGGGEEEE….

This one fell over. Interestingly, sequoias do not have deep root systems. This one had a hollowed out trunk which you can go through like a tunnel!


This one is called the Dead Giant. It was lost in a fire but the stump was left intact. At the end of the 19th century, the stump was tunneled so a stagecoach could fit through to increase tourism to the area. The diameter at the base of the tree is approximately 30 feet.

Afterwards, we decided to check the Yosemite Falls. Unfortunately, it was dried out but still pretty.

Then we headed to El Cap. Here it is from the road. Check out the haze of smoke.

It’s so stunning….


And here are the Cathedral Rocks across from El Capitan through the smoke.

Yosemite was such an amazing experience. I know it wasn’t optimal with the forest fires, but it was actually a unique way to experience it. It had an ethereal, fairytale-like vibe that you won’t get on a clear day. Nonetheless, I already made plans to go back in May/June 2021. Will definitely climb Half Dome again and maybe do Clouds Rest, and more!

Till next time, Yosemite Valley! I fell in love like I knew I would.