Vegas to San Francisco via Yosemite

Here’s a little video documenting our trip!

Since we didn’t take a honeymoon when we got married in September of 2013, we decided to wait until our 1 year anniversary to do a 2 week trip out west. Our main focus was going to Yosemite National Park, but wanted to see as much as we could in between. We decided that flying into Vegas and out of San Francisco would be best and got to planning!

After landing in Vegas, we went to visit my cousins who live right outside of Vegas. We did the typical Vegas strip stuff, got really burnt out really quickly, and immediately decided it wasn’t the place for us. Which brought us to our first stop on our road trip, Red Rock Canyon.

Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

From there it was off to California. We crossed into California via Death Valley National Park and was instantly blown away by the shear beauty of somewhere so desolate. While there aren’t many real hikes to do, it is an amazing park to visit. I was so happy to finally see Badwater Basin in person that I didn’t even notice the 120 degree weather.

Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park

We left the park continuing on our journey to Yosemite, and made a stop in Lone Pine, California to pitch our tent for the night. Lone Pine is a cute little town at the bottom of Mt. Whitney where a ton of movies have been filmed. You almost feel like your on another planet when you’re there.

Lone Pine, California
Lone Pine, California

We headed North towards Mammoth Lake, California, a beautiful ski town in the Eastern Sierras. While there was no snow that time of year, we got out and did a little hiking and enjoyed seeing trees for the first time the entire trip. I don’t think i’ll ever forget the crispness of the air there.

Mammoth Lake, California

After a quick stop at Mono Lake (kind of pricey if you’re only stopping for  a brief visit) we finally made it Yosemite’s eastern entrance and my jaw dropped from the second we turned onto Tioga Pass. I have never seen anything more beautiful in my life than Yosemite National Park.

Entrance to Yosemite National Park via Tioga Pass

We set up camp at Tuolumne Meadows and did a short hike up to Elizabeth Lake to rinse off in the lake. Once we got there the water was way too cold for both of us and neither of us could get in! We chalked it up to a loss and decided we would continue being the smelly people we had become over the last few days. That night the temperature dropped to 33 degrees, which neither of us were prepared for. I don’t think I slept more than 2 hours total due to the chattering of my teeth waking me up every few minutes. The next morning we set out for our big hike, Clouds Rest. Clouds Rest comes in just under 10,000 ft. and with a 14.5 mile trip, it is definitely not for the faint of heart. The views from the top were amazing! We were looking down on Half Dome and on helicopters dropping water on forest fires that were going on at the time. I think I managed to only cry once from the shear beauty of everything, but I could be wrong.

Cliff Bar break on the trail
Clouds Rest, Yosmite National Park

The rest of the trip was spent doing smaller hikes in the park, seeing sequoias on the way out and heading north to Santa Cruz to get a little beach action and then up to San Francisco for some touristy sightseeing and AMAZING vegan food!

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park


Length of trip: 13 days

Place tickets: $350 round trip each

Rental Car: $275

Food/gas/etc.: roughly $350

Park fee’s: $80 for annual pass

Realizing sleeping pads are a necessity: Priceless