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This Father’s Day Weekend was a historic one for Yosemite. In celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the US National Park Service, President Obama became the first President to visit the park since JFK. To avoid the crowds on more popular hikes; my hiking group did a more hidden and less known trail at Yosemite called The Rockslides. The Rockslides Hike has stunning views of Bridal Veil Falls and Yosemite Valley from the tunnel view perspective.
The Rockslides Hike is a 5.2-mile round-trip trail that followed the original wagon trail road which was built into Yosemite in the 1800s. The road was later abandoned secondary to rock slides that covered the road. It was replaced by the current Big Oak Flat Road which has a tunnel built right through the mountain on the valley floor. The trail follows the current road from above and ends looking right over the tunnel view lookout point.
The hiking trail is no longer maintained by the National Park Service and was a hidden gem inside of the valley. In a park filled with tourists and busses, my group did not run into a single other people on our hike.
I felt like a kid at summer camp being able to scramble over the rockslides and navigate my way to the top of this trail. It was definitely a mental challenge and a fun one to navigate. The entire trail also followed a beautiful view of the valley floor, El Capitan and Bridal Veil Falls.
The highlight of the trail was definitely seeing the Presidential entourage of helicopters fly overhead. Around 12:30 3 Chinook choppers and 2 presidential helicopters flew right over my head to come into the park and pick up President Obama. It was a powerful moment to hear the planes echo as they came closer and closer and lower into the valley. It was the type of sound that made you stop whatever you were doing and look up into the sky in wonderment.
It was at least 2 or 3 hours before the planes left Yosemite with the First Family. Just my luck, when the planes finally flew out of the park I was standing under a canopy of trees and could not get a good picture of the entourage as they exited. I did however get a really cool picture of the trees.
The Rockslides Hike is one that I will never forget at Yosemite. Even though I was hiking in the middle of Yosemite Valley I felt like I was miles away from civilization. There were no other hikers on the trail and it had unhindered views of some of the most beautiful landmarks in the valley.
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