Yosemite NP - Glacier Point Panorama

22 Days to WSER: Four or More Miles and Some Fissures

My fifth day of running at Yosemite National Park was possibly my favourite.

I started the day by heading up the Four-Mile Trail, a trail that I had descended a few days earlier. The trail ascends the 3000 feet (900+ metres) up to Glacier Point over approximately 4.5 miles, with many switchbacks, including a number of sections that can be run. I made it up to the top, took in the view, snapped some photos, enjoyed a bite to eat, filled up my water, and then took off to head west along the valley.

Yosemite NP - Four-Mile Trail View
Yosemite NP – Four-Mile Trail View

I took the same route I had followed up towards Sentinel Dome earlier in the week, but instead of turning up the hill for the final ascent to the top I instead followed closer to the valley towards the Fissures. The Fissures are a series of large cracks in the granite rock, occurring near Taft Point. I reached the point, admired the cracks that were large enough to fall through, and started chatting to a group who arrived just before me. The married couple with young daughter were travelling with one set of grandparents, and turned out to be from New Zealand. It turned out that the father enjoys running and had run a 100-km race a couple of years ago. After chatting for 20 minutes or so I decided it was time to set off again.

Yosemite NP - Taft Point View
Yosemite NP – Taft Point View

I continued running along the top of the valley, popping up at numerous viewpoints as I continued to weave around above the valley floor. There were a number of great views all the way along, each with its own different angle of the many features around the valley such as Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and El Capitan.

Yosemite NP - More Views
Yosemite NP – More Views

I reached Inspiration Point (which was the least inspirational of all the points) and commenced my descent back to the valley floor. Unfortunately the descent was the least enjoyable section of the run. After a number of early switchbacks I ended up on an old, crumbling road that very gradually angled me down to the valley floor.

Yosemite NP - Proving I Was There
Yosemite NP – Proving I Was There

Eventually I reached the bottom and ended up on the road along the south side of the valley. I was forced to run on the shoulder of the road for a bit under half a mile before reaching the car park for Bridalveil Falls. As the only falls in the valley I was yet to see I ran the few hundred yards up to the falls to take in the view, and washed my face in the river at the bottom.

I then headed back down to the valley floor to complete the western end of the Valley Trail that I had not previously run. It would be a predominantly flat five mile run back to my campsite. The weather had really warmed up and the valley managed to trap all of the heat in. The slight breeze that existed was warm and I was starting to feel very hot. It was a tough final section, but I crossed the river over the Pohono Bridge, ran under El Capitan and eventually reached my campsite.

As per the recovery procedure I had been following for each run I continued on to the nearby store at Yosemite Lodge, purchased a Gatorade and a chocolate milk, and enjoyed them as I walked down to the river. I then cooled my legs in the refreshing water for 10 minutes before heading back to my campsite and a well-deserved shower.

Check out the details of the run on MovesCount.com here.

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