UCLA has a really great Outdoor Activities Center that organises camping, hiking and climbing trips around once every two weeks per quarter and Yosemite was one of the options. We drove from Westwood up to the park which took around 8.5 hours with LA traffic and a dinner stop off which was 3 hours longer than we expected but I think our excitement for the weekend got us through it.
I spent that first night with a few other people from our group sleeping in sleeping bags under the stars whilst the other stayed in the tents. It seemed like it would be really cold but it was quite toasty! Looking up at all the stars between Yosemite Valley was definitely one of the most stunning sights I’ve ever seen in my life and I’m so happy I braved it and slept outside (even though we were told racoons, bears and deer often wander around the campsite)!
In the morning we did a hike up to a couple of waterfalls and the view from up top was absolutely amazing and definitely worth the effort of the hike. Walking back down was a lot quicker (always is downhill!) but was also pretty and enjoyable. We ate lunch up at the top of the mountain with the views which ended up being quite a sun trap in the early afternoon so we also managed to do a little sunbathing! That night we carved out pumpkins because it was Halloween and since the trip was Harry Potter themed my house, Gryffindor, decided to carve out my tattoo: The Deathly Hallows! That night I slept in the tent as we were told there was a chance of snow and rain (that ended up not happening)
On our final day (Sunday) we made a steady drive out of the Valley towards the exit of the park but we made 4/5 stops at different viewpoints to take some photos and do some scrambling and exploring. Then our weekend was over and it was back to UCLA we went! I had a really great weekend and would definitely recommend the Outdoor Activities Centre to anyone who goes to UCLA and is interested in those kinds of trips. I met some lovely people and ticket a couple of things off my bucket list!