The Panorama Trail, Part I

by jenna on July 6, 2010

So, the hike.

I feel the need to give you a little background information first. The only times I’ve ever been hiking before have been in gentle places such as North Carolina, Georgia or West Virginia. Gentle places with gentle sloping hills and lots of shady trees. And never hiked for more than an hour or two. However, that being said, I’ve always felt like I would love real hiking on real mountains. I always gazed with awe and envy at backpackers who could fit their entire livelihood into one bag and trek fearlessly across mountains and even continents. I love being outdoors so it seemed like it would be a great fit.


The boyfriend is what I would call a real hiker and we had planned to hike the Panorama Trail while at Yosemite. It seemed the best way to really see all of the park in a short amount of time and it was both of our first times. At breakfast on Sunday morning, as we waited to board the bus to go to the top of Glacier Peak so that we could hike down, the boyfriend overheard someone saying that hiking the Panorama Trail takes eight hours.

I was buying breakfast burritos and oatmeal.

The boyfriend quickly vetoed the idea for his own safety and the status of our relationship.

When I returned with our food he told me we would instead to a nice little scenic four mile hike. It’s still intense, he told me. You still might see a bear and you’ll still get a workout. Clearly my aspirations for the hike were high.

So, we boarded our bus. I ate my oatmeal and he ate his burrito and we gazed at all the pretty scenery around us as the bus driver waxed eloquently about the history of the grounds and what to do if faced with a bear or mountain lion.

And then he casually throws in that the four mile hike is for wimps and anyone who’s anyone does the 8.5 mile Panorama Trail hike.
I looked at the boyfriend. He looked at me. It was on. We are not wimps. We are mountain people. We will dominate. Thank you Manny the bus driver.

Of course we later found out that the Panorama Trail would take about five hours to hike, not eight. We stocked up on provisions at the store and I waited in a thirty minute line to pee for the very last time…
And then we were off!


We started at approximately 10:40 (we ran a trip timer on an app on the boyfriend’s iphone, naturally) and the first mile or so went really well other than the fact that I totally underestimated the time it takes to walk a mile instead of running it.



Being the ever trained and prepared athlete that I am, I provided us with shot blox to take every hour, along with fruit strips and granola bars.
And then around 12:30 we started to go uphill and things got a little more harrowing.


…..To be continued.

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ How Sweet July 6, 2010 at 7:48 am

Wow – it is GORGEOUS! I would love to hike there. That last picture is just stunning.


Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) July 6, 2010 at 7:50 am

So beautiful! I can hardly wait for the continuation post of your adventures. πŸ˜€


Ameena July 6, 2010 at 7:52 am

The whole bathroom situation would certainly freak me out…again, I am just amazed at people who are able to hike around like it’s no problem!

Beautiful photos!


Estela @ Weekly Bite July 6, 2010 at 7:52 am

Can’t wait to hear more!!


Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) July 6, 2010 at 7:53 am

Your photos are beautiful! That’s so awesome that you decided to go ahead and hike that trail despite what you had heard!


Jenny July 6, 2010 at 7:56 am

Wow incredible pictures! The full HIke takes 8.5 hours? Holy cow! Can’t wait to hear more :)


Camille July 6, 2010 at 7:58 am

Oh my gosh, we had the same bus driver when I was in Yosemite last week! Haha, I loved that guy, he was hilarious!


Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) July 6, 2010 at 7:59 am

Gosh, I love Yosemite. DonΒ΄t know which way you drove in from, but that view right as you come out of the tunnel and you see El Cap on one side and Half Dome on the other, well… that view would make an atheist believe in God. So glad you got to go!


Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin July 6, 2010 at 7:59 am

Wow – – awesome pictures!!! You always seem to step it up in the face of a challenge!!


Morgan @ Life After Bagels July 6, 2010 at 7:59 am

. . . still might see a bear – HILARIOUS! Bring on part 2 :)


Anya @ Fitness & Sunshine July 6, 2010 at 8:04 am

The scenery is gorgeous! I’m glad you went up to the challenge. :)


Courtney @ 3 Months July 6, 2010 at 8:05 am

The scenery is GORGEOUS. I’m sure you’re having a blast! :)


Courtney @ 3 Months July 6, 2010 at 8:05 am

The scenery is GORGEOUS.


Jessie (Bites and Pieces) July 6, 2010 at 8:06 am

Such beautiful pictures! Looks like a pretty awesome adventure so far. :)


Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies July 6, 2010 at 8:07 am

Ahh – the pictures are amazing! Not surprised you took the challenge. πŸ˜€ “You still might see a bear” – hahaha love it.


Rachel @ Balance and Blueberries July 6, 2010 at 8:56 am

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. I can’t wait til it’s my turn in a few weeks :)


Jaime@if you lived here you'd be home now July 6, 2010 at 8:57 am

wow sounds like quite the adventure. look at that scenery though. amazing!


Lindsay @ Summit Sandwiches July 6, 2010 at 8:58 am

Hiking uphill for miles at a time is almost as hard, if not harder, than running, in my humble opinion. When you are battling a 30 degree incline at 13,000 feet, it ain’t easy no matter how you slice it. Seeing your pics makes me so excited for my next hiking adventures in CO in August!


Dorry July 6, 2010 at 9:05 am

It’s beautiful up there! Can’t wait to see more. :)


Suzanne de Cornelia July 6, 2010 at 9:08 am

Gorgeous pix!!! I’ve always had an affinity for mega-hikes so that the word on me is ‘If she even mentions a walk/hike–flee in the opposite direction…they are Bataan Death Marches.’ Bwahahaha.
Part I looks like lots of fun!


Mary @ What's Cookin' with Mary July 6, 2010 at 9:10 am

So pretty!! Can’t wait to see more!!!


Sharon July 6, 2010 at 9:16 am

Never have done the Panorama trail-looks great! It looks like we might be doing Half-Dome when we go in a couple of weeks….i don’t know if I want to ascend the summit, but maybe i’ll just go to the base of the rock and wait for my group. Of course my boyfriend says “you know when you get there, you’re gonna want to go up the cables” um…..yeah no thanks.

Can’t wait to see pics of the rest of the trip-Isn’t Yosemite amazing?


Heather (Heather's Dish) July 6, 2010 at 9:19 am

oh my goodness…we are planning on taking a trip out there next year…this post makes it hard to wait now! beautiful!


Frank Gutierrez July 6, 2010 at 9:22 am

Wow. Looks like you had a wonderful time. Looking forward to reading part 2. I’m long overdue for a trip to Yosemite.


Michelle @ NewLeafEats July 6, 2010 at 9:27 am

Waaahh! I cliffhanger! Ugghhh!


Lisa July 6, 2010 at 9:32 am

What a beautiful hike!!!! The views look amazing.


Liz July 6, 2010 at 9:36 am

Ha, I loved your thing about the boyfriend knocking the miles down on the hike for the “status of our relationship”. That definitely had me laughing. I have to say I have been a fan of your blog for a long time and now reading some other similar blogs I absolutely love the amount of photos that you post-and the quality of those photos. It really makes you a cut above the other blogs in my opinion and definitely keeps me coming back. So, keep posting those pictures! lol


Becki @ HikeBikeEat July 6, 2010 at 9:41 am

If a bus driver said that to me, I’d end up hiking twice as far, and then dying of happiness as I ate twice my body weight in foodstuffs to make up for it :) I hope you both gorged after!


Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg July 6, 2010 at 9:45 am

Ooh, I’m so jealous! I love a good hike! Hope y’all had fun…it sounds a little ominous!


The Healthy Hostess July 6, 2010 at 9:55 am

What an amazing trip! Can’t wait to see what is next for you guys!


Elizabeth @ Eat Clean Fun July 6, 2010 at 9:56 am

You both are brave to go for the bigger challenge. I would have been nervous as soon as I heard the word “bear” !


Katherine July 6, 2010 at 10:16 am

this is just full of intensity. the pic with the camelback in your mouth says it all haha


Kaz July 6, 2010 at 10:28 am

Oh my gosh, my heart would be in my throat if I had taken that last pictures! Can’t wait for the other half of your recap! πŸ˜€


Mindy July 6, 2010 at 10:31 am

LOL that first picture is so awesome. And I agree, hiking is a lot harder in practice than in your head haha. I went to Yosemite for a very short 24 hours and we did a short 3 mile hike–1.5 miles each way. Those hills get ya!! It was slow going up, but then we ran the 1.5 miles back downhill :)


Cynthia (It All Changes) July 6, 2010 at 10:37 am

Those sights look beautiful. I’m a recreational hiker on small trails that take no more than 2 hours. But I would love a longer hike. I think it looks like a blast.


Katie Heddleston July 6, 2010 at 10:43 am

Wow, I’m literally in suspense right now.. I’m so anxious for you to post more! GORGEOUS PICTURES!!!!


Fit Chick in the City July 6, 2010 at 10:45 am

Beautiful! Can’t wait to see more photos!


Anne July 6, 2010 at 10:49 am

Hahaha, way to go choosing the long hike – looks like weather was gorgeous! Always a concern where I’m at (no mountains, so no problems) and I’ve only ever hiked in England so MAJOR weather difference ;-). What a cliffhanger!


Jae July 6, 2010 at 10:54 am

Jenna, you rock girl. :)
annndd youre definitely one of the funnier-whilebeing-sarcastic people I’ve had a chance to come across in my life.
Congrats on the hike!


OK Chick July 6, 2010 at 10:55 am

I love the pictures. I’ve never been!


Linda July 6, 2010 at 11:34 am

I LOVED that hike when I did it 2 years ago. My boyfriend and I also hiked up half dome and while I’m glad that I did it I will NEVER do it again. It is a KILLER hike. It took us 9 hours of basically non-stop hiking. The trail is crazy steep, in total you end up hiking around 16 miles which I’ve done plenty of times but you gain close to 5,000 ft. in elevation on the way up. The Vally floor is at 4,000ft. and Half Dome is 8,800ft. The cables were terrifying and I am an avid hiker, backpacker etc. . . Most people don’t know what they’re getting into when they hike up half dome. Glad you enjoyed yourself


Beth (Blessed and Inspired) July 6, 2010 at 11:45 am

What an amazing adventure!


Chinye July 6, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Beautiful pictures!


jenny (green food diaries) July 6, 2010 at 12:12 pm

so epic… craving to do some mountain climbing right now… can’t wait for next post


Heather July 6, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Wow, those pics are gorgeous! Can’t wait to hear more about the hike :-)


Hilary@coffeeismycarrot July 6, 2010 at 12:37 pm



sarah (this is it) July 6, 2010 at 12:57 pm

way to hold us in suspense for the next part of the adventure! :-)


AshleyH July 6, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I have always wanted to hike but it seems I never have the time. I will have to get out there sometime. Can’t wait for part 2!
PS It was nice to see a picture of the boyfriend πŸ˜‰


Sara July 6, 2010 at 1:18 pm

love the first picture of you! you look so bad-ass. :)


Corinne (breathe and savor) July 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm

and thennn the camera fell!? nope that can’t be it! gaaah beautiful picture at the end there. cannot wait to read more! :)


Diana @ frontyardfoodie July 6, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Sheesh you guys are troopers!

So glad you’re getting some quality time with the lover boy.


Kaseeloo July 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Your photos are incredible!! Yosemite is such a beautiful place, I am so excited for you to have experienced it!! Nice to see you finally braved it and put up a pic of the man(Adam). Good on you girl!!!


Amanda July 7, 2010 at 12:34 am

I wanna hear about you and Adam!!! SO CUTE!!!


Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) July 7, 2010 at 7:47 am

That’s a magnificent atmosphere to hike in. I’ve never been hiking, but this sure makes me want to!



Amber K July 7, 2010 at 8:14 am

I have been dragged on so many hikes as a kid, I would never want to do it again! I have done it with my husband, up a waterfall. Many, many, many switchbacks, slow going. But it does feel pretty cool to reach the top. Now if only I could do it from the comfort of my own living room…. =P


Tanya July 8, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Aaaahhhh Please continue!!!! My husband and I planned to hike UP to the top of Nevada Falls last weekend but once we climbed the 600+ stairs to the top of Vernal Falls we decided that was enough lol but I still want to see Nevada Falls from the top so we’re thinking of doing the Panorama Trail the day after tomorrow since its downhill all the way. How’d you do for the whole trail???


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