Two of the most amazing places I've ever been were in California: Yosemite National Park and Death Valley National Park.

Yosemite is about 3 hours outside of San Francisco, and it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It's located in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and covers over 3000 square kilometres - it's huuuuge. The most famous points are El Capitan and Half Dome - two enormous mountain faces that tower over the huge expanse of trees, and give the most stunning views. We arrived at the top of Glacier Point which gave incredible views of Half Dome and Yosemite Valley, before hiking down to the top bottom, which took about 3-3 and a half hours. (If there is anything I learnt from that, BRING APPROPRIATE FOOTWEAR.) You can also hike up towards Half Dome, as well as lots of other hikes available depending on your skill and fitness levels.

At the bottom of Glacier Point, the land flattens and a short way away is the beautiful Crane Flat meadow. We rested and had some downtime here to go in the river, relax and sunbathe, visit the gift shop, and gaze at the famous waterfalls. It was blissful, aside from the fact that my feet were in agony.

Whilst in Yosemite, we also visited Mariposa Grove, which is an area full of giant Sequoia trees. The sheer amount of them was unbelievable, and they stretched upwards for what seemed like miles. I'd recommend going to this area whilst in the park.

We left Yosemite ready for the next stop which was Las Vegas. On the way, however, we stopped in Death Valley - one of the hottest places on the planet! The national park is located below sea level, and it is the driest area in the whole of the USA. The area once used to be a lake which dried up, and so there are lots of salt flats left behind, and it's a popular place to take photos - particularly photos that have various different perspectives (i.e. this one). It goes on and on for miles. When we were there, it reached 44 degrees celsius, or 111 degrees fahrenheit, which was unbearable! We didn't stay too long because of the heat, but it's a bucket list moment nonetheless!

Double-jointed problems...
Yosemite Valley
The view from Glacier Point




Crane Flat meadow


Mariposa Grove


(I won't even pretend that those last two photos of me are even half decent, but you can't expect to look anywhere near good when it's 44 degrees out haha...!)