Yosemite Valley, California Road Trip Stops

California, Cat On A Leash, Cats, National Parks, Road Trip, Uncategorized, Waterfalls

If you haven’t been to The Yosemite yet, add it to the bucket list! I give this place an 11/10 for beauty. It truly is one of the most breathtaking places you’ll go to!

I drove in from Los Angeles Overnight. I want to say it was about a 4 ish hour drive! My cat, Charles Lickens, and I got there in time to see a beautiful Yosemite sunrise! Charles and I have been car camping all across America for the last year or so! It’s a cheap and easy way to see the country!

Near the visitors center

You can drive all the way through the park from one side to the other (most the year, be sure to check for snow/weather closures).

There are tons of waterfalls and scenic lookouts! I normally would have stopped to hike but it was super packed, there were endless lines for parking spots and I was there at first light! I also didn’t have a safe place to leave my kitty.

Charles and I did manage to find a nice spot to cozy up for a hammock nap! I also found out you can buy a beer in the little eating area. It’s in the fridge with all of the other drinks (water, pop, tea, etc.). It was a nice little refresher after pulling an all-nighter and walking around all day, kitty in tow!

Hammock chillin’ at Yosemite

I have a double hammock! I like the extra space. I’m able to draw and read comfortably inside! It also fits two people super easily! My friend and I used it together and we had more than enough space. He read on one end and i drew on the other.

Mr Talkative as people walk by lol.

Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains

There’s a town on the north side of the park, Sonora, California! I stayed the night there. It was so cute! I was told by more than one person that they have the best Mexican food ever there! And I must say, it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had! The place was Called El Arroyo. Yum!

By far the best restaurant you can eat at near Yosemite. But there were also other types of food in this town if you don’t like Mexican!

The best place to eat near The Yosemite.

The drive from Yosemite to Senora is also amazing! Little windy two lane road through the rolling hills of California.

Driving out of the the north side of Yosemite, towards Sonora.

Stunning Scenic Lake In Southern Colorado: Smith Reservoir!

This is an awesome little road trip stop if you find yourself in southern Colorado! This reservoir is small but it’s so beautiful! I drove from Austin, Texas, cut over into New Mexico just before Amarillo and winded through some back highways until I got into souther CO! My grandpa taught me to always take…

Flaming Gorge Reservoir: Road Trip Stop On The Utah/ Wyoming Border

I’m always looking for new and beautiful places to explore around the United States! A lot of the time I will just zoom in on my apple maps on a green area or a body of water, and then research whatever names are posted in that area! That’s how I found the Flaming Gorge. I…

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado: Rocky Mountain Sand Dunes

Colorado is such a beautiful state! I’m so glad I took this route on my way up to Washington State! I weirdly had never been to Colorado, one of the only states I hadn’t been to yet (aside from the airport)! 🤯 seems like the first place I’d go lol. I also stopped at the…

The Mojave Desert: A South West Road Trip Essential Stop!

This was a quick stop for me on my drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles! I always try to see any many places as possible when I’m on road trips, even if I only have time to stop for a few hours. This place was nothing like I had never seen before! Growing up…

Ocean Jet Skiing in Destin, Florida: Destin Beach Trip Mini Guide

Destin and the entire Florid Panhandle have a ton of very underrated beaches! If you’re looking for white sand, and bright blue water, this is the spot! And it’s a pretty affordable vacation spot! I’ve been to the Panhandle a handful of time and it’s been a blast for all of them! Pro tip: it’s…

Tennessee Waterfall Hike: Burgress Falls State Park

I wasn’t sure how I was going to like living in Tennessee, after growing up in the beautiful Pacific North West, but I was pleasantly surprised! Tennessee is extremely lush and has hills and mountains. There a lot of waterfalls to visit! (Here’s another one of my favorite Tennessee Waterfalls). This hike is right off…

Middle Tennessee’s Best Hike, Waterfall, and Swimming Hole: Cummins Falls

I lived in Nashville, Tennessee for a couple years and this waterfall and swimming hole is by far my favorite place in the State.  Also… side note! If you’re going to Cummins Falls you should definitely spend some time in Nashville! I will be writing up a post on the best spots to go in…

Hiking Red Rock Canyon: Best Las Vegas Hikes- Calico Hills

I spent a couple months in the greater Las Vegas area! Between the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and Red Rock Canyon National Park! All of which are beautiful in their own way! One of my favorite hikes and hot springs is close by as well! It goes along the emerald colored Colorado river. If you…


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North Cascades National Park, Washington State: Guide and Photo Gallery

camping, hiking, National Parks, Pacific North West, Uncategorized, Washington State

North Cascades National Park is heaven on earth.

It hugs the Canadian boarder, you’ll even get some “Welcome to Canada” texts if you happen to have service any point!

It encompasses serene alpine lakes, endless mountain peaks and dense forest! Everywhere you drive or go is another breathtaking view! It never ends. For Forests floors are filled with ferns and moss. I’m sure there are tons of huckleberries too but we went a little to early in the year for that!

The hikes we went on were very dangerous, we got stuck more than once, so I’m not going to publicly recommend them! If you want the details, feel free to email me or find me on instagram, or Facebook! 

The dense, lush forest of the Cascades. So beautiful!

Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains

Diablo Lake:

This lake is one of the most iconic spots in the North Cascades.

Diablo Lake, North Cascades National Park

Yes, the water is this blue in person! It’s breathtaking. This was before we even hiked or camp, just a beautiful stop as you drive thru the park. Every twist and turn has your eye balls exploding out of your head with excitement.

We took these photos at a scenic turnout right off the main road. 

We stayed at a campground just across the lake from the scenic turn out! There was a nice little trail connected to the campground that we went did the first afternoon. It had beautiful views of the lake! There was absolutely no phone service. There was an investigation going on for a missing person and we were spooked so we only stayed at this spot for one night!

The forest there is super dense. You can see how sunny it is outside, but it’s pretty dark still back in the trees! (I’m from WA state so I’m used to it). It also gets super cold at night. Bring winter or warm clothes for night time, even in the summer!

We make sure to bring the Jetboil so we can have hot coffee during the chilly mornings! It’s super lightweight and compact, which makes it easy to bring around. Not sure how I survived without one before with how much I’m hiking and camping.

We also usually do car camping. It’s safer for women and a little warmer and secure than a tent!

Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains


There are both black bears and grizzly bears in these woods. Do not go anywhere without bear spray! I would bring multiple canisters of it to be safe. You can get it at most outdoors stores or get it on amazon! And some knives you can strap to the front of your pack!

Bear Spray on Amazon

We even brought ours to the bathroom every single time. 

The next morning we went up to the small town of Marble Mount. It’s one of the only place with phone service and amenities! Its about 30-minutes from Diablo Lake. We found a map and hoped online to find an awesome hike. Which we did find, it just didn’t turn out exactly as planned. Ooops.

The Amazing Mystery Hike

I’m not sharing this hike location, it’s too dangerous and I don’t want to set anyone up for failure! I’m sure you can find it on the AllTrails App by comparing pictures! 

North Cascades National Park Hike
What’s better than a PB&J on a hamburger bun via mountaintop?!

Were both very experienced hikers, it was just a tricky hike with very high elevation. We probably would have been fine later in the year. We hiked far up the Grand Tetons in July and there was minimal snow! Those few weeks can make a big difference in the mountains.

With any hike you go on in this park, make sure to bring warm clothes. Even if it’s super hot out! The temperature can drop quickly. These mountains aren’t ones to be messed with! We started the hike when it was in the 80’s and we were shivering by the time we got down. We each brought a long sleeve too. Be prepared for temperature changes as the elevation climbs and as the sun fades!

We ended up summiting this peak on accident! Lol. 

Summit a North Cascade Peak
North Cascades National Park

Follow me in Instagram for more of my in-the-moment adventures! @maggmountains

It was incredible but we were stuck up there for a long time. The snow is super easy to climb up, and yet super hard to get down! We fell a long ways at one point! It was super steep. We may or may not have been hanging from bushes with our feet dangling at one point…. while massive spiders crawled over out hands. And no, I’m not kidding. We are both terribly afraid of spiders too haha.

Stranded and stressed. Summit Fever got to us.
Rebuilding energy with a snack on the way back down.

Lesson learned (a few years ago): deeply research every hike before you go on them! And don’t summit a Cascade Peak until at least July! (We went in mid June). Always being extra warm clothes, no matter how short or easy the hike may seem.

There wasn’t a gate or people charging money when we went, but things can change over the year so it’s better to prepared for National Park fees. Mt Rainier National Park was surprisingly the same! No gate but there was a big visitors center at the top.

You can get in for free if you have a National Park Service Pass. The pass costs $75 for the entire year, or you can pay anytime you enter but it adds up fast. A lot of parks charge $20 a car. I always get mine renewed every year! The pass also now comes with a parking pass, which hangs from your rear view window.

Stay safe and stay groovy!

Big Tree State Park, Northern California Road Trip

I was making the trip from Yosemite to Lake Tahoe, and of course decided to take the back roads! (Which also lead to another cool discovery and long dead end). I didn’t have a big plan, I was car camping and was stopping and going as I pleased! Luckily I saw the signs for Big…

Yosemite Valley, California Road Trip Stops

If you haven’t been to The Yosemite yet, add it to the bucket list! I give this place an 11/10 for beauty. It truly is one of the most breathtaking places you’ll go to! I drove in from Los Angeles Overnight. I want to say it was about a 4 ish hour drive! My cat,…

Southern California Road Trip Stop: The Salton Sea

The Salton Sea is the largest lake in the state of California! This lake is very close to where they host Coachella! I made a pit stop here on my South West road trip, traveling from Arizona to Southern California. There isn’t a ton to do in the area, but it’s a super unique place…