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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Hiking Alone is Very Peaceful, Here Are Some Safety Tips


Hiking alone, especially the first time you do it, can be daunting and very intimidating. I for one was very nervous and scared the first time I did it, but now I do it all the time! It’s so freeing and peaceful, it’s almost a form of meditation for me. Nothing but the wilderness and my body!

Don’t hike alone unless you are prepared and experienced (unless it’s a super short one midday). Here are some of the best a safety tips I’ve learned and experienced over the years!

1. Fully Plan Your Hike!

I think this is one of the most important tips I can give! Do your research on the hike you’re doing on the All Trails Apps or through blogs. Read the reviews and listen to them!! You can also check out the photos.

Also, if you aren’t familiar with the biome you are in, do some research! Look up poisonous plants, potential dangerous wildlife, weather patterns and anything else you can think of that could be related to where you are hiking. It’s so important to know what gear to bring for different areas. Know if there’s bears, cougars, poisonous snakes, dangerous cliffs or bodies of water.

2. Leave early so that you have a full day of sun

There have been numerous occasions where hikes ended up taking WAY longer than anticipated. It’s way better to leave first thing in the morning and be able to take your time.

Hiking in the dark is extremely dangerous. If you get far into the trail and aren’t sure if you will have enough sunlight, turn around. Don’t be stupid and get stuck out in the dark alone

3. Bring extra food and water!

Nature can be unpredictable, it’s always better to be over-prepared. I always some high calorie bars in my backpack just incase. Also, if you get tired on your hike, a cliff bar or something similar are a great energy boost to keep pushing through.

On long hikes, I almost always bring my JetBoil and backpacking meal! They are surprisingly tasty (I like this Chicken Teriyaki one... and most of them lol) and are high in protein! The Jetboil is compact and super lightweight. Both are super easy to throw in your backpack.

It’s always better to have extra supplies, than to get stuck in the mountains longer than anticipated on an empty stomach!

I drank 40oz of water on this hike, so important to stay hydrated. I love Camelbacks (they hold a lot of water) and I use them on super long hikes, but on 1-8 mile hikes, I typically just bring my Hydroflask since I prefer ice water. I have a 40oz Hydroflask and it keeps my ice water cold all day, no matter how hot out it is! (they have smaller and larger ones as well).

Check out the Grand Teton Alpine Lake hike pictured above.

4. Tell someone exactly where you are going

It’s very important for safety to tell someone you trust exactly where you are hiking at and an approximate time you’ll be back. Text them when you make it back to your car. If the person doesn’t get a text buy the end of the evening they can assume something happened and call for help for you! I either text my parents or my best friend who is also an experienced hiker.

5. Bring some form of self-defense

You can give yourself a fighting chance from a human or animal attacking you if you have a weapon on you.

I ALWAYS hike with 2 canisters of bear spray. They are a powerful pepper spray that shoot super far and powerfully. They work on animals and humans. I recommend getting the holster for it so you can hook it to the front of your backpack easily.

I also typically clip a knife to the front of my backpack for easy access!

You can also hook bear bells to your backpack to prevent animal attacks. Bears typically only attack if they are startled or threatened, the bells help alert the bear so you don’t spook them.

Bear Spray on Amazon

6. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Always scan the wilderness around you frequently throughout your hikes. I look over my shoulder every minute. It becomes a habit once you get used to it. Kind of like when swimmers come up for their breath, make it a happen to check your surroundings.

Take note of people who are also on the trail. Try to read their energy. Almost all hikers and climbers are AMAZING people, but you never know.

Have fun and be safe!

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

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…

Mount Rainier National Park: Driving to the Top, Photo Gallery

Mt. Rainier is one of Washington States most iconic peaks. You can see the mountain clearly from Seattle. I was fortunate to grow up in Washington. My brother and I decided to take a longer drive to our cousins wedding, and we drove through Mt. Rainier National Park. You can drive almost all the way…

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

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…

Grand Canyon National Park: That Time an Elk Hiked With Me

This was my first time ever going to The Grand Canyon, so you could say I was pretty stoked!  I got up early where I was staying, in Flagstaff, which is just a little over an hour from the park! I threw on my spandex and USA hat and hit the road! I knew I…

Oregon Water Fall Hike: Ramona Falls in Mt Hood National Forest

Ramona Falls in Oregon is a Hidden little gem found in Mt. Hood National Forrest! My friend from Texas found it on the AllTrails app and we went for it! This hike made you feel like you are walking through a tropical rainforest, it was insanely green and lush!  The Trail Head It’s not too…


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Utah Hot Springs: Fifth Water

hiking, Hot Springs, nomad, Utah

I had seen a lot of photos of these bright blue hot springs on Instagram but didn’t know where to find them! Luckily, one of my best friends lives in Salt Lake City and she knew exactly where these springs were! We packed our backpacks up early Super Bowl Sunday and headed for the springs in hopes that they wouldn’t be too busy. Ya know, since super bowl Sunday is pretty much a holiday in America.

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

The Adventure Up

On a clear and warm day, this is a pretty easy hike! On the other hand, if it’s snowy or icy…. not so much. Definitely bring some spikes if it’s winter. Also, in the winter plan on hiking an extra 1.3 miles each way, part of the road is closed during the snowy season. Any other time of year should be easy breezy.

It’s a pretty flat hike for the most part but there are a few steep parts that got pretty sketchy. I fell 5 or 6 times on this hike, which is pretty unusual. I think I may have been a little over confident walking.

The entire hike goes along the stream and is extremely beautiful. The water is very blue, and with the contrast of the snow it makes it pop even more! You know you are starting to get close to the springs when you start seeing some light teal and more variety of colors in the water.

There are several different pools you can choose from. My personal favorite is the dark green one (sounds weird I know), it was the perfect temperature, pretty much exactly like a hot top! The further up you go, the hotter they get.

My friend and I also swam in the pool in the waterfall. It’s not quite as hot as the others, but the luke-warm water felt great for a cool down.

We sat up there and relaxed for hours! It was so amazing. We brought a few beers (don’t worry we always carry our trash out) and some sandwiches. I would do this hike a millions times over again! It was so beautiful and so peaceful.

What to Bring

  • Your beautiful body
  • Hiking shoes or shoes with good grip. I wear these and highly recommend them: Women’s Explore WP Hiking shoe.
  • LOTS OF WATER. Hot springs will dehydrate you and you still have a long hike back to your car. Bring more than you think you would need. I have a Hydroflask and a Camel Back.
  • Snacks. Whenever I go on a long hike or to a hot spring, I always bring a snack. I eat it at the top or wherever the main destination is. It gives a good boost of energy for the hike back.
  • Winter gear: Spikes (Click here for the exact ones I have that are affordable), trekking poles, beanie, gloves, warm jacket, and snow pants if there is a lot of snow!
Follow my beautiful and adventurous friend Audrey on Instagram! @dr.audreymaya


  • Fifth water hot springs are located just outside of Provo Utah or about 1.5 hours from Salt Lake City.
  • Take hwy 15 until you see the exit for hwy 6. Follow Hwy 6 Until you get to Diamond Fork Rd, follow the road all the way to the end and park in the parking lot.
  • I recommend downloading the All Trails app and typing in “Fifth Water Hot Springs”, it’ll pull up exact location through whatever maps app you have!
  • If you keep your maps running, it’ll keep the GPS running even if you run out of service, which you will out there!

Safety Tips

  • Always tell someone the exact location of where you are going; you never know what is going to happen.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and who is around you.
  • Always trust your gut. If something or someone seems off, follow your instinct and do what your body is telling you.
  • If the trail is extremely icy, I would recommend saving the hike for a different day. Some of the worst icy spots have  cliff into the water on the edge.

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

Hiking Mt Hood, Oregon: MnNeil Point Summit

This was hands-down one of the most breathtaking hikes I have ever done in my life! And I have done a lot of hiking in my days. My friend has hiked around America, Europe and South America and he said the same! Mount Hood is Located just outside of Portland Oregon. You can see it’s…

Maryland Hiking and Sunset Locations: Sugarloaf Mountain

Not gonna lie, when I moved from Washington State all the way over to the North East…. Baltimore to be more specific, I did not expect to find a ton of places to explore outdoors. I moved there for a job and was planning on working as much as possible and saving a ton of…

Spokane, Washington Hiking: Big Rock

Growing up in the Pacific North West, good ole PNW, I was spoiled with serene mountainous beauty, clear lakes and endless exploring!  One of my favorite go-to-hikes when I’m back home in Spokane, is Big Rock! It’s right off the Palouse Highway! It’s about 10-15 minutes down the Highway if you’re coming from the South…

Mingus Mountain, Arizona-Near Sedona: camping, hiking and local amenities!

I’m so thankful I accidentally found Mingus Mountain, Arizona. It wasn’t part of my plan. I headed over to California, and almost all nature was closed due to COVID-19. It was super stressful so I headed back to Arizona. It was hot at this point in the year so I needed to get up onto…

Sedona, Arizona: Camping, BLM Land and Hiking Guide

Arizona is an incredibly beautiful state. I appreciate it more and more each time I visit! This previous time… I stayed for 2 months. Ooops! I was there during the chaos of Covid-19, so it felt better for me to stay put for a while! Sedona is one of the most beautiful places you can…

How Toxins Negatively Impact the Body: A list of non-toxic products

A study done by environmental scientists found an average of 200+ chemicals in the umbilical cords of pregnant women after giving birth. That’s a lot of poison being pumped right into our babies! General hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, bleach, shampoos, and popular daily products are loaded with toxins that have harmful effects on your body!…

Grand Teton National Park: Hiking Up To Delta Lake

Delta Lake Hike was one of the most stunning hikes I have ever done in my 26-years of life! The contrast of the bright blue water, green trees and white snow was unreal. I could have stayed up there for weeks and been happy! This was a very challenging hike but it’s doable for most…

How to Train Your Cat: Leash Training, Car Rides, Hiking, Camping and More!

Traveling with my cat, Charles, has been so joyful! I wouldn’t have it any other way. Cats can be trained just like dogs, people just choose not to train them for some reason. To prove it, he’s a video of my kitty cat going pee outside! He digs a little toilet, plops on top of…


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