If you decide to explore the wilderness, remember that all water must be purified to avoid things like giardia. So filter, boil, or treat your water with iodine based chemicals. For much more on this subject, see our page on Water/Dehydration
, proper food storage is required. You must carry a bear canister to secure your food from bears and other critters. Bears are very skillful when it comes to getting a free lunch or dinner. I found this out many years ago, when I hung my food in a rucksack between two trees high up in Little Yosemite Valley. In the middle of the night, a bear smelled the food, climbed one of the trees and broke the cord that the food was hung from. The cord I hung the goodies from was rated at 800 lbs.
Needless to say I was shocked when I heard the cord break and my food fall to the ground. The bear then casually climbed back down the tree, and ate 4 days supply of food that my wife and I needed for our trip. At that point, all we could do is pick up our things and hike back down to the valley floor and spend the rest of our time there. Thus today, bear canisters are mandatory.
In the photo to the left, you see hikers on the footbridge that leads to Lower Yosemite Falls. It is a fairly short hike to get to the lower falls, and it is well worth doing. For the more ambitious hiker, you can take the trail to the top of Yosemite Falls for great views of the falls as you ascend, and a super view of the valley floor below once you on top. Camp 4 hosts the Trail-head to Upper Yosemite Falls, and is located on the North side of the Yosemite Valley. Camp 4 has been a hangout for rock climbers for several decades, and many of the early climbers went on to become world famous after initially honing their skills right here in Yosemite Valley's Camp 4. I used to pour over guidebooks and read stories about men such as Yvon Chouinard, Warren Harding, Tom Frost, and several others. I would marvel at the incredible feats these guys performed on the sheer rock-walls of Yosemite Valley. For a detailed description of the hike to the top of Yosemite Falls, check out our page on the Yosemite Falls Trail