|Vernal Fall, a view from the side|
Place: Vernal Fall, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California
Parking lot trailhead coordinates: 37.73568, -119.56578
Length: From Curry Village parking lot to the top of Vernal Fall and back is about four miles.
School was out in mid-June and summer camp would not begin for another week. A wonderful chance to go camping! Papa Quail could not come with us but I had made plans to go with friends. We had originally planned to go north but when I learned that my friends had never been to Yosemite, I changed the plan.
While Yosemite hasn't been the first National Park I visited in California (a special star to anyone who guesses which one), I did visit it many times. (But posted here only about Hetch Hetchy and Eleanor Lake). Yosemite is not represented well in this blog, because most of our serious hiking we did in our pre-chika days without proper cameras. In later years our visits to Yosemite would amount to showing off the park to our numerous out-of-town visitors, where we would visit the same 'must see' hot spots, over and over again. Our latest June visit was along the same lines.
Don't get me wrong: Yosemite is stunning any time of year, even at the hundredth visit. Even with the constant crowds.
This visit too we spent much of our time there sightseeing, but we also did some hiking. The trails we did are well known and there are many descriptions of them in books and online. Here I add my own experiences.
We parked at the farthest parking lot in Yosemite Valley, placed all of our food in the bear boxes, and headed on the trail towards Happy Isles. Across the bridge the trail splits left toward Mirror Lake and Tenaya Canyon. We took right, toward Vernal Fall.
Almost immediately the trail starts ascending. Between the woods one can catch glimpses of the Merced River, down below.
|Vernal Fall, a view from the observation bridge.|
|The granite mass that towers over Yosemite Valley.|
|A lovely place to grow roots|
|Vernal Fall, a view from the trail.|
It also produced a magnificent rainbow.
|Rainbow at the bottom of Vernal Fall|
We did it, eventually, and the view from the top of the Fall is absolutely magnificent.
|Merced River, below Vernal Fall.|
|The precipice of Vernal Fall|
I extend my condolences to the families of the deceased.
This time, though, we turned around at the top of Vernal Fall and headed back down.
|The Merced River at the top of Vernal Fall|
|Western Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale)|
|Western Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale) entertaining a visitor|
At the bottom of the trail the children were so exhausted that we decided to take the Yosemite Valley shuttle back to the parking lot. I was exhausted too, which is my only excuse for getting off the bus at the wrong stop and all of us having to walk an extra mile at the valley floor back to our car.
|The way down back to Yosemite Valley|
Appreciating Yosemite takes more than one day. Or one weekend. I have been there many times and still haven't seen enough. I strongly recommend to take the time and be there. Not just for sightseeing, but to actually BE there. To hike, to swim (where it is safe), to inhale the mountain air. To experience.
And I totally recommend this hike. Strenuous and crowded as it is, it is worth every second and every drop of sweat.