As we drove out of Kings Canyon, I was in awe of the winding road coupled with the sound of the rushing Kings River and the natural beauty of a canyon.
Now, we were on our way to Yosemite. Over the years, I had heard many people talk about the beauty of Yosemite. Finally, we were about to see first hand what everyone had been talking about. What we didn’t know is that if you plan to stay anywhere in this National Park between late May and September, you have to make a reservation about five months in advance. Alas, we were unsuccessful in finding a place to stay inside the park, but we found a lovely place about 34 miles outside of the park at Yosemite RV Resort in Coarsegold, CA.
It was dry and HOT…100 degrees hot. Even the little bit of shade by the picnic table did not ease the heat, so I went up to the pool to socialize with other traveling folks. Surprisingly, the pool water was cool and refreshing! We got up early the next morning to drive into the park. It was about 54 miles to the start of the hike we had planned, and it took almost two hours to get there. It was 6:45 a.m. when we took this photo.
Scott had selected the popular Mist Trail, a 8.3 mile round-trip hike to Vernal and Nevada Falls.
Part of this trail joins with the famous John Muir Trail. It is a strenuous uphill hike with an elevation gain of 2,082 feet.
We made our way over the Vernal Falls Bridge, not knowing what was to soon come.
The dirt trail was rather wide, with rocks lined up along the sides as borders. The drop off on the left got steeper as we walked up the canyon.
Today Scott used his Go-Pro rather than taking still photos. I didn’t know that he was going to include in his footage my half mile ascent up a steep granite stairway of over 600 steps. The hiking pamphlet (that we saw AFTER the hike) warned climbers to “prepare for slippery footing and a tremendous amount of waterfall spray in spring and early summer.” We were prepared to get a little wet, and we both put on our raincoats as we began to feel the cool mist. (I would later refer to the experience as a “Nor’easter”.) I had no idea it would feel like we were stuck in a bad rainstorm, or that after Scott passed me on the steps, that I would have a coughing/asthma attack coupled with snot streaming out of my nose, as I was pummeled with what felt like a water fire hose. I am sorry if I have grossed anyone out, but the truth is that I was having a bad moment. I just wanted to get to the top, out of the blast of water. Scott’s six-plus minute video below captures snippets of the entire hike. Expect a bit of cloudiness in the footage while he filmed what I have been referring to as the Nor-Easter. You can decide for yourself what to call it. Better yet, come to Yosemite in June to see for yourself.
Zoom in to the next photo. Besides capturing the beautiful rainbow, you can see hikers making their way up the winding staircase, feeling the powerful, wet mist from this massive waterfall. It certainly didn’t look or feel like a Nor-Easter from up above.
As we walked up even higher, the rainbow was still apparent. I became a happy camper again. Rainbows bring out the best in people.
When we reached the top of Vernal Falls, we found a plethora of people drying out on the rocks. We walked down to the edge where you could stand close to the top of Vernal Falls.
Around the bend, we found a quieter spot to dry ourselves off.
We continued on our hike to Nevada Falls. We were just below the top of it in the following picture.
We kept on hiking for another mile or so, and then we stopped to look back on Nevada Falls along with the exquisite granite walls.
At the end of Mist Trail, I noticed an unfamiliar container and wanted to get a closer look.
It was empty…I guess on call.
It took us a couple of hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic to get out of the park. As we drove along the winding road back to our campground, we decided that it wasn’t worth it to stay outside of the park since it involved too much driving back and forth. Unfortunately, we decided to leave the area and head up north to Lake Tahoe. Yosemite, we will be back!