Sunday, May 22, 2016

Day 4: Hiking in the Park

Today started at 4:30 AM so we could beat the crowds into the park and ensure we had a parking space. We passed through the gate around 6:30 AM (it is an hour drive from the hotel), and took the road into Yosemite Valley.  We stopped a few times along the road to take a few pictures of El Capitan and Bridalveil Falls in the early morning light, but our goal was the parking lot.  We arrived early enough we had our choice of spots, since the lot was empty, so got one close to the exit and main paths.  

We started our walking adventure by following signs for the visitor center and Yosemite Falls.  The visitor center did not open till, 9 AM so we continued on to the falls. We brought MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) with us for breakfast, good thing because several of the restaurants didn’t open till 7:00 AM.  The walk to the falls was fairly short, and the lower viewing area had very few people at it, which was good for pictures.  From there were continued around the waterfall path up to the Mirror Lake path.  The trail was supposed to be about 4 miles but seemed longer, because we took the trail which went up and down instead of the flat road out to it.  I was actually disappointed by Mirror Lake, because I was expecting more water.  But due to the extended drought, there was very little water and the lake is slowly turning into marsh and meadow.  From there we hiked back to the visitor center area.  On the hike back we stopped at the deli to grab lunch. After eating and checking out the visitor center, we took the valley bus over to the Curry Village area to hike part of the John Muir trail to Vernal Falls.

Yosemite Falls (Cell Phone)

The trail to the base of Vernal Falls is very deceiving, it starts out level and transitions to a gradual incline; then right when you think this isn’t bad it starts a steep uphill.  We only hiked the trail to the viewing area, which was .8 miles uphill and decided not to hike the remaining .6 miles up to very top of the falls.  After then we decided to call it a day, so hiked down the hill to the valley bus station to take the bus back to the parking area.  We didn’t feel like hike the two mile to the parking lot.  From there we headed out of the park making a few picture stops along the way.

Vernal Falls (Cell Phone)

Today was a good day (even if I forgot my Fit Bit to track my steps), it was sunny and comfortable temperature after the morning chill wore off.  Tomorrow we will not be getting up as early and rain is expected, which makes me sad.

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