Thought I’d do some exploring today. Yosemite is probably one of the prettiest places on Earth. All these pictures are mine (and I’m a poor photographer with a so-so camera…yet look how pretty they all still look!) That means it’s as stunning as it looks in post cards (even better!).
My family visited here in 2005. That June the park had record water so the rivers and creeks were overflowing and raging mightily! Yes, it was completely AWESOME! Even the park rangers were taking pictures because they’d never seen so many waterfalls in all their time working there. On my camcorder, you can hear this ROAR in the background…it’s the creek. Impressive!
If you’re planning a trip to Yosemite (which I’m hoping this post will convince my sister to do), take mosquito repellent. There are lots of those suckers there…and they’re BIG! Also, take good hiking shoes because there are hikes galore…short ones, medium ones, and then the KING of all hikes—The John Muir Trail. It’s just a mere 215 miles long and takes you through the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sequoia National Park, King’s Canyon National Park, and ends at the highest peak in continental United States, Mount Whitney at 14,496 feet.
We didn’t do that one, and I’ll tell you why. My son was 5 at the time and was a pain in the butt (I mean that quite literally). He kept plopping down on his butt about a half mile into any trail, refusing to go any further. Lazy bum! My husband had to carry him on his shoulders, and strong as he is, he just really didn’t feel like carrying him 214 more miles (plus we were almost out of fruit snacks). So we went about a mile more and called it quits. But it was a gorgeous, spectacular 3 mile round trip to Vernal Falls! That’s this waterfall! It was my favorite!
This hike is pretty popular and gets really crowded near the falls, where the trail has steps carved into the granite cliff going up right next to where the falls are roaring. If you get stuck behind someone really slow, it can be frustrating…because there is nowhere to go around them. This happened to me. Grrr! I felt like I was hiking Mt. Everest and was going to die because I was stuck on an unpassable ridge with cold spray freezing me from the waterfall as Slowpoke in front of me dawdled along afraid of the slippery steps.
But even if you get stuck behind a Slowpoke…it is still worth it. The view from on top of the waterfall is amazing—and so is the sound! I got a little dizzy walking down the huge granite slab to where the river was pouring over. It was fun! (My pour hubby didn’t get to see that view because he was with Mr. Grouchy at the bottom of the falls; he didn’t think it’d be too swift to try to traverse that slippery rocky cliff with a 5 year old clutching at his eyeballs).
If you don’t have grouchy kids that make you carry them, then I’d urge you to go further. From Vernal Falls, the trail continues on to Nevada Falls (a 7 mile round trip hike). Here’s a picture of both falls from the top of Glacier Point (a cool look off that takes a long time to drive to on a twisty turny road that makes you nauseous…but is still totally worth it. I think we drove there 2-3 times. We’re suckers for punishment…especially if it comes with grand vistas!). There was a controlled burn going on while we were there; hence, the smoky pictures. Eerie!
Well, this post is getting long. I’ll break it up so as not to bore you. Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of Exploring Yosemite…where I will bring you such exciting tidbits of knowledge about the Giant Sequoia groves and scary bears! You won’t want to miss it! Until then!