It was a spontaneous decision to hike around Yosemite for a day. More specifically in the valley. Diana was busy at work, so it would be just Jaden and I heading there. The above normal snowpack this year was going to create a great waterfall season in Yosemite Valley. With day-packs ready and hiking clothes on, we were out the door.
We drove up to the southern entrance to Yosemite on Highway 41. There was a line to get into the park, but it didn’t take long to move us through. Soon we were driving down a familiar windy road passing Wawona and eventually into a part of last year’s Ferguson Fire. Just before you arrive at the famous tunnel leading vehicles down to the valley, the scorched earth was still there. Soon though we passed it by and went through the tunnel to our first stop; Bridalveil Falls.
The parking area was backed up onto the main road. Once we had the chance to pull we, thankfully, found a spot on the first drive through. Both Jaden and I were ready to get out and start walking. We had to make our way through a giant puddle though on our way to the trail.
The hike is a very short one, but we had to navigate our way round people coming down or stopping to take a photo of the creek raging down the hill. As we approached the asphalt was slippery. Mist was coming down from the falls and onto us. Jaden made his way to the vista point but only lasted about 20 seconds there. His clothes, mine, and actually everyone there, was getting soaked fast. The falls was dumping so much water. I had never seen it like that before. We were soon heading back down to see how the creek was at the bridge below.
The river was raging along and we admired the view. I snapped a photo of Jaden and a gentlemen offered to take a photo of both of us together. I accepted his offer and went beside Jaden for a pose. I think it turned out great! We then turned back around to head to the car. It was time to make our way to a parking spot close to Mirror Lake.
Once in the vehicle it was easy to leave the parking lot. The line to get in was longer then before. As time passed that meant more people were coming into the park to see the falls. I proceeded east towards our destination but was slowed or stopped often. We saw Yosemite Falls and, since we were stopped in traffic anyway, I took a quick photo out the window of the falls.
The initial parking spot was still closed so we found a spot off the side of the road. I was thankful that we did like so many others. Otherwise we would have had to walk even further just to get to the trailhead. We were soon out and hiking when we noticed signs to direct us or to make sure we stopped before crossing the road.
The hike to Mirror Lake was a very pleasant one. The road was closed to vehicles so for a little over a mile it was just Jaden, myself, and other hiking to a from Mirror Lake. The river was flowing fast so I had Jaden pose for a picture by it.
Lunch was Pizza and some other goodies to go with it. We enjoyed sitting back the lake and eating our food. Once that was done it was time to go to our next destination of Vernal Falls. We were not going to be able to drive any closer to the trailhead so it was all walking for us!
The hike was going to be about 2 miles. It was easy walking and part of the way there was a trail to walk on instead of the road. Jaden was getting hot so I was able to convert them into shorts. He was very happy his pants could do this and immediately felt a lot cooler. His pace quickened as a result.
We soon arrived at the Mist Trail and began our uphill hike to Vernal Falls. I had to teach Jaden how to hike up a hill correctly. He was just trying to breath and maintain his speed. He burnt out a lot but soon learned to be like the “tortoise” from the book and found his rhythm.
Views of the valley came and went. Water was dripping down the rocks in places many had not seen ever before. It was quite spectacular. People were everywhere though. The photos may not show it but so many folks were heading up to get a close view at the falls. We were just going to the bridge as I knew Jaden was starting to burn out.
We did make it to the bridge where we saw the surge of water and the falls. Posing for a photo had to be quick with all the people around. We then made our way back to the car and down to our next destination spot.
On the way down the trail Jaden saw a butterfly land on my hat. He wanted to take a photo, so I passed him my phone. He did a good job at capturing the little guy before he took off. Once in the vehicle, we did stop at Tunnel View before saying to Yosemite once more. The final destination was next…before home of course.
Our last stop was outside the Park and down into Oakhurst. There Reimer’s homemade ice cream awaited our taste buds. Jaden picked out Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. I went with Banana Nut. This is how we concluded our day trip to Yosemite.