Saturday, June 15, 2013

Great American Road Trip - Day 9 (6/2) - Yosemite Valley

We were on our way toward the park by 8:00 this morning.  After stopping for supplies on the way in, we drove to the parking lot for the visitors center, also stopping briefly at Bridalveil Fall and another minor fall whose name I'm not certain of.  We stopped at a nearby information booth and got some advice on some trails.  We then took the express shuttle to the visitor center (stop 5), then switched to the regular Yosemite Valley Shuttle to go one stop (6) to the Lower Yosemite Falls trail. The trail loop was no more than a mile, and we completed it, as well as a view of the falls, in short order.

We hopped back on the shuttle and took it to stop 16, where we began the Mist Trail hike.  We took this either 2.6 or 3.4 (depending on which sign you believe) up to the top of Nevada Falls, passing Vernal Falls on the way.  The approach to Vernal Falls is probably the inspiration for the trail's name, as you receive enough "mist" from the fall to get soaked.  The path along the trail alternates between smooth and rocky, as well as between flat and steep.  There are sections with rock steps, and a couple with a hand rail.  All in all, the round trip took somewhere between 4 and 5 hours, including a snack stop and ample time admiring and capturing the views.

After that, we took the shuttle back to the parking lot at stop 1 (it restarts after 21) then drove out the park and back to the hostel, though not without stopping at a roadside restaurant for pizza and ice cream.  Since we had about an hour before sundown, we drove to a nearby recreation area by a stream and read our books while waiting for sunset.  After the sun went down, we drove back to the hostel and prepared for the next day.

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