Yosemite National Park

Trip Start Jan 06, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday, May 22nd

We got up early today and got on our way to Yosemite National Park. It took about half an hour to get to the gate.  About 10 minutes past the gate, a coyote ran across the road. There were no other cars around so we were able to stop and get a picture of it getting out of there.  We took some of the advice of the guy at the campground (we'll call him Lou) and went to Bridalveil Falls first.  We weren’t quite expecting what we found; we were right at the base where the water hit the rocks.  It was creating such a mist it was as if it was raining.  It was pretty cool being that close, but we were pretty wet.  You can see all the water running down the ramp in the pictures.

From there we actually headed out to the tunnel view point.  This view point is one of the most common you see of Yosemite.  We actually drove out through the tunnel so we could drive through and have a great "compression/release" moment.  Haha.  We wanted to do some hiking so we headed to curry village to park and hike out.   On our way there we stopped at the swinging bridge to get some photos of the meadows and falls.  We got to the parking lot, and then headed to the Vernal Falls.  Lou mentioned this trail was nice, as there was a bridge about 1.5 miles from the parking lot.  It was a pretty hike uphill the whole way to the bridge.  There is a nice view of the vernal falls.  At this point we decided to keep hiking to the top of the falls.  Similar to the Bridalveil Falls, as we hiked by the falls we got drenched with the mist.  It provided some cool rainbows for us to enjoy and photograph.  There were stone steps built into the mountain to “ease” the climb, however whoever put them there thought 10-18” risers were normal.  So needless to say it was a true stair “climb.”   Another mile or so in a very vertical and wet hike, and we were at the top. 

It was awesome to catch a glimpse of the water right before it plunged off the edge of the cliff.  We spent some time up here and ate lunch at the emerald pool.  After relaxing and drying off a bit, we packed up and began our decent.  We were definitely glad we brought out hiking poles with us, as they helped us to not slip and fall down the wet and steep steps.  It was a much easier hike down on our respiratory systems, but our knees were shaking by half way down.  When we reached the bottom/level ground it felt like quite a relaxing stroll.  We hopped on the shuttle and it took us back to the RV and Nash.  We drove around to the visitor’s center to see if we could get a parking spot, but it was getting pretty busy in the park by this point.  So we decided to drive out and head north towards El Dorado National Forest.  On our way out there were a bunch of cars stopped because there was a bear off to the side of the road, so we got our picture and moved on.
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