Waterfall walking and Bears

Curry Village Travel Blog

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Vernal falls Bridge

I woke up with a start to someone shouting 'oh my god a bear!'. Seconds later a large object stumbled past our tent about 1/2 a meter from my head, it was said bear. By the time a stumbled out of my tent it was long gone but almost a bear sighting! Exciting!

Seen as we were up anyway we grabbed a quick breakfast from our supplies bought that night from the very well stocked store at Yosemite Village and then set off on our first walk.

Happy Isles was two minutes walk from our tent and the trail head for walks to Vernal Falls, Mirror Lake and Half Dome towering high above you.

Just before getting soaked
We set off on the path to Vernal Falls Footbridge. This first section of the walk is easy going on a tarmac path, due to this there is allot traffic but the walk is a nice gentle warm up for what lay ahead.

The next section of the walk is more of an incline, as we started to climb we met several people on their way down who were drenched from head to toe. As you turn the corner you can see the full drop of Vernal falls and we were glad we had listen to our new found German friends last night and packed waterproofs. The path leads you up the side of the falls directly in it's spray up steep and slippery steps aptly named Mist Trail, and the view is amazing. After your shower you walk in the shade of trees and it gets a bit nippy, so best to trot on through as fast as you can. The last climb to the top is more steps up the Cliffside, this time supported by a handrail. Once at the top you see the sheer force of the water spilling over the top.

Rainbow
  The walk is quiet accessible the top is quiet busy but we found a rock of our own for lunch and a well earned rest.  

Next was Nevada Falls, this was a harder climb. You can see the falls quiet soon after leaving Vernal Falls as it towers about the forest path but soon enough the shade of the trees disappears as you walk up tight switch backs in the backing heat. The views got better the higher we got and from the top were worth it. It was really hot on top so we though dipping our feet in the water would cool us down, god did it. The water was freezing!

Our decent was down the John Muir trail, longer than the way up but not as steep, plus there was views back across to Nevada falls. A mile off the top the path has been cut into the Cliffside, the overhang poring with water directly onto the path, second socking of the day! The trail is also used for horse, a group of which we passed on the way down.

Full view of Vernal Falls
You then rejoin the path up and drop down to Vernal Falls Bridge.

Our achievement for the day was 7 miles and a 1900ft ascent, and we were both thoroughly knackered when we got back to the tent. A quick shower, or so we had planned, it took ages as we managed to pick the same time as the hundreds of school kids.

Dinner was at Yosemite Lodge in the food hall, simple enough to get to using the shuttle, but not worth it for the food. On the way there we caught the sunsetting on Half Dome, it turns it pink and is great to watch. 

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Vernal falls Bridge
Vernal falls Bridge
Just before getting soaked
Just before getting soaked
Rainbow
Rainbow
Full view of Vernal Falls
Full view of Vernal Falls
From the top
From the top
First sight of Nevada Falls
First sight of Nevada Falls
Getting closer
Getting closer
Finally at the top
Finally at the top
Freezing water
Freezing water
view back down
view back down
playing silly again
playing silly again
View down the valley
View down the valley
Navarda Falls for John Muir Trail
Navarda Falls for John Muir Trail
Half Dome at sunset
Half Dome at sunset
Turning pink
Turning pink
Curry Village
photo by: JPLfr13