Yosemite National Park

It took two months but plans finally came together to take on a trip to Yosemite. Determined to visit before returning to Ohio I worked on setting up plans with my other friends who were interested in going as well. The plan originally was to try camp but it was determined that it would be easier to take on the whole trip in a single day. Therefore, we woke up around 5 am and were ready to head out by 6:30. It takes at least 3 and a half hours to reach Yosemite from San Jose so we wanted to make sure we had as much time as possible at Yosemite before returning in the evening.

We traveled for a few hours without problems until we saw an overlook that we later found out was called the “Rim of the World Vista Point”. The viewpoint looked over hundreds of acres of burned forest. This was caused from the “Rim Fire” back in August of 2013. What was once probably a pleasant view was now a bleak and burnt landscape that definitely stood as a reminder about how destructive wild fires are. Needless to say, this stop stands as a pretty memorial part of the trip that had me pretty deep in thought. We continued on however since we couldn’t stop now so close to Yosemite.

Soon afterwards we made it to the park and started making our way to Yosemite Valley to begin our hike up Mist Trail. After driving in a heavily wooded area for about 5 minutes, we broke from the trees and saw what Yosemite was all about: tall mountains, water falls, and some of the most magnificent views I have ever seen. Once we arrived to Yosemite Valley, we stopped before the start of our trail to take some pictures and relax for a moment.

At this spot we witnessed a deer come within about 20 feet of us after walking through a stream.

Photo credit: Tom Winget (https://www.facebook.com/ThomasDorianPhotography)


I personally already loved Yosemite and I hadn’t even done any hiking yet. We decided we should start our hike though and therefore went to the trailhead for Mist Trail. Mist trail is about a 3 mile hike one way and involves the climbing of both Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall. Here’s the journey up the trail:

The hike began near the bottom of the large stream due to Vernal Fall.

Some of the wildlife let you get so close you could touch them. The beginning of the hike was already a bit much for this squirrel.

Is was a pretty consistent hike uphill so it wasn’t long before we could look out over we where we had just came from.

We finally reached Vernal Fall! I didn’t wait long to get a close look and drenched by the spray from the waterfall.

Once we climbed Vernal Fall, we thought it would be really good location to stop and have lunch. The best kind of PB&J sandwich is one you can eat on the edge of a waterfall looking out over a valley.

Wasn’t long before the squirrels came to steal my food and eat it right in front of me.

In reality we weren’t even that high up! One day I plan on heading back and taking on a new trail that reaches the peak of one of these mountains.

Finally not much more hiking we reached Nevada Fall. To finish the hike, we now had to climb it as well. After about 20 feet from the top, we noticed a storm started rolling in. We realized we had to push on though and finish the hike before turning back no matter what weather hit and how soon.

Photo credit: Tom Winget


We made it to the top of Nevada Fall and were glad we pushed on regardless of the incoming storm. The lightning was close so we knew to get a move on and start heading back. We took an alternative route back which turned out being the right decision since it started raining now long after and this trail had a more gradual decline. It was a bit less steep going down but my gym shoes didn’t help me out much once the trails became muddy. Going down in the rain though was just as enjoyable as climbing to the top of the trail though. It was refreshing and made the experience much more authentic for me.

Needless to say I made it back down in one piece and now have a memory and story I’m not sure I could ever forget. If you ever have a chance to visit Yosemite, go and do at least one of the hikes. They have hikes for all experience levels and no matter which trail you go on, there will be a view you will never forget. If I ever am near Yosemite again, I know I will be back to tackle on another trail.

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