Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Yosemite: Vernal Fall

Our first morning on our trip to Yosemite we hiked to Vernal Fall, one of the park's many famous waterfalls. My husband and two oldest children had previously made the hike in 1997.

The view of the Merced River along the trail:

The hike begins at Happy Isles and ascends uphill the better part of a mile. Although the path is mostly shaded and very scenic, it's also quite steep. The first part of the hike ends at a footbridge at the bottom of Vernal Fall:

Another view near the bridge:

From the footbridge hikers who want to go on to the top of the fall must take the Mist Trail, which includes over 600 granite steps. I've got a bit of a fear of heights and was thus happy with the view from the bottom of the fall, so I handed the camera over to my youngest daughter, who took the rest of the photos below.

Some of the many steps heading up:

Vernal Fall is 317 feet. A view of the fall from the Mist Trail:

A rainbow:

The viewing area at the top of the fall:

Another view of the Merced River along the hiking path:

One more gorgeous rainbow, with the fall to the right:

The area's spectacular beauty makes the hike well worth the effort, whether one stops at the footbridge or heads all the way to the top!

Related posts: Mariposa Grove, The Ahwahnee Hotel, and Yosemite Falls.


Blogger Irene said...

Happy Isles was a place my Mom and I would love to go to. We would take a snack of crackers, cheese and apples and sit and enjoy the beauty and the sound of the water. Sometimes we would take a book and read. I did take the hike up to the bridge. I tried to hike up further but I pooped out - and that was when I was young and in my prime :o)

Your daughter takes great photos also!

11:28 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

What a lovely memory, Irene! :) I hiked back down ahead of the rest of the family (lots of people on the trail so it was very safe) and enjoyed exploring some of Happy Isles while I waited for them, although I didn't check out the nature center. It's a very relaxing, peaceful spot.

FYI to all, I'm hoping I'll be able to add a photo of the fall from the footbridge when I develop a couple rolls my son shot on film. (Love that they now give you CD-Rom discs with film developing, along with negatives!)

Best wishes,

11:34 AM  
Blogger Ms.Daisy said...

What great pictures, I felt as though I was right there - though I don't do well with steep trails!
Loved the rainbow, too!


3:31 PM  

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