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:
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.