Up to grab a quick tea/coffee from the lobby then back to the room to make sandwiches (peanut butter as we had no fridge) before setting off into Yosemite Valley to hike the Mist Train up to the Vernal and Nevada Falls. We got there early enough that there was plent of parking at the trailhead then headed off, out plan to hike up the Mist Trail and back down the John Muir Trail, making it a loop walk, was scuppered as the upper portion of the John Muir Trail was closed still! The perils of holidaying in the mountians at the start of the season...
Lots of tourists on the lower part of the trail, some only going as far as the Vernal Falls Footbridge (first views of the falls), many going up the Mist Trail to the top of Vernal Falls. so many people without sensible hiking footwear! The sign at the base of the trail advices us to take 3L of water each to do the hike to Nevada Falls, but we only used about half of that. The Mist Trail is well named - we got drenched! Lots of lovely rainbows though, including a full circle
with Chavaunne & I at the 6 o'clock position! I didn't realise it was possible to stnd on a circular rainbow but we did! But sooo many steps!!! Steep too! After a pause on the rocks at the top of Vernal Falls (fighting off the Stella's Jays & ground squirrels who were trying to steal food!) we set off again for Nevada Falls. This section of the trail was much quieter and started with a fairly flat bit which was a relielf. But the final ascent to the top of Nevada Falls was very steep again!
We had lunch at the top of Nevada Falls after admiring the stunning views. We came back down to just above Vernal Falls the took a spur back uphill to get to come down on the section of the John Muir Trail which was open. In spite the uphill start it had stunning views as it switch-backed down the mountain, and avoided all the steps of the Mist Trail!
Our feet were rather tired after that so we got the free shuttlebus aroumnd the valley to look at Yosemite Falls from up close (having already got glimpses from the trail) - the approach
trail is well laid out with great views of both Upper & Lower Yosemite Falls. We walked into Yosemite Village (detouring through what looked like an old orchard) & stopped by the visitor centre before getting the shuttlebus back to our car. As the bus pulled up the rain started, we risked a drive around the valley to visit various view points but there was too much rain to get photos so we headed back into Half Dome Village (aka Curry Village) and ordered a couple of small pizzas from the Pizza Deck. These were very yummy but we were still peckish so stopped by the general stores for chocolates & a large cinnamon swirl.
We headed out of the valley towards Wawona stopping to admire the atmospheric low cloud at Tunnel View! The rain in the valley had been snow on the mountains as we saw lots of fresh snow as we drove over the mountains. Back at the lounge at Big Trees Lodge we checked the weather forecast for tomorrow as our plan was to use the newly opened Glacier Point road to get some mre views & short hikes in the following day. Sadly the rain in
the valley was snow on the mountains and Glacier Point road was again closed due to snowstorms and wouldn't reopen until after it gets reassessed on Wednesday... Damn! Back to our original easy day plan of heading over to Hetch Hetchy, especially as less rain is forecast there.
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