Yosemite: Mist and John Muir Trails

Dateline: May 22, 2010.

We did a short version of our Half-Dome hike, making a loop by going up the Mist Trail to Nevada Fall and then coming back down the John Muir trail.

What a difference the season makes. Our first experience of these trails was in September 2009 and then the Mist Trail was as dry as a bone. This time, in late spring, the Mist Trail lived up to its name. We were walking enveloped in cloud, water streaming around us. When we reached Vernal Falls rainbows danced in the mist as the sun broke into the valley.

At the top of Nevada Fall, the weather changed abruptly and it began to snow lightly. Snow melt was running in rivulets, cascading down mountain everywhere including the trail. A wet hike home.

Yosemite Hike: John Muir Trail.

This paragraph describes our experience in May of 2010 exactly, even to the rainbows. “To proceed directly to the top of Vernal Fall, follow the Mist Trail 0.5 miles (0.8 km) up a steep granite stairway of over 600 steps. Prepare for slippery footing and a tremendous amount of waterfall spray in spring and early summer (hence the name for this trail!). You will delight in views of Vernal Fall all along this stretch of trail and may even be able to see a rainbow in the spray of the fall. At the top of Vernal Fall, you can experience jaw-dropping views straight down the length of the 317-foot waterfall (please don’t cross the railings and use extreme caution while you’re near any flowing water or wet rock in this area).”

When we went the first time in fall,  it was quite dry and we wondering what the guide books were talking about.

Whenever people say, “Been there. Done that.” I always laugh. It’s never the same twice. Season, weather, time of day, and even changes in your own life experience all filter the moment.

For more information about this hike: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/vernalnevadatrail.htm

Nevada Fall from the John Muir trail