Yosemite NP

Mono Lake

As you exit Yosemite in the east, you arrive at Mono Lake. While drab on the surface, its waters support migratory birds with brine shrimp and fly populations galore.

Great Hike: Four-Mile Up and Panorama+Mist Down

Twice in the past few years I’ve visited Yosemite Valley. Once it was a cold and slushy mess after a snow storm and once it was a flooded and rockslide-ridden jumble after a rain storm. Adding insult to injury, last time I even got a flat tire! Imagine how exited I was then to learn I would be in Yosemite for three days with crisp air, cool temps, and hardly a cloud in the sky! I was ready to enjoyed this park!

Suffice to say that in Yosemite I wasn’t going to mess around hiking a variety of trails but was instead going to hike three of its most renown trails back-to-back. Ascending I hiked the five mile long Four-Mile Trail (I know, go figure!) which delivered me to Glacier Peak, the site of world-famous views of all the valley. Descending I hiked the Panorama trail which connected to the Mist Trail that ended 8.5 miles later. After 9,000 feet of elevation change I arrived at the trailhead where I had locked my bike. Pedaling for four miles brought me back at my car feeling accomplished but tired.

The views from this hike send your heart racing. Mountains whose shapes we all recognize jumped out at me as I ascended through the clear air. Waterfalls raged and roared past me as I climbed over and around them. Rivers and lakes glistened in the light and were clean and clear to the bottom. You’ll see what I mean in the pictures.    

After an outing like this I didn’t have the deep reserves of energy needed to immediately do another challenging hike. If I had then Yosemite’s ultimate hike, Half Dome, would have been my next outing. It’s only another 1,600 feet higher and a mile or two longer but a monstrous accomplishment in the world of hiking! Another hike that is calling out to me is Snow Creek Trail which starts at the highest extreme of the Yosemite and ends at the valley floor. Another visit to Yosemite is a must!

The hike above was an important part of my visit but I took time to explore too. Upon my arrival I oriented myself in the valley by biking the 12 miles of path while I planned my hike’s logistics and found the two trailheads. After the big hike I went north in the park to explore Toulumne Meadows and the eerie Mono Lake which is adjacent to Yosemite on the east. As I headed out the south entrance I visited the Mariposa Grove of giant Sequoias. From there it was clear sailing to my next park.  

God did some great work in these parts. 

Yosemite Home Page

Yosemite Brochures

Half Dome from Valley Floor

Bridalveil Falls

Looking West Down the Valley

Tioga Lake

Half Dome

Nevada Falls

Looking up the Valley to Olmsted Point

Glacial Scraping and Debris at Olmsted Point

Vernal Falls

Looking East up the Valley

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