Yosemite Part IV: Spring in the Park & Vernal Falls

by Heidi Obermeyer

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To wrap up all these posts about Yosemite, the piece de resistance- a day spent hiking around Vernal falls. We had perfect weather, and mid-May is a great time to be in the park because all of the falls are running profusely thanks to snowmelt. The granite faces of Half Dome and El Capitan are INSANE to see from any angle- we spent an interesting couple minutes spotting climbers on El Cap, which takes DAYS to climb. Keep in mind, this is a sheer rock face that people go up! Totally crazy. I think it would be really cool to be able to say that you climbed Half Dome too, but it’s something like EIGHTEEN MILES round trip and involves some sketchy sounding railings.

We also walked by the beginning (or end, if you start from the other… end) of the John Muir trail, a hike I considered doing when I went through my read-books-about-long-distance-hiking phase. In case you’re into that kind of thing too, I read this, this and this and would recommend all of them if you like reading about hiking. One thing that was weird about being in the park is that TONS of airliners fly over- I mean, they tell you that when you’re on Southwest from Denver to SF- but it was weird to have a bright blue sky that was covered in the zigzags of jet exhaust.

After our park admiration session, we settled down in a relatively quiet spot in the valley to enjoy a picnic and a brief nap before our drive back to San Francisco, complete with an In-n-Out stop. Overall, it was an awesome few days and I would love to go back, maybe to do some backpacking or camping somewhere in the high country.

In case you missed it, Parts I, II, and III of the Yosemite adventure.