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Many Waterfalls in autumn can be bone dry. Yosemite Backpacking along a running Waterfall is quite an experience!
When I got to California from Florida, I drove to my motel and immediately set out for Yosemite the very same day.
I had looked at the map earlier and determined it wasn't far from where I was staying. Little did I know that mountain driving is much different from driving in Florida with it's flat highways. After what seemed an eternity driving the mountain roads, I finally arrived at the park.
Yosemite National Park
I drove quickly up to Glacier Point, where many people go at the end of the day, to watch the sun go down. I still had my shorts on from Florida and now it was feeling a little cool. Mountain air with it's low humidity has a way of cooling you down quickly! From here I got a good photo of the famous Half Dome.
Half Dome from Glacier Point
There was a wedding party getting their pictures taken by a photographer and I had a chance to talk to him. He told me this was a very popular place for newly-weds for obvious reasons. I told him I was here to do some hiking and Yosemite backpacking. I said to him, "it's very disappointing for me to be here when the waterfalls are all dried up". He told me that they are not all dried up and pointed down to a waterfall! Sure enough, far off in the distance, I could see it!
Nevada Falls from Glacier Point
I told him that's where I'm heading for tomorrow! Turns out there are two waterfalls on the same hiking trail. The first is Vernal Fall...
Peaks in late May; Vernal Fall (317 feet) flows all year, though by mid to late summer, as water flows decrease it narrows and separates into one, two, or three falls. When I got to the top of Vernal Fall, I discovered an area where hikers like to stop and have lunch.
Top of Vernal Fall
I continued up the trail and soon came to a footbridge that takes you across the stream. Some people here were crossing the wet rocks. Crazy! The wet rocks can be very slippery and it is easy to get hurt. I don't advise this, stay on the trail!
Bridge to Nevada Fall
I made my way up some very steep switchbacks to the top of Nevada Fall. You can continue to backpack further up to Half Dome. 8.5 miles one way, total length of hike! Where people camp overnight, there is a campground about a mile from here, Little Yosemite.
Liberty Cap from Nevada Fall
There is a footbridge across the top of Nevada Fall. Behind the fall is a small pool of water where people were swimming. There also is a sign that reads: Do not climb on rocks in water, if you go over the fall, you will die! I did not go into the water!
Top of Nevada Fall
What a great view from up here. You can look out and see the entire canyon!
Canyon from Nevada Fall
There is a handrail beside and above the fall where you can look straight down. It is pretty high! (594 ft.) I sat down by the two trees on the right in the photo below, in the shade, to have some more food and rest, right next to where the waterfall spilled over into the canyon. There is quite an up draft here and it was blowing this nice, cool mist from the waterfall, back on me, keeping me cool. It doesn't get any better than this! Heaven on earth.
Handrails By Nevada Fall
After eating, I walked across the footbridge and decided to take the John Muir Trail back down. I looked back to see Nevada Fall as I was moving away.
I continued to backpack down the trail and I began to have some intense pain in my knees! I had a tough time getting back down. I had to stop and rest on rocks on the way down. This is when I first started to think about getting trekking poles. They really do make hiking a lot easier!
This was an amazing hike but it was only a small part of my trip. I later went to other parts of the park and saw many wonderful things like The Mariposa Grove, containing about 500 mature giant sequoias, near Yosemites' South Entrance. Giant sequoias are the largest living trees on Earth.
I also saw high country lakes.
High Country Lake
As I mentioned earlier, this trip was in the fall. I want you to see what the waterfalls look like in the spring when they run really fast! Also you see other features of the park. Be patient because the waterfall appears more during the second half of the video. I promise you, you won't be disappointed. Enjoy!
Yosemite Backpacking is one of the most exhilarating things I have ever done in my life! If you want to do something that you'll never forget, do some Yosemite backpacking!
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