On day two of our Yosemite adventure we hiked the Panorama Trail, 13.5km starting from spectacular Glacier Point and ending with the Mist Trail which goes alongside two waterfalls, Nevada and Vernal Falls.
We left our car on the Valley floor and took a bus up to Glacier Point. The tickets were $25 each and we soon found out why, it was a ‘tour’ up to the point. Meaning a rather in-articulate guide prattled on and on the entire windy trip up. I know I’m being rude but it was super annoying! And I really to feel that nailing diction is an important part of public speaking. Which this guide did not.
Anyway. The views from Glacier Point were out of this world.
stupid brave people stood on that rock jutting out in the below photo to pose for a picture.
The first half of the hike was magic. We strolled along at a decent pace, chatting and joking away.
We hiked down the sides of the two waterfalls in the below photo plus smaller Illilouette Fall:
There were signs advising us not to swim at the top of the falls…
I can’t think why:
The top of Vernal Fall:
I hiked the Mist Trail back in 2010 with my friend Kate and we got absolutely drenched, this didn’t happen again.
Here’s what Vernal Fall looked like last week:
Compared to what it looked like 5 years ago:
To say I found the second half of the hike (descending) difficult is probably an understatement. Again my knees were hating life and making things challenging. It also poured with rain and I slipped over. There is an option to take part of the John Muir Trail down to the valley instead of the Mist Trail, which we probably should have done. Live and learn.
The next day we got up slowly and hobbled around packing up camp (or maybe it was just me hobbling).
We drove out of the park to the east on our way to Lake Tahoe and got to check out plenty of other great areas. As we wound around the park we started to see glimpses of snow capped mountains, and got ridiculously excited.
Outside the park we stopped briefly at Inyo National Forest:
Along the drive the Sierra Nevada mountain range kept popping up into view, taking my breath away.
And finally, finally, somewhere near the California-Nevada border I got to take a photo of Smokey the bear:
We crossed over into Nevada briefly on our way to Lake Tahoe and about 50 metres in spotted a casino, a mine and a gun store. Nice.