A Travellerspoint blog

Hiking Vernal and Nevada Falls in magnificent Yosemite

Yosemite is the most stunning and unique place I've visited in all my travels (despite the significant recent fire damage); I wish I were younger and more mobile since I've only seen a tiny fraction of the park and hiking is the only means to see it

Yosemite is the most stunning and unique place I've visited in all my travels (despite the significant recent fire damage); I wish I were younger and more mobile since I've only seen a tiny fraction of the park and hiking is the only means to see it

317 ft Vernal Fall is a torrent in late spring frequently drenching hikers; with the minimal snowpack in 2021 this is about the lowest water flow you'll see here

317 ft Vernal Fall is a torrent in late spring frequently drenching hikers; with the minimal snowpack in 2021 this is about the lowest water flow you'll see here

In this view from Glacier Point, Half Dome is at far left with the Liberty Cap and (barely visible) Nevada Fall just right of center; at 7214 feet (3200 ft directly above Curry Village), it's a spectacular view and can be reached by car

In this view from Glacier Point, Half Dome is at far left with the Liberty Cap and (barely visible) Nevada Fall just right of center; at 7214 feet (3200 ft directly above Curry Village), it's a spectacular view and can be reached by car

I'm at the top of Nevada Fall which (like Vernal Fall further down) lies on the Merced River; this had been one of CA's driest years on record so, many waterfalls, like Yosemite and Bridalveil, were barely a trickle

I'm at the top of Nevada Fall which (like Vernal Fall further down) lies on the Merced River; this had been one of CA's driest years on record so, many waterfalls, like Yosemite and Bridalveil, were barely a trickle

California ground squirrels are the most frequently seen animal here; others saw a bobcat 10 minutes before I passed them on the trail and a black bear near the base of Yosemite Falls the day before

California ground squirrels are the most frequently seen animal here; others saw a bobcat 10 minutes before I passed them on the trail and a black bear near the base of Yosemite Falls the day before

It had snowed a couple of days prior to my visit with snow and ice still evident in the higher elevations and in shady spots; I had decided just the night before to visit so was lucky to find lodging in Curry Village

It had snowed a couple of days prior to my visit with snow and ice still evident in the higher elevations and in shady spots; I had decided just the night before to visit so was lucky to find lodging in Curry Village

I stayed in Curry Village in this unheated tent with temperatures in the 20s the first night with no cell service or wifi; even in the off-season the tent was $400 for the 3 nights since there is very limited lodging inside the park

I stayed in Curry Village in this unheated tent with temperatures in the 20s the first night with no cell service or wifi; even in the off-season the tent was $400 for the 3 nights since there is very limited lodging inside the park

A guardrail at the top of Nevada Fall allows you to look over the edge straight down 594 feet to the base; after my visit I read the book Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite which details stories about the hundreds of people who have died in the park

A guardrail at the top of Nevada Fall allows you to look over the edge straight down 594 feet to the base; after my visit I read the book Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite which details stories about the hundreds of people who have died in the park

Nevada Fall; most of the 5  million annual visitors see only the 7 sq mi of Yosemite Valley (the park is 1187 sq mi); the park began requiring reservations to enter during peak periods (May 1-Sept 30) starting in 2020

Nevada Fall; most of the 5+ million annual visitors see only the 7 sq mi of Yosemite Valley (the park is 1187 sq mi); the park began requiring reservations to enter during peak periods (May 1-Sept 30) starting in 2020

The Steller jay is common in the park and is the only crested jay west of the Rocky Mountains; Lee says we took this trail when we hiked to the top of Half Dome in July 2000 but my memory is so poor that I didn't remember our route

The Steller jay is common in the park and is the only crested jay west of the Rocky Mountains; Lee says we took this trail when we hiked to the top of Half Dome in July 2000 but my memory is so poor that I didn't remember our route

Emerald Pool lies at the top of Vernal Fall with the smooth 20 degree slope surrounding it called the Silver Apron; despite warning signs, overheated hikers sometimes cool off here with 3 people swept over the falls on July 19, 2011 alone

Emerald Pool lies at the top of Vernal Fall with the smooth 20 degree slope surrounding it called the Silver Apron; despite warning signs, overheated hikers sometimes cool off here with 3 people swept over the falls on July 19, 2011 alone

The granite dome Liberty Cap rises 1700 ft from the top of Nevada Fall (on the right) to a peak elevation of 7080 ft; from Curry Village the hike was 9  miles to Nevada Fall with 2200 ft of elevation gain

The granite dome Liberty Cap rises 1700 ft from the top of Nevada Fall (on the right) to a peak elevation of 7080 ft; from Curry Village the hike was 9+ miles to Nevada Fall with 2200 ft of elevation gain

The most direct route to Vernal Fall was closed due to trail maintenance so I had to take the longer route on the John Muir Trail; lots of construction takes place throughout the valley between Labor Day and the first heavy snowfall

The most direct route to Vernal Fall was closed due to trail maintenance so I had to take the longer route on the John Muir Trail; lots of construction takes place throughout the valley between Labor Day and the first heavy snowfall

Looking downriver from the top of Nevada Fall; President Lincoln designated a forest reserve here in 1864 before John Muir succeeded in designating it a national park in 1890; in 1984 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Looking downriver from the top of Nevada Fall; President Lincoln designated a forest reserve here in 1864 before John Muir succeeded in designating it a national park in 1890; in 1984 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Posted by VagabondCowboy 09:11

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