After two great days exploring different areas in Yosemite National Park (here you can see the photos from Yosemite Valley and Upper Yosemite), I spent my last day in the park following the recommendation of our great B&B hosts: walking the Mist Trail.
The day couldn’t have started better. All the fog from the previous dusk had disappeared and the sky was clean. It was going to be a warm day. I was welcomed in the Valley by a little herd of mule deer. Some does and fawns were roaming in one of the Valley’s golden meadows, so close that I could almost touch them! It was incredible, watching these beautiful animals from so close and they weren’t afraid of me! Of course, I couldn’t resist the temptation of taking a few deer portraits 😉
After spending some time with the deer, I went to the starting point of the Mist Trail. This hiking trail follows the Mercer river from the Valley to its source in the High Sierra Nevada, passing the beautiful Vernal waterfall and ending in another waterfall, Nevada, where it meets with another famous trail, the John Muir Trail. It is an impressive landscape. The trail ascends from a U-shaped valley with giant boulders on each side. It’s about 11 km round trip, with an ascent of more than 1000 m. from the Valley.
I loved this hike. This time, I was really lucky. Two days ago I couldn’t see the waterfalls of the Valley and the Mirror Lake, they were dry after the summer drought. But fortunately, the Mercer river had still enough water and I could admire the two waterfalls along the route. I was also able to experience the trail’s name. In Vernal falls the water fell down so fiercely that a huge cloud of water spray surrounded the waterfall and produced a beautiful rainbow. The spray reached the trail, and so I (and my camera) got soaked on my way up to the top of the waterfall. But it was OK. It gave me strength to continue walking and ascending to the next waterfall, Nevada. From the top of Nevada falls the view was incredible. I had the whole Valley at my feet, with views of the back of Half Dome.
After that, I went back to the Yosemite Valley with enough time to go back to Tunnel View and see the golden hour over the Valley. Finally, on my way back home, I stopped twice: The first stop I saw the Valley at sunset perfectly reflected on the waters of the Mercer River; the second time, I found another herd of mule deer, this time a lot of bucks. And I spent my last minutes in Yosemite taking photos of these gorgeous animals.
Here are the photos I took that day. They are some of my favorite from my trip in California. I hope you like them!