Our hike in Yosemite was one of the first and most anticipated of the entire trip. The plan was to take a bus from Yosemite Lodge to Glacier Point, about an hour long ride, and then to hike back down to the valley from there. After our experience coming out of King’s Canyon NP everyone was a bit sensitive to winding mountain roads, and the ride into Yosemite contains plenty of them.
We had spent the previous night in Oakdale, then woke up early for the two hour drive to Yosemite Valley. Things started off smoothly, but as we neared the park, the roads, and Ellie and Molly’s stomachs took a turn for the worse. We stopped often, vomited a bit, but pressed on and arrived about 7:45. We checked in, grabbed a bit to eat and made preparations for the hike. Soon enough we were on the bus heading toward the top. We were able to grab the very front seats and I felt pretty confident that we’d all be OK. Three of us even managed to take a bit of a nap as we made our way up. Unfortunately, things began to go downhill (literally and figuratively) from there.
Apparently Molly’s stomach never fully recovered from the earlier ride and the heat, it was over 100 in the valley, and dehydration didn’t help. I’m not going to go into details here. I’ll let Mol do that, but keep in mind that as I focus on the positive parts of the trip that Molly did the entire nine miles with no food, feeling awful, and stopping to puke every hour or so.
As for the positive – this was probably the most beautiful hike we’ve done. It’s hard to believe after we’ve built up the awesomeness of everything we’ve seen previously, but this hike is truly amazing. From glacier point we began descending on the Panorama Trail. The trail truly lives up to its name. It traces the edge of the canyon as it descends to Illuette Falls providing panoramic views of the valley floor, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome the entire first few miles. At the end of the descent we were rewarded with a stop at the top of Illuette Falls where there are peaceful pools to play in and flat rocks to sit on.
After a rest here we began the only ascent of the hike with a miles long stretch that goes up 700ish feet. This is followed by a similar amount of descent through steep switchbacks, culminating in a view of Nevada Falls. We stopped there to wade in the pools and have a quick snack. The last portion of the trail was the final descent down to the valley floor. This section was much more populated as people can choose to hike up from the valley below. I’m pretty impressed with those who arrived that way, since the descent was STEEP. The last two miles of trail were not so much trail, but rather stairs that are irregular and steep. This section, called the Mist Trail because of the spray you can feel coming off Nevada and Vernal Falls was probably the toughest section for us, and Molly in particular.
We had decided to travel from Yosemite all the way to Fallon, NV and were cautiously optimistic that we may be able to see the Fallon rodeo if we made it to town in time. Sadly, we missed the rodeo this time around. I guess we have yet another reason to come back west. I’m actually writing this post as we make our way from Fallon to Idaho Falls, NV, our staging area for the Grand Tetons tomorrow. We’ve got a long day of driving ahead, but hopefully it will give us all the recovery we need for another great hike tomorrow!