Yosemite: My Happy Home
Of the four visits I’ve done to Yosemite, I’ve only made it to Glacier Point once…. after a gruelling, hellish hike up Four-Mile Trail. The road up to the lookout point is closed in the winter months and early spring; and during Memorial Day Weekend, there’s a 2-hour wait line to park. If you get here during a holiday weekend, I’d highly recommend getting the bus ride from Yosemite Lodge.
But the view…. it’s worth it. I will be back.
Misty Trail / Vernal Falls
One of the most popular trail in the valley, in the summer the falls roars while it whittles away in the winter. The trail is closed in the winter, except when it’s abnormally warm. The trail is paved for the most part until the last bit towards the waterfall where the trail becomes rocky steps up to the fall.
Once you’re on these steps, there are various landing points where you can take a nice shot of the waterfall. Bring a wide to standard range lens to capture it, but be wary that the mist from the falls will get your lens wet quickly. Setting up long exposures during summer becomes very difficult.
In the winter / early spring the waterfall whittles down to a small stream, and you can get a little closer.
(Fuji X-E1 | 15mm | 170 sec | BW ND3 Filter)
Keep going up the steps, you’ll come to the brink of Vernal Falls. From there you can get on the John Muir trail to do a loop back around to the valley and there’s a great vantage point to see the falls from up high.
(Fuji X-E1 | 24mm | 110 sec | BW ND3 Filter)
Lower/Upper Yosemite Fall
Did you know that Yosemite Fall, from the very top to the bottom is twice the height of the Empire State building? But Lower Yosemite Fall itself is one of the easiest and most accessible sight in the valley. From the valley bus stop it’s only a few yards in to see the bottom of the fall surrounded by grey granite walls. There’s a fairly easy viewpoint where you can set up your tripod and get a nice shot of the waterfall. Or you can totally NOT go off the trail to take a closer shot of the waterfall with a wide-angle lens
(Fuji X-E1 | 10mm | f/8 | ISO400 | 1/40 sec)
If you’re up for it, you can always go up to the Upper Yosemite trail. Which is a nice challenging hike on its own, but the best spot is really about halfway up when you’re coming up right next to the waterfall before you hit the rocky switchbacks up to the top of the waterfall. From here you get to see both Upper Yosemite Fall and Half Dome.