Day 3 – Is It Still A Waterfall, If There’s No Water Falling?

Early to bed, early to rise; I think there’s a pattern starting to form here. Waking with the rising sun, we packed our bags and ate a quick breakfast before heading down to the Valley to catch the trailhead. We had to park at the “day use” area and take a shuttle to the trails because there’s only two roads (each with one-way traffic), so traffic is a nightmare.

We hopped off the bus, headed over to the find the trail. Looking at the sign, we decide that we’ll hike to the top of Upper Yosemite Falls and then continue on to Yosemite Point.

Nearly immediately, Patrick realized that it had been a while since “physical exertion” was in his vocabulary. Over the first 1/3 of the hike (the first mile), we encountered 80 switchbacks as we ascended about 1,200 feet. Although that brought us to a pretty cool overlook, that start was definitely a shock to the system!

The next mile was a nice reprieve as it brought some generally flat terrain and ended with an amazing view of Upper Yosemite Falls.

Alas, there was no gushing stream flowing over the top, but instead a mere trickle down the side of the granite cliff. Either way, it was still an impressive site.

The final 1/3 of the hike was again steep and filled with switchbacks. As we started nearing the top, some dark clouds rolled in and seemed to threaten a thunderstorm. (As this point, Patrick was definitely beginning to be thankful that Ally “strongly encouraged” we stop and get him a rain coat the day before.) Fortunately, we only got hit with a few drops and actually enjoyed the break from the sun. Once at the top, we ventured down some treacherous steps to get a rather underwhelming overlook of the Falls, but did spot some cool pools we decided to go check out.

After a quick lunch, we continued to Yosemite Point, and were rewarded with absolutely incredible views of Half Dome.

On our way back, we stopped at the waterfall’s feeder “stream” and hung out for a bit. We washed our feet, splashed with some fishes, and just took a relaxing break. (Patrick may have even snuck in a nap.)

Rejuvenated for the hike down, we made great time. After about four hours of going up, it took only 3 hours to make it back down to the valley.

Once back to the car, we drove to the “Housekeeping Camp” to enjoy our first shower of the trip. After a glorious rinse, we picked up a fresh bag of ice and headed back to camp.

Hot dogs, pasta salad, and grilled zucchini for dinner before early to bed! Tomorrow we’re headed back to the coast to see Big Sur and Monterey Bay.


– Ally and Patrick

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