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Illilouette Canyon

Illilouette Canyon

The next morning, after Coleman-fired breakfast on our steel bear box, we packed things up and headed up the trail toward Little Yosemite Valley, on the backside of Half Dome.

Don't be bear careless!

On the trail to Vernal Fall, Illilouette Gorge is below a hanging valley and falls, across the river.

Mist Trail Skyline

Mist Trail Skyline

This is the cliff on the trail side of the river, below the Wilderness Bridge. Cheery morning sun hitting the rocks up there, while we hiked in cool shade.

Yosemite Squirrel

Yosemite Squirrel

This fellow posed graciously along the trail to Vernal Falls, while he enjoyed an acorn breakfast.

Mist Trail Sunrise

Mist Trail Sunrise

Tough shot with any camera, but perhaps more so with a digital one? The sun behind the cliff was creating a shower of exciting light through a couple of the trees at the edge.

Vernal Fall

Vernal Fall

Telephoto from the Wilderness Bridge

Wilderness Bridge

Wilderness Bridge

The "wilderness boundary" has quite a few peninsulas to leave historical structures outside. It doesn't close around the Merced canyon in the Little Yosemite Valley until just above Nevada Falls. This bridge gives the first "big" view of Vernal Fall, and is an irrestible photo opportunity. For a lot of tourists. Most of whom are carefully trying to exclude either the whole crowd, or everyone but "me and thee."

Trail Junction

Trail Junction

At the junction for the Mist Trail and the John Muir Trail, above the Wilderness Bridge. At the fall equinox, we had no reason to take the dryer, less scenic route through the woods on the south side. (We also had no reason to shave for the rest of the year.)

Mist Trail Drop

Mist Trail Drop

I clambered up along the river, taking advantage of the lower water, for an up-close and personal look at the Merced River. Shutter set a bit slower manually, to get that smooth water blur. (Sorry, Skip.)

Mist Trail Flow

Mist Trail Flow

This small side branch of the river below Vernal Fall caught my eye.

Vernal Fall and Merced R.

Vernal Fall and Merced R.

Bouldering up along the Merced R, the well-populated trail is up and to the right. In the spring and early summer flow, the water would be well over my head here.

Vernal Fall

Vernal Fall

Around the corner to the first closeup view of the whole Fall. Ahead of me, up on the trail are more than two dozen others, gawking at the waterfall.

Mist Trail Tunnel

Mist Trail Tunnel

Jeanette, coming up the Mist Trail, just past a short tunnel formed by a couple gigantic boulders.

That snazzy hat she's wearing was fetched from a talus pile below the trail on the way up; someone had lost their hat, and wasn't willing (or able) to chance a little bouldering to get it back.

Vernal Fall

Vernal Fall

Now up in the part that's very wet in the spring.

Vernal Fall Pool

Vernal Fall Pool

Up at the top of the exposed part of the Mist trail, with beautiful granite steps, just before it gets really steep and goes in the woods along the cliff. The morning sun produced a thick, rich rainbow in the spray.

Vernal Rainbow

Vernal Rainbow

The base of Vernal Falls, low water, but still exciting. From the Mist trail.

Extremely Dangerous

Extremely Dangerous

The added caption on this sign just before the very exposed (but well-fenced) cliff that Vernal Falls plunges over reads "Please take down all of your trash. This is a place of natural beauty and wonder. It's not Disneyland!"

Unfortunately, but predictably, not everyone had heeded the warning. I was tempted to hop the fence to fetch up some of it at one point, but I decided not to set a bad example in the crowd.

The big granite slab at the top of the fall has plenty of room for a crowd, and there were plenty of people there, as everywhere else along this first couple miles of trail. I took my turn at the fenced corner closest to the big drop, looked up at Emerald pool just above, and before heading on to Nevada Falls remembered that I'd forgotten to turn in the keys to our cabin!

Bummer. It was 11am, and I skipped (literally) down the trail and caught the shuttle back to the Curry Village office in half an hour.

End

Created with the help of Thotor - photo thumbnail generator

Tom von Alten      tva_∂t_fortboise_⋅_org

http://www.anybrowser.org/

Wednesday, 01-Nov-2000 00:18:09 MST
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