Pictures of our Hiking in Scenic Yosemite National Park in California

Yosemite Valley

Looking down on Yosemite Valley.
Looking down on Yosemite Valley. | Source

Several years ago a friend and I spent several days hiking and exploring in Yosemite National Park in California. Many pictures were taken and a good share of them will be shown in this hub about our experiences while there.

Many people might be aware of Yosemite Valley because of its impressive beauty due to sheer cliffs and other rock formations, cascading waterfalls and the love that John Muir had for this locale and his place in history explaining how geologic events helped in creating this most beautiful of places.

This was one of ten national parks and other natural scenic locations that would be visited and impressed upon our memories on one grand vacation shared that year between my friend and myself.



Merced River in Yosemite

The roaring Merced River
The roaring Merced River | Source
The Merced River as seen from our patio
The Merced River as seen from our patio | Source
Looking back at the Yosemite View Lodge where we stayed.
Looking back at the Yosemite View Lodge where we stayed. | Source
The Merced River was illuminated at night.  View from our patio.
The Merced River was illuminated at night. View from our patio. | Source

Prior to my friend coming over here from Germany where she lives, I had spent much time in planning this vacation trip.

Our plan was to utilize my car driving it from Houston, Texas to California and back all the while stopping at our National Park destinations as well as other points of interest along the way.

Reservations were made well in advance after discussing and agreeing upon the prices and conveniences that we both wanted.

For this particular portion of the trip in which we would be exploring Yosemite, we stayed at the Yosemite View Lodge.

We were extremely pleased with the accommodations and were I to ever return to see more of Yosemite, I would happily stay there again.

Yosemite View Lodge sits adjacent to the Merced River which flows through Yosemite National Park.

On the first floor facing the river, we had a large patio furnished with wicker chairs and tables and we could see and hear the boisterous Merced River both outside and inside our comfortable room.

That particular year, not too long after we had left the park, the Merced not only overflowed its banks, but the park had to be temporarily shut to tourists.

The Yosemite View Lodge folks had spent the money to have the river illuminated at night which added to the visual beauty of staying there.

A fireplace inside our room provided ambiance and also warmth since we were there in the Spring of the year when the melting snow provides the greatest show of waterfall volume in Yosemite National Park.

This also added to the water activity we were seeing in the rising and roaring river outside our room.

Yes...the ROAR of the Merced River could be heard at this particular location both day and night as it tumbled over rocks sending up fine sprays of mist.

Having gone whitewater rafting several times in my life, I would not have wanted any part of entering that wild and raging river that year at that particular time. Of course the daredevils would probably have loved it!

Each day we would enter Yosemite National Park from this base of operation to view different areas and do some hiking.


Some views inside Yosemite...

Scenery within the park
Scenery within the park | Source
Life springing up out of a crack in the rock
Life springing up out of a crack in the rock | Source
A chapel on the Valley floor
A chapel on the Valley floor | Source
Llamas can be rented for use as pack animals when hiking in Yosemite
Llamas can be rented for use as pack animals when hiking in Yosemite | Source

Yosemite in Springtime

Geology of Yosemite Valley


People thought that naturalist John Muir was crazy when he first proposed that much of Yosemite Valley was scoured out by glacial activity. But over time most have come to agree with that theory accounting for the distinctive widening out of the valley floor that river action alone could not explain.

Starting out below ground, the granite features comprising much of Yosemite had crystallized from a hot molten state.

Over millions of years as seas retreated and Teutonic movements deep within the earth caused the uplifting of what would become the Sierra Nevada range, what would eventually become this beauteous valley had its start.

The Merced River played an important part in this evolving story.

Carving into the tilting-walled canyon a gorge over three thousand feet deep and carrying away debris as every river eventually does on its march eventually back to the oceans, the Merced River was doing its part to create this landscape.

Normally this type of action forms a V-shaped canyon.

So how did the U-shaped canyon come into being?

Ancient glaciers that had formed and slowly moved down through parts of what would eventually be called Yosemite scoured the V-shaped canyon widening it as the ice transported both small and large boulders in its path.

Not much of what is in the way of a slow moving glacier can stand up to the terrific force of its creeping passage.

Think of glacial action moving through rocks as compared to a bulldozer moving through banks of earth.

Where the bulldozer has gone areas are flattened and the earth is transported elsewhere. Chunks of earth from the banks that are not well cemented into place might fall into this cleared path after the bulldozer has passed.

This is much like what the glaciers would have done when moving through Yosemite.

They took areas of rock leaving behind sheer cliffs and what would become hanging valleys where waterfalls now tumble into rivers that were once on or near the same level.

Boulders and rocks are strewn in places falling off from the higher mounts above them just as those clumps of earth would have fallen off from after that bulldozer had ploughed through their midst.

What is now the Yosemite Valley floor was once covered by a lake which eventually disappeared leaving the flat base which now supports meadows, trees and other foliage.

Yosemite is one of the most strikingly beautiful places on earth due to its past geologic history.

Of course nature is never static but ever changing.

The rivers and waterfalls as well as climactic changes and movements deep within the earth will continue to shape and modify Yosemite National Park long into the future.

Deer in Yosemite and lithograph I created of same.

Some deer that we saw while in Yosemite
Some deer that we saw while in Yosemite | Source
Portion of a stone lithograph that I created...(copyrighted)
Portion of a stone lithograph that I created...(copyrighted) | Source


Wildlife in Yosemite National Park


There are four hundred species of animals that could potentially be sighted and found within the bounds of Yosemite.

Part of this is due to the topographic variety seen within the park that can support a number of birds and animals.

We spotted the mule deer as one can readily see from this picture that I took of them. They are the only type of deer found in Yosemite.

This became the subject matter that I later executed by making a stone lithograph. My copy machine is not large enough to capture the entire image of my lithograph...nor capture the fine details of the limited edition of 13...but this gives the reader a general idea of my art.


65 species of birds have been spotted including the spotted owl and brightly colored Steller's Jay among others.


While hiking one day we and others saw a cougar poking its head around a large boulder not twenty feet from the path in which we were traversing! Had another hiker not quietly pointed it out, we would have missed seeing it.


El Capitan...the 3,000 foot high tallest unbroken granite cliff in the world can be seen here in Yosemite National Park.

El Capitan in Yosemite National Park

Source

Some pictures taken in Yosemite National Park follow...

Yosemite Falls

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Yosemite FallsAnother view...Roads within the park
Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Falls | Source
Another view...
Another view... | Source
Roads within the park
Roads within the park | Source

The scenery viewed on the way to Bridalveil Fall...

Hiking to Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite

Water cascading through the wooded area from Bridalveil Fall
Water cascading through the wooded area from Bridalveil Fall | Source

Bridalveil Fall scenery in Yosemite

Rain gear needed as we got closer to the Fall
Rain gear needed as we got closer to the Fall | Source
Water from the Fall
Water from the Fall | Source
Bridalveil Fall
Bridalveil Fall | Source

Hiking to Bridalveil Fall...


The starting point is from a parking lot area only about one quarter of a mile from the Fall.


It is a 1/2 mile round trip that takes only about twenty minutes and is considered an easy hike which it certainly was.


Unless one wishes to get wet, a poncho or other type of rain gear would be recommended as the mist from the cascading water of the Bridalveil Fall pounding onto the rocks beneath it is quite substantial.


It was a bit foggy the day my friend and I saw it so the air was packed with humidity.


The white frothy water was tumbling over the rocks and passing as a turbulent stream through the forest.


When we reached the viewing point of the Bridalveil Fall we could see why the waterfall was so named.


It seems to come over the face of the rocks at the top in a fairly regular pattern widening slightly as it nears the bottom much as many ephemeral bridal veils do as they float down the back of the bride's dress forming a billowing train at the bottom.


Bridalveil Fall actually spills over from what is called a "hanging" valley.


This valley was left at a higher elevation than the floor of Yosemite below it when the glaciers made their way through this locale millions of years earlier sheering away the rock base that once was contiguous with the valley.


Because of this the water now flows down over the higher valley face and we get to enjoy what has been named Bridalveil Fall.

Around every bend of a path or every curve in the road is another spectacular scene that can be enjoyed in Yosemite National Park which the next two photos show.

Scenery in Yosemite

Scenery in Yosemite
Scenery in Yosemite | Source
Scenery in Yosemite
Scenery in Yosemite | Source

Hiking to Vernal Falls in Yosemite

Hiking to Vernal Fall
Hiking to Vernal Fall | Source
Scenery along the way to Vernal Fall
Scenery along the way to Vernal Fall | Source
Trail to Vernal Fall
Trail to Vernal Fall | Source

The hike to Vernal Fall...


This hike was considered to be strenuous and one climbs about 1,000 feet gaining in elevation as one travels this trail to Vernal Fall.

One has access to this hiking trail by using one of the shuttle services within the Yosemite National Park.

Shuttles are provided within the park to ease congestion and one is encouraged to use these services which run on a timely schedule in order to get to different areas within the national park.

One disembarks at the Happy Isles Shuttle Stop # 16 to take this trail to see Vernal Fall.


This is also called the Mist Trail or John Muir Trail.


It is a three mile round trip and generally takes anywhere from two to four hours depending upon how quickly one wishes to traverse the terrain.

As you can tell from some of these attached photos, both my friend and I took time to enjoy the grand vistas as well as the smaller more intimate details such as mosses and lichen growing on rocks and trees.

At times we had to use our umbrellas due to light rain. Most of the trip while partially protected under the canopy of tall trees we joined our fellow hikers along the trail and enjoyed the twists and turns, scrambling over some rocks at times and finally made it to the end of the trail to see the downpour of Vernal Fall.


We could hear the Vernal Fall long before we actually saw it.


This was a most rewarding hike.

Please enjoy the following pictures that were taken on this Vernal Fall hiking trail.

Scenery viewed on hike to Vernal Fall

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Steller's JayVerdant mosses & lichens clinging to rocks along the way.Mosses and fernsA bridge over the Merced RiverView of the river from the bridgeSome of the tumbled rocks seen along the wayThe mighty Merced RiverVernal Fall...the prize of this particular hike
Steller's Jay
Steller's Jay | Source
Verdant mosses & lichens clinging to rocks along the way.
Verdant mosses & lichens clinging to rocks along the way. | Source
Mosses and ferns
Mosses and ferns | Source
A bridge over the Merced River
A bridge over the Merced River | Source
View of the river from the bridge
View of the river from the bridge | Source
Some of the tumbled rocks seen along the way
Some of the tumbled rocks seen along the way | Source
The mighty Merced River
The mighty Merced River | Source
Vernal Fall...the prize of this particular hike
Vernal Fall...the prize of this particular hike | Source

Beautiful Pictures of Yosemite + Music

Clouds and Yosemite Rocks marry... 

Yosemite and clouds

Source

Mirror Lake in Yosemite

Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake | Source

Mirror Lake - Yosemite

Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake | Source
Scenery seen while walking around Mirror Lake
Scenery seen while walking around Mirror Lake | Source

Mirror Lake


Mirror Lake and Meadow can be enjoyed as an easy one mile level hike leads one there.



The lake is gradually silting up and will eventually disappear just as did Yosemite Lake that once covered the Valley floor.



Mirror Lake will eventually become just additional meadow land.



Shuttle Stop # 17 takes one to this area within the park.

John Muir and Yosemite

Valley floor of Yosemite National Park

On the Valley floor of Yosemite
On the Valley floor of Yosemite | Source
Views seen from valley floor in Yosemite
Views seen from valley floor in Yosemite | Source
House adorned with Spring blooming trees
House adorned with Spring blooming trees | Source
Dogwood in bloom
Dogwood in bloom | Source








The flat valley floor of Yosemite Valley provides one with breathtaking views.


As Spring turns into Summer the waterfalls become less dramatic as the snow packs from the upper elevations has melted. So if you wish to see sights such as the ones pictured here, be sure and visit Yosemite National Park in the Springtime of the year.

Springtime flowers in bloom also add to this already stunning palate of comeliness.

The flowering dogwoods added a splash of color to the house utilized for park personnel and pictured below.

Even if one was handicapped and could not enjoy the many hiking opportunities within Yosemite National Park, I have to admit that just driving through this magnificent valley and the other roads within the park would leave you with excellent images.


Needless-to-say, this is a photographer's dream place. Both amateur and professional photographers alike can hardly escape this paradise without some images that are worthy of being enjoyed.

Yosemite

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park | Source


While my traveling pal and I were walking through a meadow and alongside a river one day within the park we became mesmerized by the ballet-like actions of a fly fisherman in action.


In fact there were several people enjoying this sport.


I remembered the film I had seen years earlier titled "A River Runs Through It" and it was the first time that I fully realized the beauty that this casting of a fishing line entails.



It seemed like such a fun way to spend a portion of a day especially surrounded by the spectacular scenery with which we were all surrounded.

Fly fishing in Yosemite National Park

A fly fisherman enjoying some time spent in Yosemite National Park
A fly fisherman enjoying some time spent in Yosemite National Park | Source

Have you visited Yosemite National Park?

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Yosemite National Park Half Dome Trek

Yosemite Mono Lake Paiute - Native American Indians

Yosemite Wonders

Other day hikes within Yosemite Valley...


There is the Lower Yosemite Fall which is an easy 1/2 mile round trip hike.


The Upper Yosemite Fall Trail Columbia Rock is a strenuous 2 mile round trip with an elevation gain of 1,000 feet.


If one wishes to to hike to the Top of Yosemite Fall one will be traversing a very strenuous undertaking with an elevation gain of 2,700 feet and a trip of 7.2 miles getting there and back.


To get to see the Nevada Fall one must plan to hike 7 miles round trip in a strenuous 1,900 foot elevation gain.


Glacier Point Four Mile Trail will have you walking 4.8 miles one way in a very strenuous hike with an elevation gain of 3,200 feet.


For more moderate hiking one can walk the Valley Floor Loop which is 13 miles for the entire loop or 6.5 miles for half of it.


For the most strenuous hike of all with an elevation gain of 4,800 feet and 17 miles round trip you might want to consider the Half Dome.


One can easily see that in addition to the hikes we took within Yosemite National Park (given our time-frame), there is something to please most any visitor from the casual observer looking out of the car window to the experienced and willing hiker wanting to take more time to explore more details that are gradually unfolded before one's eyes as one steps into the depths of the park away from the roadsides.

If you enjoyed these pictures of our hiking in Yosemite National Park in California, I am looking forward to hearing comments from you.

A Winter Tale...beautiful Cello Solo accompanied by wintery photos of Yosemite.

A markerYosemite National Park -
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389, USA
[get directions]

Did you enjoy this hub? Please take time to give it a star rating. Thank you!!!

5 out of 5 stars from 4 ratings of Yosemite National Park

© 2009 Peggy Woods

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Comments are welcomed. 46 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Robert,

So glad you enjoyed this hub regarding Yosemite National Park. It is a beauty! The "purple mountain majesty" really does show up in that first photo. :)


Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 4 months ago

Great Hub. Fantastic pictures. That picture of the beginning explains the line "Purple mountain's majesty" .


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Audrey,

You are so fortunate that you got to visit the beautiful Yosemite National Park often when you lived so close to it. I would have done the same! Thanks for the share.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 months ago from Nashville Tn.

Yosemite National Park is one of my favorite places in both winter and spring. Lived a short 4 hours drive for many years and visited often.

You've captured the magnificence of mother nature's finest with both words and photos. Thanks Peggy and will share.

Audrey


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Susie,

Glad I could take you on a virtual tour of Yosemite. It is truly a spectacular place.


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