With all the rain we’d had recently this spring (2005), I had trepidation regarding the potential conditions in Yosemite. Not to worry – we had the warmest trip yet this past weekend, and the roads were totally clear, with no ice or snow. Instead we got brilliant, clear skies, snow-kissed cliffs, and balmy temperatures.
Friday afternoon, we parked at the trailhead parking past Curry Village and walked to Happy Isles. We were able to hike the Mist Trail this time, heading up past Vernal Falls to the bridge below Nevada Falls, then up to Clark Point (net elevation gain about 1,500 feet) and down the John Muir Trail. As gorgeous as it is being close to Vernal Falls on the steep stairs just adjacent, the prettiest view was from the ‘official’ viewpoint just off the trail to Clark Point – you could see Vernal Falls spilling over the edge and down, from a bird’s eye view. A couple other hikers came by after we’d scrambled back up to the main trail, and I couldn’t help but tell them, "Check it out, it’s so gorgeous." Their (snidely voiced) retort? They’d come up the Mist Trail and had already seen Vernal Falls. Their loss!
On the way down, we hit some snow packs occluding the trail. I was not thrilled (my fear of falling kicking in), but we managed to get across them.