If I had to express my ideal version nature, I would describe tall, towering pine trees, lush green grass, gushing waterfalls, sparkling rivers endless mountains and massive cliffs. After arriving at Yosemite National Park, I thought I had died and gone to nature-lover’s heaven. My ideal was now right in front of my eyes, in all its luscious, sunshine-filled glory.
Growing up in Australia, going for a walk normally meant a hike through dense, dry bushland, cautiously avoiding long grass and the slithering creatures that lay in the midst. It was very refreshing to experience nature in an entirely new way. The only potential threat in this National Park are its black bears, and I totally wouldn’t have minded coming face to face with one of those cuddly creatures. At least until it clawed my face off. Unfortunately (or rather fortunately), the only creatures I came into contact with were the adorable squirrels that scurried around the forest, pausing to pose for photos and scavenge for food. You know you are from Australia when you still get excited about the sighting of a squirrel…
On our sojourn through Yosemite, we took The Mist Trail up to the top of Vernal Falls, which was an absolute stunner of a hike. The trail is a 4.8km round-trip and takes about 2 hours to complete, depending on your pace. For a longer hike, you can continue on the track up to Nevada Falls, which is an 11km round-trip. I would definitely suggest doing the longer trail if you have the time. If the first section is anything to go by, I think the rest of the track would be equally as amazing.
The Mist Trail doesn’t get its name for no reason- you will probably end up a little damp by the end of the trail from all that mist cascading off the waterfall. But don’t let that dampen your spirits, the hike is definitely worth a little shower along the way… In fact, its quite a welcome spritz if you are doing the hike in summer! The hike isn’t extremely strenuous, but there is incline of 300 meters and a lot of stairs to compete with so I suggest coming equipped with proper walking shoes (learn from my mistakes).
Unlike most hikes that simply climax with one lookout, the best part about the Mist Trail is the spectacular views are scattered consistently along its path. From crossing the first bridge over a sparkling river to gazing up to the towering cliffs and endless pinetrees along the track, I was in photo-taking heaven even before being greeted by a rainbow at the base of a gut-wrenchingly beautiful waterfall.
Yosemite National Park really was a dream, and I will definitely be back to explore its phenomenal beauty even further. My next venture is to climb to the top of the Half Dome, Yosemite’s most famous rock formation, and camp at the top… One day!
Next stop, San Francisco baby!