Today was a journey up into the Yosemite Trails. This was the first hiking trip we took as a family. We did a quick bit of research and decided we would take the Mist Trail up to Vernal Fall.
That looks like an easy hike right? Well I should have read a little bit more because that hike was incredibly steep to be hiking with a baby and a four year old. This was the description a little bit down the page that I should have read earlier:
This description is accurate. The climb next to the fall was pretty intense. The mist from the waterfall made the granite stairs soaking wet. Jeff was carrying Dre on his shoulders for that part. We finally made it to the top, and it was very worth it.
We sat down for a picnic by the fall, ate our PB&Js and then continued our journey down a different path (but about a mile longer) to avoid the slippery rocks.
There have been a few times in my life where nature has just kicked my ass. The first distinct time was in Hawaii about 5 years ago. We were hanging out on Ka’anapali Beach in Maui and the waves were between 8-10+ feet tall. This seemed like a great opportunity to dive into some waves. It was great, until two of these big suckers came in a row, slammed my head into the sand, flipped me upside down and then rolled me a bit.
The second time was in Cancun, Mexico just this past year. Sure the red flags were out but this one flag looked more orange. Jeff and I are decent swimmers, so we decided to go in for a quick swim. The ocean again was super fun. The waves were decently sized but not too bad, and Jeff and I couldn’t figure out why those flags were out there.
We decided to swim back after playing for about 15 min and that is when we realized what the flags were for. The current was so strong, we couldn’t move when we tried to swim to shore. After a bit of “oh shit” set in, we grabbed on to this algae covered rope (about 2 minutes prior, we were saying we would never touch it), and pulled ourselves in.
This hike was not as extreme as those two ocean stories, but only because I didn’t try to swim in the river and we took the hike very slowly. Even so, I couldn’t help but think of how close to death we were. Just one careless slip and we could have been off the edge and dead.
Thinking about Jeff carrying Dre on his shoulders afterwards literally gave me some chills. Yosemite is a beast. It needs to be respected. When standing in view of El Capitan, you can’t help but feel insignificant. The Merced River that carries these falls is impressively powerful. Several people have died in the river and that is not surprising with the massive power this thing possesses.
Inappropriate and Unavoidable Pee Break:
All this to say, mad respect for Yosemite. Beast Mode is pretty much the tagline I have for this National Park. This park is absolutely breathtaking and needs to be on everyone’s bucket list. The granite cliffs are so clean and sharp that you can’t help but just stare in wonder.
Tip #11 – If you are going to be doing extensive hiking with a little one, I recommend purchasing a Premium Child Carrier like the one below. We did not have one for this hiking experience, and I was super jealous every time I passed someone who did.
After we got back down to the hotel, we ate at the hotel restaurant which was nothing to write home about. Then I walked into the door, took off my hiking boots, laid on the couch and couldn’t move the rest of the night due to my sore back, feet, legs and arms.
Please be sure to put this park on your list of places to see; pictures do not do this place justice. You will not be disappointed!