Iliya Lichtenstein
Trips completed: 4
Mykolaiv, Ukraine
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Following: 1
Iliya Lichtenstein
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8/28/2017 - 8/29/2017
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One could easily spend a lifetime exploring Yosemite National Park. Like it's towering glacial-carved granite monoliths and vertigo-inducing chasms, Yosemite's wonders run broad and deep. The park's central Sierra expanse covers elevations ranging from 4,000 to over 13,000 feet and is home to some of the world's most iconic natural landmarks. One of the best places on the earth to see remnants of past ice ages at work, Yosemite offers a front-row seat to understanding how the mountains in the area were formed. But for those seeing Yosemite for the first time, or simply have finite time to explore the area, what are some of the must-see highlights for a shorter itinerary? We're glad you asked as we certainly have some recommendations. Not surprisingly, there are many! Yosemite covers a large swathe of the central Sierra Nevada mountains, stretching west to east across the range from the lower montane foothills to the lofty Sierra Crest. Geographically, the park can be thought of as having six main areas: Yosemite Valley, Hetch-Hetchy, South Rim, North Rim, Tuolumne Meadows, and the park's expansive backcountry. For this shorter itinerary we're honing in on the more accessible areas such as Yosemite Valley, the South Rim and Tuolumne Meadows. Fortunately, these areas also happen to hold some of the park's grandest sights.
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Tunnel View.
8/28/2017
10:07 am
(US)

One of the most famous views of Yosemite Valley. From here you can see El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall rising from Yosemite Valley, with Half Dome in the background.

Tunnel View (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
Address: State Route 41 East Of The Wawona Tunnel Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
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El Capitan
8/28/2017
11:07 am
Yosemite Village (US)

El Capitan, a vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
Address: Northside Dr, Yosemite Village, CA 95389, USA
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Yosemite Valley Chapel
8/28/2017
11:56 am
Yosemite Valley (US)

Yosemite Valley Chapel (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
Address: Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
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Yosemite Valley Visitor Center
8/28/2017
12:07 pm
Yosemite Valley (US)

Yosemite Valley Visitor Center (*) (*) (*) (*) ( )
Address: Yosemite Village Lp Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
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Half Dome
8/29/2017
11:41 am
Yosemite Village (US)

Half Dome (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
Address: Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
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Glacier Point
8/29/2017
12:41 pm
Yosemite Village (US)

Glacier Point (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
Address: Glacier Point Rd Yosemite Valley, CA 95389
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Mist Trail
8/29/2017
12:57 pm
Yosemite Village (US)

The lower of the two steps that make up the Giant Staircase, Vernal Falls via the Mist Trail explores a stretch of the Merced River Canyon as it rises off of the valley floor and up to the top of Vernal Falls. The hike is a nice there-and-back option to warm-up prior to setting out on a higher elevation hike such as Glacier Point via the 4-Mile Trail and Yosemite Falls Trail. The trail begins at Happy Isles Trailhead, which is also the start of the famous John Muir Trail. Follow the JMT along the north bank of the Merced River as it winds through the forest of black oak, incense cedar, and ponderosa pine and passes the occasional house-sized granite boulder.

Mist Trail (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
Address: Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
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Vernal Fall
8/29/2017
13:14 pm
(US)

The trail begins a gradual rise up the canyon toward Vernal Falls Bridge, where the first views of the 317-foot waterfall appear. The junction with the Mist Trail is just a few hundred yards past the Vernal Falls Bridge. Leave the JMT and follow the Mist Trail toward the base of Vernal Falls, where you begin your ascent up a steep granite staircase. The Mist Trail is named for this section; during high flow months expect a thundering volume of water and a healthy dose of spray as you climb, and don’t forget your rain jacket! As you continue up the granite staircase you’ll have full, front-and-center views of Vernal Falls. There are plenty of stairs and ledges on which to rest and enjoy the view. With the final push up a narrow, rocky staircase, the trail tops out on an open granite slab above Vernal Falls. Congratulate yourself, as you have just ascended the first step of the Giant Staircase. Soak in the views and explore the calmer waters of Emerald Pool and the Silver Apron area, but heed signs warning against swimming in this area. Unwitting swimmers have been sucked over the waterfall’s edge.

Vernal Fall (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
Address: Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
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Nevada Falls
8/29/2017
13:31 pm
(US)

Continue up the Mist Trail toward the second step of the Giant Staircase and Nevada Falls for the Giant Staircase to JMT Loop.

Nevada Falls (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)
Address: Mist Trl Yosemite National Park Mariposa County, CA
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