Fun fact: According to the Travel Channel Chilnualna Falls Trail is considered the second most scariest haunted hiking trail in the U.S. You can read why and more about it in this article HERE


Mist Trail To Vernal Fall

We climbed along natures "giant staircase" to reach the beautiful, popular and powerful Vernal Fall.

Vernal Fall Trail
Vernal Fall Trail

We had to climb a steep and wet granite stairway to get a closer look of the fall but it was absolutely worth it. Did we go ALL the way up? We didn't, but we were so close! We climbed high enough to get tons of waterfall spray, took some pictures of the beautiful and powerful fall, saw a rainbow and turned back around.

Vernal Fall
Vernal Fall

We went through Mist trail to get to the Vernal Fall which is a strenuous 1.2 mile uphill hike. Along the way we passed Vernal Fall Bridge where many stop to take pictures and allows you to get a view of the powerful Merced River and Vernal Fall from afar. Like many, we could have turned around but we were determined to get a closer look of the fall. The trail was not easy but absolutely gorgeous from beginning to end. Going down those granite steps was the most challenging part of it all, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. This trail lead to many other popular hikes in Yosemite Valley so expect some crowds. I do recommend heading out to this particular trail as early as possible.


Yosemite Falls

The views of these falls are stunning and you don't have to hike anywhere to see them. They are visible from most of Yosemite Valley. We park right by the Swinging Bridge and walked out to the open field to get these spectacular views and pictures. Bring some snacks, a blanket and have a picnic surrounded by these stunning views. You can also walk closer to the falls but we wanted to avoid the crowds and I'm glad we did.


Swinging Bridge In Yosemite Valley

Earlier I talked about the Swinging Bridge which gives a stunning view of Yosemite Falls. Don't be fooled though, the bridge isn't actually a swinging bridge but it does make for some beautiful shots and a relaxing walk around Yosemite Valley.

Swinging Bridge In Yosemite Valley
Swinging Bridge In Yosemite Valley



El Capitan from the car

One of the most stunning views is exiting the tunnel to Yosemite Valley and seeing this spectacular view. El Capitan is an iconic destination in Yosemite N.P. and once you see it you will understand why. It will be on your left hand side and there is a long stretch of pull outs on both sides to park, enjoy the view and take some pictures.

El Capitan In Yosemite Valley
El Capitan In Yosemite Valley

El Capitan In Yosemite Valley and Merced River
El Capitan In Yosemite Valley and Merced River

Bridalveil Fall

Right across from El Capitan, to your right side you will see Bridalveil Fall. The hike is currently closed but it is still a great sight to see specially when it's accessible from the side of the road.

Bridalveil Fall road view
Bridalveil Fall road view

Bridalveil Fall road view
Bridalveil Fall road view

Half Dome View

There are several areas where you can see the Half Dome from. Might be a bit hard to recognize at first so thankfully we came across a stop on the side of Big Oak Flat Road that described exactly what we were looking at. It's not hard to miss since this seems to be a popular stop on the side of the road. Half Dome is the little peak you see between the 2 mountains. Although far away, this stop still made for a great rest area to read a little bit about the the many faces of Half Dome. Not to worry though, the views from Yosemite Valley get even better!!


Told you the view got better! This is inside Yosemite Valley. We went once the sun was starting to set and the way the Half Dome peak was lite up by the sun was incredible. Again, we pulled up on the side of the road and got off to see this spectacular site.

Half Dome Yosemite Valley
Half Dome Yosemite Valley

Sunset

Catching a sunset while visiting Yosemite National Park is a must. Tunnel View is an incredibly popular spot due to the incredible sunsets. If you are heading there late afternoon, there will be a lot of professional and amateur photographers with tripods trying to get the best shot. Parking is limited so we decided to keep driving and simply pulled over on the side of the road to catch this beautiful sunset . It was absolutely beautiful and we had the area all to ourselves. My point, if your preferred area is full, keep going because there are plenty of other areas you can enjoy it from.


Yosemite NP Sunset
Yosemite NP Sunset

Meadow Loop trail

This is a 3.5 mile mostly flat trail that was perfect for all ages and hike levels. It took us about 1.5 to 2 hours to finish and it was the perfect place for an easy evening walk in nature.


If you are entering though the Yosemite South Entrance in Wawona, you will find this on your left hand side across the street from the Wawona Hotel where parking is also available for this trail.


Conclusion

Our visit to Yosemite National Park was a very memorable experience and I hope you find these tips and suggestions helpful to make the most our of your visit in one of the most beautiful National Parks.


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Yosemite National Park. 9 Things you can't miss
Yosemite National Park. 9 Things you can't miss

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