Spring in Yosemite

Spring has arrived! At my home in Midpines, my garden is filled with the yellow faces of daffodils, and the crimson-purplish hues of the redbud decorate my commute in the Merced River Canyon. Being a native of New England, where springtime weather (i.e., when one can comfortably don shorts) doesn’t begin until June, I love living in a climate that permits hiking in shorts and a t-shirt in March.

My personal rite of spring is the hike to upper Yosemite Falls. Today, I made my annual trek to the top, accompanied by warm sunshine and a clear blue sky. Every season this hike offers a new perspective. One year a black bear greeted me on the trail, another year I hiked most of the way on snow. This year with the exception of seasonal creeks crossing the way, the trail was completely dry. However, at the top of the ridge, snow still survived in haphazard patches.

For those who have not made the trip to the top of Yosemite Falls, I highly recommend the experience. Leaning on the railing and watching the pure white water tumble over the cliff, while listening to the constant roar of the rushing water lulls me into a meditative state. Nature truly is magnificent in her artistic expressions!

The view from the top also afforded me a chance to check out the snow in the high country. The Clark Range stood proudly in the landscape, decorated with snow, but not completely covered. Half Dome has a thin layer of frosting on its head.

The Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point is still closed, and with good reason as I could see the many parts of the trail still immersed in blankets of snow. Unlike the Falls Trail, the Four Mile Trail is located on a north facing ridge and doesn’t receive the same treatment from the sun. I think this disparate treatment is highly unfair as often the Four Mile Trail isn’t accessible until late May or June and by that time the road is already open and Glacier Point becomes reachable by car. I find that after I’ve hiked four miles and achieved over 3,000 feet of elevation gain, seeing a car at the end of my journey dampens my experience.