We were excited to visit Yosemite National Park for the second time. We had visited there on a chilly March day in 2016 but because of the crowds and weather, it was more driving than hiking. We were looking forward to getting in a good hike this time.
We decided on the Mist trail based on the length, difficulty level, and promised spectacular views. We parked at Half Dome Village and took our time drinking the coffee we had picked up on the way into the park and waited for the weather to warm up. We enjoyed reminiscing about our previous trip and remembered that we had taken showers here last time. Once the air had warmed up a bit, we headed to the shuttle stop for the bus to take us to the trailhead. Generally, we try to avoid these things but we knew the trailhead parking lot was likely full as this is a very popular hike. The bus was not overly crowded and the ride was actually quite pleasant.
The Mist trail starts off fairly easy with only a small incline and beautiful views of the mountains. The trail gets steeper as you go along and as you approach Vernal Falls it becomes a series of rocky steps. The view of the falls coming down is beautiful with a rainbow appearing in the water. To reach the top of the falls, you have to climb a series of very steep steps carved into the cliffside. I thought about skipping that part but we persevered and went to the top. It was a very strenuous climb, but the views at the top were worth it. Going down was easier but required some careful stepping as some of the steps were narrow.
After completing the hike, we rode the shuttle bus back to Half Dome Village and decided to treat ourselves to a pizza. We started out on the patio but the chilly air drove us inside. We ended up chatting with a couple we had met on the hike who were also enjoying a pizza. Turns out she does social media promotions for a living so she gave us some tips on using Instagram which was pretty new for us.
After our hike and dinner, it was time to find a spot for the night. We ended up at Tamarack Flat Campground in the park. It was pretty far out and when we got there the sign said the campground was full. We have learned that those signs are not always accurate so we drove in to check for ourselves. Fortunately, a few spots had opened up and we got a very nice site. It was tucked in the trees and close to the bathrooms. Once we got the jeep set up, we got a nice warm fire going and enjoyed the beautiful California night sky.