It’s a cool morning so we layer up our clothes until we feel like the Staypuff marshmallow man and then on the motorcycle and in to Yosemite Valley. Today is a lot busier than yesterday and we are glad to be on the motorcycle for ease of maneuvering and parking!
We take the shuttle to the trailhead for Upper Yosemite Falls, a very strenuous 7.2 mile roundtrip hike with a 2,700 ft elevation gain according to the park guide newspaper. Sounds like a good hike to do on a busy day, since most of the hard trails tend to be less populated. The trail consists of about 60 switchbacks and is continuously uphill. The views are great, but we do end up in a big line of people. However, as the going gets tough the crowds start to thin and we find little pockets where we get to hike by ourselves, letting people pass or passing others in order to keep our pocket of solitude.
We finally make it to the top of the falls where we relax and have our lunch. There are quite a few people at the top and there is a slack-line spanning the width of the waterfall to overlook the rushing water and canyon below. There are a few people (rockclimbers, I assume) zipping their way across the slackline (one at a time) – what an adventure and view they get – straight down the waterfall!
Just one more mile up and away across the falls is Yosemite Point. We can see it from where we sit and there appears to be less people there so we make our way toward that trail. Over the footbridge, across the falls, and up we go again but this time through a few patches of snow! We get to the Point and the views are breathtakingly spectacular! There are only about 6 people here and we find a little spot on the edge all to ourselves. We sit for a while, just enjoying the scenery until we decide it’s time to head back down the trail. It’s hard to make ourselves leave it’s so amazing!
Trip back down is nice and less crowded. We could even see the moon (half-full) right above Half Dome!