Easy Yosemite Valley Day Hikes

[Music] Good morning! Welcome
to Yosemite Valley. My name is Shelton Johnson and I’ve been a ranger here in
Yosemite for about 15 years. Today, I would like
to talk to you about some of our easy Yosemite
Valley day hikes. Ones of my favorites
is Bridalveil Fall and when you first came
into the valley you saw off to your right this beautiful waterfall called Bridalveil Fall. Well, once you park your car, the walk to Bridalveil Fall
in back is about 20 minutes, distance about a half mile, and it’s really one of the
best walks in the valley, because you’re really going
to one world to another. You start out and the day could
be clear like today and blue sky, sunny and then as you get
closer to the waterfall the temperature begins to drop and you start feeling a little
bit more increased humidity and you start getting
water droplets like it’s raining on you and then eventually
you are in clouds. I mean, and this is a
pretty fast transition. And so it’s… I love that hike, because you can so quickly go
from one extreme to another it’s just this
[inaudible] environment that’s defined by water when
you are there near the base, looking up at all that water
dropping down from so far above. So I highly recommend
Bridalveil Fall. If you are interested
in a shorter walk, again just about 20 minutes, about half mile in
terms of distance, but it’s well worth your time. As you we continue on
the Yosemite Valley, another hike that is one
of my favorite hikes, I think it as more of
a stroll than a hike, is Mirror Lake. Now the name is
sometimes a misnomer, because if you’re
here in the Fall, it’s Mirror Meadow, but if
you are here in Spring time, it lives up to its name. It is a lake and as you can see the reflections
of the granite formations that surround that area
reflected in the water. Regardless as to the
time of the year, it’s always a
beautiful place to be. There are lots of folks
that go to Mirror Lake, but if you get up early, if you are starting to walk at
7 o’clock in the morning or if you are starting
to walk in the afternoon even late in the afternoon, now there aren’t
nearly as many people. It’s just mile. You are walking in
a paved pathway. The creek is flowing to one
side, meaning Tenaya Creek, so you have this consistency of
music flowing to one side and you look up and you can see
as the wall start to pinch closer and closer together, you can see that Half Dome takes
the horizon on the side, then you have the sheer wall of
granite on the opposite side and the top of that of
course is North Dome. So there is this embrace
of stone and light and it’s just really, just a nice feel to that
area as you make your way up. Another great hike, one
of my favorite hikes in Yosemite Valley is
Lower Yosemite Fall. Now I am not talking about the
hike to Upper Yosemite Fall. I mean, that’s a different
undertaking entirely. This is the Lower
Yosemite Fall Loop Trail which is about a mile in length and only takes about 30 minutes, but in that 30 minutes that
trail offers new views, and I should also point
that trail is so gentle that it’s wheelchair accessible. But as you’re walking
or actually strolling is a better word
along that trail, you have all of these
different views of the Yosemite Falls. you can see it, you can almost smell that
water as it’s coming off and certainly the spray is
drifting off from it as well. So it’s a definitely an
experience to walk on that trail and take in one of the most
famous waterfalls on the planet. So it’s high on my list as far as not only one of the
great sites in Yosemite, but it’s one of the great
sites in the world. It is sight, it is sound, and it is feeling to be in the
presence of that waterfall. Another thing to keep
in mind is that the seasonal nature
of water itself. If you are here in the Spring
time, Yosemite Fall booming, Bridalveil Fall booming, Ribbon Fall, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall,
all of the falls are just kind of just a thunder
coming out from the sky, but if you’re here in the
Fall the thunder is gone, the magic is gone
to some degree. So you want to make sure if
you want to see our waterfalls, arrive in the Spring and what
I mean by the Spring I mean April, May, maybe early June. Same thing holds
true for Mirror Lake. If you want a lake, then you want to be
here in the Spring time when the lake is full.

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