Mist Trail | Yosemite NP

The closer one gets to a waterfall, the wetter becomes the air, the more slippery becomes the footing, and the less inclined one should be to use her camera equipment.

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Merced River with Distant View of Vernal Falls

At the end of May, in Yosemite National Park, the waterfalls were at peak volumes. The intensely hard flowing water created tremendous spray and treacherous hiking conditions along the Mist Trail.  The hike follows the Merced River, starting at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley, past Vernal Fall and Emerald Pool, to Nevada Fall.

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Trailhead sign

One walks along a paved route in the lower portion of the trail. Eventually this leads to a wide wooden footbridge where many visitors will stop to make their selfie, and then return to their shuttle bus.

We carried on as far as we could go up the vertical incline to reach the Vernal falls.  As you can see in the image below, water was flowing hard.

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Driftwood deposits in the Merced River on The Mist Trail

While on the Mist Trail I was forced to keep my camera inside a waterproof bag that was zipped into my jacket. These mists soaked through most everything. Obviously, to make the images from the trail, I had to remove the camera lens from the cover of the protective bag. It took mere seconds after removing the equipment and composing the image that the lens would become fogged.

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Penstemon newberryi | Mountain Pride; wildflower in Yosemite NP along the Mist Trail leading to Vernal Falls

The splash of pink offered by this perennial was a welcome shock in the increasingly damp climb up to the falls. The roughly flowing Merced River is the band of white color seen in the background on the left side of the image.

Secure footing was becoming less available the higher up we walked. These were challenging conditions in which to make photographs.  I slipped once while trying to make the image below.  That’s when I realized this had to be my last shot in the hike ascent.

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Slick Footing on the Mist Trail as one climbs towards Vernal Falls.

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