The Mist Trail is one of the most popular short hikes in Yosemite National Park, California, USA. The hike follows the Merced River, starting at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley, past Vernal Fall and Emerald Pool, to Nevada Fall. Along the trail, the Merced River is a tumultuous mountain stream, lying in a U-shaped valley. Enormous boulders, some the size of a house, are dwarfed by the sheer faces of exfoliating granite, which rise 3000 feet (914 m) from the river. Through it all, the Merced River rushes down from its source in the High Sierra, and broadens on the floor of Yosemite Valley. This is Yosemite’s signature hike. While many of Yosemite’s trails are popular due to having a single spectacular destination, the Mist Trail has fabulous views scattered all along it, beginning at the bridge overlook, progressing to two unforgettable waterfalls that fall a combined total of more than 900 feet (270 meters), and ending with perhaps the most striking of all: the view of Nevada Fall, Liberty Cap, and the back of Half Dome from the Muir Trail return segment. We started early in the morning, with the Trail in early daylight.
The Ahwahnee (Majestic Yosemite) Hotel is a grand hotel in Yosemite National Park, California, on the floor of Yosemite Valley, constructed from steel, stone, concrete, wood and glass, which opened in 1927. It is a premiere example of National Park Service rustic architecture, and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The Ahwahnee was renamed the Majestic Yosemite Hotel on March 1, 2016, due to a legal dispute between the US Government, which owns the property, and the outgoing concessionaire, Delaware North, which claims rights to the trademarked name. In the early 1900´s the first director of the National Park Service, Stephen Mather, decided that Yosemite needed a first class hotel. While Mather no doubt enjoyed the finer things in life, and was a part of the income and status group that would frequent first class hotels, his motives weren´t entirely aimed at building the kind of hotel he and his friends would enjoy. As head of the fledgling Park Service, and a master politician he understood that the wealthy and powerful held the keys to obtaining the priority and funding that his new department would need to further it´s goals of both protecting the parks and making them accessible to the public.
In photography, the golden hour (sometimes known as magic hour, is a period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer than when the sun is higher in the sky. Light can be further divided into the following light phases depending on the elevation of the sun: golden hour, blue hour, twilights, daytime and nighttime. Each of these periods are characterized by a particular color of the ambient light and the peril of losing the magic by overexposing or changing the color temperature. Yosemite is particularly special because this special light gradually climbs the steep cliffs and is reflected off the water and even the plants.
El Capitan to the left, Bridaveil Fall to the right, and the rest of Yosemite Valley behind Tunnel View provides one of the most famous views of Yosemite Valley. From here you can see El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall rising from Yosemite Valley, with Half Dome in the background. This viewpoint is at the east end of the Wawona Tunnel along the Wawona Road (Highway 41). This is often the first waterfall visitors see when entering Yosemite Valley. In spring, it thunders, during the rest of the year, look for its characteristic light, swaying flow. Bridalveil Fall is one of the most prominent waterfalls in the Yosemite Valley in California, seen yearly by millions of visitors to Yosemite National Park. The waterfall is 188 meters (617 ft) in height and flows year round. The Ahwahneechee tribe believed that Bridalveil Fall was home to a vengeful spirit named Pohono who guarded the entrance to the valley and that those leaving the valley must not look directly into the waterfall lest they be cursed. They also believed that inhaling the mist of Bridalveil Fall would improve one’s chances of marriage.
On the way into Yosemite we stopped for lunch at Big Trees Lodge, formerly known as the Wawona Hotel. Big Trees Lodge is a National Historic Landmark located within southern Yosemite National Park in central California. The tranquility of this Victorian-style lodge in Yosemite makes it a favorite of those who prefer a relaxed environment and the charm of a bygone era. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. On March 1, 2016, the Wawona Hotel was renamed Big Trees Lodge due to a legal dispute between the US Government, which owns the property, and the outgoing concessionaire, Delaware North, which claims rights to the trademarked name. Big Trees Lodge is considered one of the most respected and most frequently visited Yosemite hotels. Its authentic Victorian architecture features beautiful white buildings, classic verandas and lush natural surroundings. At the Big Trees Lodge, there’s something for everyone.