Randy and his family just got back from Yosemite and sent me an awesome report on their trip. Here’s what Randy had to say:
The waterfalls are flowing very well and are everywhere. Seasonal Stair Case falls behind Curry Village is putting on quite a show right now, as well as the small fall coming down over the Royal Arches and Ribbon and Horsetail falls to the west and east of El Capitan. The year round waterfalls are pouring at peak flows with Yosemite Falls throwing up a huge mist cloud where the upper falls strikes down.
The rivers and streams are at high volume and are over the banks in most places, but still well short of flood levels. I did not notice any closed camp sites when we walked through Lower Pines campground, though the river is rather wide there with water extending in a good 6-10 feet from some trees that are usually dry. You made a great point about using caution near the rivers, it’s flowing very swift and cold right now.
Surprisingly the mist trail is already open to the top of Vernal falls. I didn’t make the hike all the way up this time, but we sat on the viewpoint rock just after the John Muir trail split and watched the magnificent falls and the people going up the trail. That’s a great tip for your readers…The view is 100 times better than the footbridge, but people need to be very careful on that rock as it gets a bit slippery with all the mist hitting it. Once the sun hit it around noon it dried up and got much easier to walk on. This is also the prime light to photograph the falls. Anyone looking for this spot should pass the foot bridge, go up to where the trail splits off with the John Muir going to the right and the Mist Trail continuing ahead, go up a little further on the Mist Trail and look for a metal pole in the trail. The trail goes to the left from there with steps leading down it. It’s easy to miss if you’re not looking.
As for the spring bloom, it’s just starting to kick in. The meadows are still very low grass, but everyday more growth could be seen. When we first got there on the 29th of April most of the trees where just budding with some scattered green dogwood blossoms. With all the warm weather, by the time we left on the third there were some dogwoods trees already in full white bloom. Currently the best tree is actually the easy to get to, right behind the Curry Village reservation/check in office. I would say the dogwood bloom is at about 10% right now with lots of buds and green/yellow blossoms that will be in full bloom within and week or two from now. I didn’t see any actual flowering of the dogwoods in the Pohono Bridge/Fern Springs area, but there were tons of green buds that will be blooming as well in the coming couple of weeks. The oaks and aspens are also leaving out now, filling in rather quickly.
The weather was about perfect. A few of the days got a bit hot in the middle of the day, but for the most part it was perfect. We were getting some afternoon showers rolling in, but they’d only last about 10-15 minutes then it was back to the beautiful weather. Kind of refreshing actually. The warm weather had not been around long enough to bring out the mosquitos, so amazingly not one of us got a single bite the whole trip. Don’t count on that lasting much longer with the warm weather and all the water. Repellent is going to be a must very soon.
Anyways, all in all it was a beautiful time to be in Yosemite. I’ll be posting lots of pictures onto flickr soon.
Thanks for the info, Randy. Glad you had a great time. If you’ve got information, stories, or you just saw something you thought was cool and would like to share with me, by all means, send me an email.