Yosemite: The Uphill Death March

Yosemite is a beautiful place. Waterfalls, lush meadows, young European men on holiday- it’s a feast for the eyes. The most famous of hikes in this very famous national park is known as The Mist Trail. Aside from the insane climb to the top of Half Dome, the Mist Trail was the trail Troy wanted to hike. I do not understand what it is about my very competitive nature that mandates that I attempt to kill myself following Troy on hikes I have no business doing, but there was no way in hell I was not going to go.

To begin with, the Mist Trail to the top of Vernal Falls climbs about 1000 feet or so over one-and-a-half miles.  Simple math shows this is pain in the making. It’s short, but steep, and at the end, it’s evil. Steps carved straight into the granite cliffs next to the Merced River which tumbles over Vernal Falls.

There's a happy rainbow to cheer you as you break your ass on the granite steps

Vernal Falls is pretty:

Vernal Falls

Had I only been less stubborn, I would have stopped here at the footbridge looking over the Merced River up to Vernal Falls:

The Merced River

I was not smart enough to stop here. As usual. It will be days before I can walk without pain. As usual.

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9 Responses to Yosemite: The Uphill Death March

  1. David says:

    Wow! If you’re gonna shred some articular cartilage, then these are the kind of images you want to make it worthwhile. Thanks for posting them!!

    • Thanks David. My plan is to leave behind an entire library of awesome travel pics that will serve as an explanation as to why I died in a tragic canyon “accident”. I am diligently working to ensure that typing the words “Troy tried to kill me” into Google will bring the police to this blog.

      • David says:

        Epitaph: “Troy succeeded.” … ? Well, he seems to be taking his time. Congrats on living to post again and happy thirteenth anniversary to both of you!

  2. bschooled says:

    Okay, so you had me at the chart (“Fuck if I know” is usually my number one reason for everything I do). But then I saw the pics…did you take those?

    That scenery alone is enough to make me want to get my lazy ass off the couch, go to my other computer and type “Pics of Yosemite Park” into the Google search engine.

    • Yes ma’am, this blog serves largely as a travel journal so I have a place to post the gazillions of travel pics I take. And also, to ensure the world at large knows my husband is attempting to kill me.

  3. Sylvia says:

    My Husband and I found ourselves ( we are in our 50’s) on the Mist trail after a friend talked us into doing the Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley hike. The first 4 miles from Glacier Point on down were delightful and we had lunch at Yosemite Falls. We looked at the signs posted up there by the falls and decided to take the Mist trail because it said 2.5 miles to Yosemite Valley. We reasoned that we would arrive to the Valley alot sooner than taking the other trail which was four miles long and what was a little water, ha,ha. After a mile of decending on the granite steps we knew we had made a huge mistake. My husband who has knee problems slowed way down as he tried to navigate the uneven steps. We finally reached some kind of level ground and were momentarily relieved until we found that we had to again decend another mile of granite steps but this time while being splashed by the waters of the next falls. By this time our energy levels were way down and I myself began to feel that maybe I would be unable to make it down. My husband exclamed that this was a nightmare. I was shocked to see many people running up and down the slippery granite steps as though the rain swollen river rushing only a few feet away from the granite steps did not exist. There were even couples toting along their water soaked toddler children as tho they were on some Sunday picnic in the park thing. Finally we did make it down to the Valley floor and we were completely gratful! We won’t do this Mist trail again!

    • The Mist Trail is beautiful, but evil for those with knee problems. FYI – the John Muir trail which was your alternate route is also evil. You should probably find out if your friend took out a life insurance policy on you and your husband.

    • M Conroy says:

      I have hiked many trails in national parks including the Mist Trail and Half Dome at Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Arches etc. and feel that the park service does not adequately inform hikers of the dangers and challenges of many of these trails. Many times they don’t warn you of possible dangers until you have hiked a distance and are reluctant to turn back afer reading the warning signs. Add in all the “city slickers” who take chances with themselves and sometimes their children and it is a recipe for tragedy. I would recommend that anyone attempting a long hike find out the details before starting. The rangers tend to understate things, so oftentimes I talk to tourists coming off the trail to get some insights into the difficulties of the hike. Once you make an informed decision you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and be aware of any possible dangers etc.

      • I have often contemplated writing a guidebook on hiking various trails for those who don’t really hike. My husband is a world-class outdoorsman and I could not be farther from that. Having been on many, many hikes I should not have attempted, I’m probably qualified to tell others what not to do. You are right – the park rangers tend to underplay just how hard a hike is.

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