We braved the crowds in Yosemite Valley in early June so we could enjoy the full waterfalls and rivers and it was worth it. The photo on the left was taken on this trip in June and the one on the right was taken earlier in the year, in January. You can see how much more water there is.
Another comparison of the seasons. Although the spring photograph on the left is full of beautiful spring greens, you can see quite a few brown trees, casualties of the drought.
After spending a night in Yosemite Valley in the noisy Backpacker's Campground, we climbed 4,000 feet up the Snow Creek Trail to camp near the top of North Dome. Our friend Colleen is hiking up the trail on the right.
We saw lots of these brilliant orange succulents in bloom along the side of the trail. We also saw a king snake and a rattlesnake (sorry, no photos - they were too fast). Do you know how the king snake got its name? Search on youtube for king snake vs. rattlesnake and you'll learn the answer.
It was such a thrill to see water coming down everywhere along the walls of the valley. Wouldn't you love to have a cascade like this in your garden?
You get unsurpassed views of Half Dome and Clouds Rest from the top of North Dome - you are literally right across from Half Dome. You also get fine views of the Yosemite High Country and I'm pretty sure we saw Ritter and Banner in the distance. Not a bad spot to spend the night.
The next day we walked along the north rim to the top of Yosemite Falls. Along the way we saw many bizarre and beautiful snow plants emerging from the bare earth. Snow plant is a parasite that lacks chlorophyl and is unable to photosynthesize - it survives on mycorrhizal fungi attached to roots of trees.
Footage of snow melt, Snow Creek, Yosemite Falls and a special guest star.
We completed our backpacking trip by hiking down the very popular Yosemite Falls trail. There's a point along the trail where you get this nice straight-on view of the falls. The photo on the left was taken this trip in June and the photo on the right was taken earlier in the year in January.
On our way home we stopped at the Rim of World Vista Point and for the first time since the Rim Fire in the summer of 2013, the burned hills were a brilliant green. It was heartening to see all of this new growth.
Day 1 was an 11-mile, 4,000 ft climb from the Backpacker's Campground in the valley to the top of North Dome. Day 2 was about 8.5 miles with a little up and down to the top of Yosemite Falls and then down the Yosemite Falls Trail. We then took the standing-room-only shuttle bus back to the overnight parking in Curry Village (oops, I mean Half Dome Village) where we enjoyed a nice hot shower for $5.