USA Travel Diary Day 9 – Yosemite National Park

Today, I have been cruelly manipulated. The kids want to do a 12 mile hike. I do not. I say I’m happy to do my own thing, but they will not let me off that easily and announce that we will go to Mirror Lake instead for a ‘nice and easy’ 2 mile walk.

Merced River
Merced River

We drive as near to the car park as we are able (it’s already very busy) and walk to a junction which gives the option of a nice, smooth, flat 1.4 mile walk or a 2 mile trail through the rocks. We take the trail option for some reason that no one is satisfactorily able to explain.

Mirror Lake Trail
Mirror Lake Trail

We walk the trail to the lake. It has to be said that Mirror Lake (so called because it is still enough to reflect the grandeur of the rocks it sits beneath) is worth the walk.

Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake

At this point, I would happily walk back to the car, but no – we must walk around the lake. This is, theoretically, another 2 miles until you reach Tenaya Bridge and cross the River Merced to return along the other side of the lake.

Mirror Lake Trail
Mirror Lake Trail

Somehow, we manage to lose the trail and end up walking into thicker and thicker woods until finally we reach two enormous fallen trees and cannot go on. We try to cut through the undergrowth to the trail. I’m not convinced – I’ve read the warnings about bears starting to come out of hibernation!

Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake

I am cajoled into this cross country climb to reach the trail, which frankly isn’t much better. By the time we have reached to bridge, we have walked 4.6 miles, including some climbing over rocks and tree trunks and quite a considerable amount of wading, as the trail becomes more stream than path.

Merced River from Tenaya Bridge
Merced River from Tenaya Bridge

When I finally glimpse the bridge, it is a source of great excitement. We cross and start walking back round the lake. Miles away from any form of civilisation, we bump into two Americans who ask us if we know where the bus stop is?!

Mirror Lake Trail
Mirror Lake Trail

By the time we reach the car, my nice short walk totals over 8 miles and has taken us almost 4 hours.

Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake

We stop off at the Yosemite Village Store for lunch and extra provisions, then drive to Tunnel View for a picnic. Here, near the entrance to Yosemite Valley a tunnel has been blown through the rock, so you enter into darkness, then exit to the view of Yosemite in all its splendour. Not a bad place for a picnic.

Tunnel View
Tunnel View

The others decide to take another hike, to Inspiration Point; the place where the road used to pass before the tunnel was constructed. I am all hiked out and sit and admire the view statically. Then it’s back to the cabin for fajitas and wine on the deck.

Lunch with a view
Lunch with a view

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