Four Mile Trail, June 16, 2006

    We hike up to Glacier Point from Yosemite Valley floor via the Four Mile Trail.

First photo of the day.  Half Dome as seen from turnout on highway 120.  The route from Merced, highway 140 is closed due to a large rock slide.  See Ferguson Rockslide.

At the trail head Amelia, Lou, Sarah and Stuart pose in front of the roots of giant stump.

Along the trail we had to cross this small stream.

Yosemite Falls as seen from across Yosemite valley.  The morning light is still low and the trail is mostly in the shade for us on the way up.

Looking west out of Yosemite valley the light seem good for a few photos.  El Capitan is on the right and Sentinal Rock formation on the left.

Clouds Rest and Half Dome is framed by trees along the Four Mile Trail.

Mosquito activity was intense. I did not want to stop moving.  As soon as I stood still for a second the mosquitos furiously burrowed for blood.  We all had multiple bites.

The trail is steep, but we make good progress.  This photos shows the valley to the west from a little higher on the trail.  You can see a tree at the top of the rock formation on the left.  Also visible is the river as it splits the forest.

I zoom in on Yosemite Falls when we get a clear view between the trees.

Stuart pauses on the trail.  The step off to the left is a big drop.

You can see the different levels of Yosemite Falls.  There is the large upper Falls, a small middle drop and the lower Falls that is at the end of the short access trail.

When I get a clear view of Half Dome I try to zoom in and get a shot.

We made it, this is the old railing that I spotted last year and wanted to visit.  We had to leave the trail and travel a few yards North. The view is cool and railing is old, smashed and unmaintained.  We have the spot all to ourselves.  It is only a few yards South of the formal, newer Glacier Point lookout.  They shoud have extended the new area over to this old area because the views are very nice indeed.  But, they deliberately try to hide the diving board from the general public because of the obvious danger.

A couple of rock outcroppings provide a spot to shoot a photo.  Here you can see the diving board rock at Glacier Point.

Stuart poses on the larger rock out crop.  The view of the falls behind him is perfect.  You have to very careful here as the drop is very dangerous.

Stuart is joined by Sarah and Lou..

The large outcropping frames Half Dome.

Amelia looks comfortable as she stands on the large overhanging rock.

As I creep out onto the diving board and look around I see a bunch of people looking at me.  I snap a photo of some people taking photos of me.

Colorful Snow Plant springs out of the seemingly dry ground.

The hardy hikers pose after a restful lunch inside the small store.  Felt funny sitting inside in a chair surrounded with people, snacks, cold drinks and souvenirs.

I snap five photos in panoramic stich mode.  I select the middle three and stich them together using Canon's Stich Assist.  The Geology Hut is just to my right and Royal Arches across Yosemite valley is on my left.

The hike was tough coming up as it was over 4 miles and over 3000 ft up.  But the hike was in the cool morning shade.  The hike down was easier but warmer due to more sun on the trail.  Well at least the mosquitos were gone.  We encounter quite a few hikers coming up.  Stuart decides to go down fast and I have to run to catch up with him.  Running down hill can be quite exciting and challenging.   Everyone seemd to have a good time today.  I saw many wildflowers along the way and saved myself the frustration of trying to photograph them, I took mental notes instead.  I also saw a nice rock outcrop from the top of Glacier Point that shoud provide clear and close view of Vernal Falls, I found another hiking and photographic goal.