The guidebooks I looked as (because I had to pick the outing for that day) said this hike was about 4 miles around the lake. I think they were wrong!!! And I was dead tired when we got through! I think it was closer to 5 or 5 1/2 miles. The lake is shrinking and some grasses are growing in part of it. They said that originally it was called Mirror Lake because you could see a perfect reflection of the Half Dome in it when it was bigger. But it was still really nice and we took the path on the far side instead of the paved on the one side. Either way, you still went all the way around it but we lost some of the visitors that only went on the paved side up to the lake and not on the dirt trail that followed around it, which was very nice. We had to take a shuttle to get to the beginning of the hike, and it was supposed to be a mile from the shuttle stop to the beginning of the lake, and then the one mile back from that point and 2.2 miles around the lake for a total of 4.2 miles.
This picture was taken on the paved side, just before we got off on the dirt trail. As you can see lots of people.
We followed a creek on the way to the lake.
My friend Lynda ahead of me and I think her husband was behind me but the trail was so m much quieter. We could hear a girl's group all signing loudly on the paved trail on the other side of the creek for a little way.
Some huge boulders along the way and lots of trees.
Now we are almost at the beginning of the lake. More people on the rocks but not as many as we'd feared. We found a nice quiet spot to eat our lunch before we continued on.
A little bird by the lake
And a duck swimming around I think looking for her baby. We had seen the younger duck playing by some rocks that created little waterfalls in the water and he seemed to be having a great time riding those little things Not many ducks there, and she was just a little further away and I don't think she knew where he was.
Beautiful pic of the reflection of part of the huge rock in the water.
Following the lake to where it is ending and then the trail.
Beautiful sides of the canyon
The creek continues on beyond the lake
As we left the lake behind and got onto the main dirt trail again we had to go through the trail on this landslide. The trail was perfectly passable but for a little bit there was no trees to shade us and the sun on those rocks was hot. But we soon got back in shade again.
We came to and crossed a bridge that the guide books said was the halfway point no matter which way you went.
Then we had to climb what seemed like a million stone steps but it wasn't really anywhere near that ha ha But I don't like the steps. I'd rather go up the trail itself but they are there for protection from erosion and maybe also to make it easier for some people coming from the other direction to go down.
more beautiful trail
As we got closer to the paved trail, and more people, we saw this area that you could climb up a number of steps and they had lots of rock formations. My friends thought it was some kind of religious collection but they were carefully put together with rocks pilled on rocks and there were a lot of them.
From there on we were hiking back around the small lake and seeing much of the same scenery we saw from the other side And I was too tired to take any more pictures! That hike totally wore me out!
After we rode the shuttle back to the car, we went back to Yosemite Village where Lynda and her husband Tom looked at some more stuff in the stores. I sat outside and told them to take their time. I was too tired to walk more. I sat on a bench with another lady, a few years older than me, who was also resting while waiting for her family that was shopping. We had also been in these 2 days before I think and there wasn't anything I wanted at that point.
As we were driving back out of the very large area we passed a meadow where we saw search and rescue vehicles, personnel, and a helicopter. And of course a lot of people watching. I have a 21 zoom on my camera so we were way out of the way when I took this.
We were told that a climber had to be airlifted down from this peak by the meadow.
We couldn't find out any more, and when Is searched the internet today I could only find information on a climber in April and not one in June. But it looked like they loaded someone and took off with the helicopter. The rescue in the fire truck stayed though. Then we saw a different helicopter come in and land, and then take off again about 10 minutes or so later. My oldest son had ridden in helicopters as a paramedic, then a flight nurse, and now he's an administrator over 20 places that are part of a large company. But his are flights to traffic accidents, hospital to hospital, and all those kinds of things. I told my friend it's like the difference between a firefighter who fights fires in buildings and one who fights wildfires. They are both exceedingly important and dangerous, but very different. So is the search and rescue helicopters from the regular medical helicopters.
I want to thank all those that have responded to my previous blogs. I haven't had a chance to answer each one. Several have mentioned that it brings back memories of visits they had there at some point in time, or it's on their bucket list to do. It definitely was on my bucket list. I just wish I had the strength and stamina to hike more of it because it's so beautiful!