Wednesday, October 18, 2017

My Perfect Yosemite Moment - 8 AM Hike To Mirror Lake

The fantasy spurred this trip to Yosemite was a chance to relive the magic I remember of Yosemite as a kid.  So Monday morning I got up early, caught a shuttle to the Mirror Lake trail, then wandered up the trail, by myself.  Well, just me and my camera.  I paused a bit reading the sign that warned of Mountain Lions and that you shouldn't go alone.

It's such a beautiful trail.  My pictures don't do it justice.  But for an hour or so, I was alone in Yosemite hiking to through the quiet woods to a spot I remember vividly as a little kid.  There were warnings that by October the lake is really mostly sandy beach, but I was willing to try to find some reflection in Mirror Lake.

Here's a bit of the trail that goes through different kinds of terrain.

It's about a mile hike from where the shuttle bus lets you off.  And relatively flat.  Not like the Vernal Falls hike.

Later I thought about all the huge boulders everywhere and how it's clear that they come from the walls of granite that surround you everywhere in Yosemite.  They most come down sometime.  Fortunately, not while I was there.

And everywhere you are, if you look up, you see those massive chunks of granite towering above you. The wide angle lens takes away the closeness and sheer size of rock, but the regular lens can't catch the whole rock.

I didn't see any mountain lions, but I did see a huge pile of pretty fresh bear poo.  I'll spare you the picture, but I did check with a ranger because it was very different from the bear scat I'm used to in Alaska.

And there was enough water to get a good mirror image of the mountains of  rock above.

It was still very smoky from the Northern California fires.  Our car had ash on it each morning.

With the low water level revealing the sand, it looked a lot like a Zen garden.

And here's one of those walls above Mirror Lake.

It was a magical hike.  All alone on this beautiful trail.  I didn't see anyone until after I'd been at the lake about 20 minutes.  It was what I went to Yosemite for and was wonderful.


  1. I was there in May. There was so much water from the snow melt that there was a pretty good current running through so no still water for reflections. I did get some good shots of Yosemite Falls and Half Dome mirrored in the standing water in the central meadows.

    Mirror Lake is a slight incline going in. Took me 90 min. to walk in and 45 to walk back. That's with lots of rest breaks as I'm old and have a bad back. If I had known you could drive in part of the way I would have done that.

  2. Wow, I knew there was lots of snow last winter, but didn't realize the water flow disturbed the reflection in Mirror Lake. Lots of folks of all different fitness levels walking to see the sights in the park. Thanks for leaving a note.

  3. Wonderful series. Your photos are great: if they don't do the place justice, you were in heaven. Spent some great vacations with family there when I was very young. Glad to see it has not been ruined by commercialism and hordes.


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