Yesterday I went for a short, solo hike up to Columbia Rock. This is the lookout point after the first mile up the Upper Yosemite Falls trail. When I first came to the park I hiked up there daily before work. I got it down to a quick hike that I could do in 20 mins up and 15 mins back, depending on how many tourists were on the trail. But this was the first time that I went up there specifically just to go to Columbia Rock in months.
I got about halfway up and was feeling pretty out of it. I haven’t really been consistent about hiking all winter. I thought about just turning around and going home but then I came to what I consider the halfway point. It may actually be a little farther up than a half mile. It’s when you get out of the woodsy switchbacks and into the sun. There are a couple large boulders on your left. Yesterday, at this point, there was water running all across the trail! There was a clear mini falls coming from the top of the cliffs up left and the water was coming down and hitting these boulders creating another little falls that sprayed me as I walked across the stream. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. The sound of running water is just so rejuvenating and it was so beautiful. Hikers were giving me looks when they passed me. I was alone, laughing, and playing in the water. But I didn't care what they thought! I was here all last winter and it was so dry that there was no real noticeable change when the Spring came. But now, the entire trail just seemed alive and green and beautiful!
The last half of the hike up there was a noticeable spring in my step (pun intended). I made it up to Columbia Rock. Looking out on the valley with a cool breeze blowing across my face, I almost cried. I saw Yosemite Valley with the same eyes I saw it with years ago when I first hiked these cliffs and stood looking down at it. The Merced River was raging. I could see the rapids and clearly see the way the river snaked through the valley. Sentinel Rock and snowcapped Half Dome just sitting there in clear skies. I sat there for longer than it took me to hike up to it. A couple ravens flew around in the air above me. They came close enough to my face that I could see their eyes and hear the wind in their wings. Majestic is the only word to describe it. I sat there just smiling and laughing as the birds danced in the air. I felt like a child.
My love for the valley was washed new with the Spring waters. What I just wrote is super cheesy… but I can’t explain it any other way! I felt the sun on my skin for what felt like the first time in months. I could have stayed there all day. I have been feeling a little down and bored here through the winter. This seemingly small hike really helped me.
What refreshes you?
My name is Brenna. I'm documenting my life in Yosemite National Park and beyond! I aspire to live a healthy life while exploring outdoors and challenging my comfort zones!