Yesterday, I hiked the Panorama Trail from Glacier Point. This under-appreciated trail travels nearly eight miles from Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley, with views of four waterfalls (passing three of them) and panoramas of eastern Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, and Yosemite’s high country. While I have to say the Four Mile Trail from Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley is quite a nice hike, Panorama Trail is better (yet less popular).

Vernal and Nevada Falls from Glacier Point

Vernal and Nevada Falls from Glacier Point

Yosemite Falls from Glacier Point

Yosemite Falls from Glacier Point

Of course, May is the best time to do this hike because the waterfalls are typically at their highest flows of the  year. Although, having visited Illilouette Fall during spring, summer, and winter, I have to say this waterfall looks great no matter the season, unlike most of Yosemite’s other waterfalls.

Illilouette Fall

Illilouette Fall

P5160089smIllilouette Fall joins the Merced River in Yosemite Valley as the river’s largest tributary and is the only tributary waterfall, other than Bridalveil, that actually flows all year. Unfortunately, the view of Illilouette Fall is a bit uncomfortable and not very good (this view can only be seen from a few square feet, and trying to get a little better view can lead you right over the edge).

The trail climbs up from Illilouette Fall, finally reaching the top of Nevada Fall. The overlook of the waterfall is mightily impressive when the river is high. Of course, the Mist Trail continues down the steep, misty steps below Vernal Fall.

Nevada Fall

Nevada Fall

Vernal Fall from Lady Franklin Rock

Vernal Fall from Lady Franklin Rock

I’ve sat at Lady Franklin Rock for hours, staring at Vernal Fall. There are times I think it’s my favorite. But, then Illilouette has a special place in my heart. And I can’t forget Yosemite Falls, which I see most often; this one may be my favorite. Who cares which is my favorite? They’re all awesome.

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