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Re: Waterwheel Falls - worth it this year?

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Waterwheel Falls - worth it this year?
June 29, 2013 01:21AM

We are planning a mini HSC trip with our 7 year old from the 8th of July. We are staying in TM to acclimatise then a night each in GA and ML. It will be her first overnight hiking trip so we want to make it comfortable so hopefully further down the track we can try her with proper backpacking.

Have noticed that some space has opened up at GA and ML around our dates and am contemplating adding an extra day at GA so that we can go down to Waterwheel falls (she loves waterfalls) but am not sure whether there will be enough water to make it worthwhile?

It would mean we would lose a night on the Valley Floor (from 3 to 2) and my partner and the kidlet have never been to Yosemite so am not sure whether the extra night there would be the better choice with a small person in tow. As when we come down from ML we will go via Tenaya Lake and stop at Olmstead Point and maybe Tunnel View on the way down the valley if we changed it we would only have one full day on the valley floor, as on the way out we will go via Wawona.

Thoughts? And thank you smiling smiley
avatar Re: Waterwheel Falls - worth it this year?
June 29, 2013 07:12AM
If you partner and kidlet have never seen Yosemite before I recommend skipping Waterwheel in favor of some "must see" features of the park like Mariposa Grove near Wawonna and Glacier Point overlook. On the way back from Glacier point you could take in the 2.2 mile round trip trail to the top of Sentinel Dome (an easy climb) for a higher view of the valley, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and a whole lot more. The grove, the point and the dome would fill much of one day and I think would provide a better experience for first timers than trekking down the Grand Canyon. Another option is to spend much of a day climbing the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall and possibly up to Nevada Fall if your child wants to see waterfalls up close. We enjoyed taking our son to Yosemite for the first time, going up to Washburn and Glacier Points, pointing at Vernal and Nevada and telling him, "That's where we are going tomorrow".
You folks will already get some nice views of rapids and some smaller falls on the descent to Glen Aulin HSC from Tuolumne Meadows, or ascent if you are going the other direction.
Re: Waterwheel Falls - worth it this year?
June 29, 2013 07:14AM
Water Wheels is pretty great but I don't think it's worth missing that extra day in the Valley, especially for folks who have never been to Yosemite. It will give you time to go up to Glacier and maybe do a hike up Sentinel and out to Taft, etc.
Re: Waterwheel Falls - worth it this year?
June 29, 2013 09:44AM
Thanks for the input - I think we will stick with plan A and 3 nights in Curry - 6 nights in Yosemite is going to be awesome. I've never been down as far as Waterwheel Falls so wasn't sure if it was worth swapping things round for. We will definitely do the Mist Trail and Glacier Point and will leave the park via Mariposa Grove on the last day. The Sentinel Dome hike is a good suggestion - after the HSCs think she may need a day of smaller walks.

I grew up in California so know the park quite well and am so excited to be bringing the family as we are currently based in Australia. Is really cute - the kidlet is more excited about Yosemite than Disneyland and just can't wait. She has been insisting on taking her hiking backpack to school to practice and has made us all special Yosemite notebooks to write down the things we see! Am hoping the enthusiasm will last us on the leg from GA to ML as that will be our longest!
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