Mirror Lake – Yosemite National Park – California

We could’ve spent so much more time at Yosemite National Park. We are grateful that we were able to visit this amazing place before COVID-19 was spreading here in the US and the Shelter-in-Place directives were in effect. Yosemite is a really crowded park and I don’t think it would be possible to practice social distancing very well here.

Our Sunday (2/23/20) hike was to Mirror Lake and back. We took the shuttle from the parking lot to stop #17.

Right at the beginning of the hike we had a choice between walking on the paved road or walking on the wooded and rocky trail. It reminded me of the poem, The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost. My 8th grade teacher had our class memorize this poem so I recited it with great gusto to the utter embarrassment of my children! haha 😆

Two roads diverged…

We decided to take the unpaved trail and enjoyed scrambling over rocks and roots along the river. It was about a mile trek to Mirror Lake.

We were surprised to discover that the sign for mirror lake was in front of a dried up lake bed.

Something seems to be missing here…

There was a shallow creek instead of a lake. One of our younger hikers, our youngest hiker in fact, was plumb tuckered out by the time we reached the “lake”. We adults decided, well my better half decided, and I begrudgingly agreeed, that it would be easier to ford the shallow creek and walk back to the shuttle stop on the paved road than to meander back on the rocky trail that we had just powered through.

Ladybug in the gravel by the creek
Fording the creek barefoot

Unfortunately, the water was frigidly cold. I mean really, painfully cold. In the short time it took to cross the creek my feet were really miserable, imagine ice skating barefoot. Ouchy ouch!

We warmed up like cold blooded reptiles on a rock in the sun and enjoyed our bunny gummy snack as a reward for reaching the halfway mark and braving the icy waters.

Warming up our frozen toes

We were really glad that we decided to ford the creek and walk back to the shuttle stop on the paved road. Not because the trip back was enjoyable, but rather the opposite. If our youngest son was cheerfully described as “kinda cranky” on the mile hike to Mirror Lake. He was regrettably described as “throwing a 4-alarm meltdown of a temper tantrum” almost the entire 1-mile walk back! It was a most unpleasant experience. I could’ve written the post without telling you, but you would’ve gotten the wrong idea about the hike. The pictures do look so lovely don’t they? The thing of it is, if you were to ask any one of my three kiddos what their favorite part of our trip to Yosemite was. Each one of them will tell you that the best part of the whole trip was fording that creek barefoot. I wonder if any of them will remember that temper tantrum on the walk back? [insert shrug here] Here’s to remembering the good times!

One last nugget of information I wanted to share, is that Yosemite charges for Junior Ranger workbooks. Instead of spending $3 each for workbooks and plastic badges we decided to purchase metal Junior Ranger badges for $4 each and forgo the workbooks. So far, this is the only park we have visited that charges for Junior Ranger workbooks.

Here are some book recommendations if you are planning to visit Yosemite with kiddos sometime in the future:

In the meantime, stay safe friends! My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of uncertainty, self isolation, and social distancing. We are sending lots of love to you all! ❤️

If you have a specific prayer request, feel free to leave it in the comments below. We would be delighted to add it to our prayer list. 🙏

5 thoughts on “Mirror Lake – Yosemite National Park – California

  1. I enjoyed this post. Yosemite is on our bucket list, and this hike looks like one we would enjoy. I remember how kids can be on a hike, so I appreciate your honesty! I like the idea of hiking one way in and another way back. Stay safe!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s a good bucket list item!
      The only problem with hiking one way there and the other way back was walking through that ridiculously cold water! Although, it didn’t seem to bother anyone else as much as it bothered me! 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was cold….really really cold…I just wasn’t as vocal about it and more worried about the kids stopping in the middle of the creek and me having to go back and get them. I was like….oh dear God, please keep them walking and not stop!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been to Yosemite twice…both times before kids…we’ll have to get them there sometime! And…not take them to half dome…that climb was the scariest in my life. Lots of other good hikes instead 🙂 Looks like a beautiful day you had!

    Liked by 1 person

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