With the Merced Crashing below us and the cliffs towering above us we continue up a paved trail.
About halfway to the bridge there is a nice view of Illilouette Falls. This, like most of the falls, will be just a trickle by mid-summer or dried up entirely.
After about .8mile we come to a bridge across the Merced where we can get a glimpse of Vernal Falls. Many folks stop here. At an elevation of about 5000' it is low enough to be quite hot in summer but high for those not used to the elevation.
Shortly after crossing the bridge we have a choice. We can go up the mist trail or we can take a longer but gentler trail. We're going to take the well named "Mist Trail". Here we encounter steps cut into the granite and we are beginning to see how it got its name. We start to encounter water running down the steps that has been blown from the thundering waterfall.
This is what I was looking for, the rainbow at the bottom of the fall. Beyond here the trail gets very steep. I can continue to the top or turn back here. I can make it but I am short and my joints are stiff. I don't want to have to come back down those steep, wet steps and it is getting too late to take the long route back down. We'll be back in the fall and hike to the top when we have more time and it is not so wet.