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Yosemite's Waterfalls Are Booming

WalnutBaron

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For those of you who are planning to visit Northern California this spring, I highly recommend you take the time to visit Yosemite. Thanks to the near-record snowfall we've had here this past winter and spring, Yosemite's waterfalls are thundering! The last time I saw them like this was in 1998. Of course, the waterfalls are always beautiful, but they've been pretty lean during our five year drought. Gratefully, the drought has been broken--and God's handiwork is on full display.

This is the iconic Yosemite Falls (upper section).


This is Vernal Falls, with the Mist Trail in the foreground.


My personal favorite: Bridalveil Falls, near the entrance to Yosemite Valley.


Nevada Falls--a lesser-known, but powerful waterfall, also on the Mist Trail.



Illilouette Falls, also located in the Valley



And finally, Ribbon Falls--the tallest waterfall in North America, which flows only seasonally, but which is on full display right now and probably through July this year. Enjoy!
 

DaveNV

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Great images. We're making a trip to Yosemite next year. For all the ~40 National Parks I've been to, and being a West Coast guy, I can't believe I've never been there. :doh:

Dave
 

WalnutBaron

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You'll love it, Dave. If you're in reasonably good shape, I recommend getting out of the Valley, which is terrifically overcrowded--particularly between Memorial Day and Labor Day. You can hike on some of the many well-marked and well-maintained trails to get away from the madding crowds and into some of the truly spectacular beauty of Yosemite. I have a couple of other recommendations: 1) take the time to visit the Mariposa Grove--a fantastic grove of Sequoias that are among the biggest trees in the world. You'll feel like a hobbit; 2) get a reservation at the dining room of what used to be called (and still should be!) The Ahwahnee Hotel. It's a lovely dining room in its own right, but made more so by the giant picture windows at the far end which frame Yosemite Falls. The food is good, not great, but it's not overpriced at all--and the experience of enjoying a meal in that one-of-a-kind setting is something you'll always remember.
 

klpca

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Ahhh...you are making me want to go! I have never seen Illilouette Falls. Have to make a trip.
 

klpca

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You'll love it, Dave. If you're in reasonably good shape, I recommend getting out of the Valley, which is terrifically overcrowded--particularly between Memorial Day and Labor Day. You can hike on some of the many well-marked and well-maintained trails to get away from the madding crowds and into some of the truly spectacular beauty of Yosemite. I have a couple of other recommendations: 1) take the time to visit the Mariposa Grove--a fantastic grove of Sequoias that are among the biggest trees in the world. You'll feel like a hobbit; 2) get a reservation at the dining room of what used to be called (and still should be!) The Ahwahnee Hotel. It's a lovely dining room in its own right, but made more so by the giant picture windows at the far end which frame Yosemite Falls. The food is good, not great, but it's not overpriced at all--and the experience of enjoying a meal in that one-of-a-kind setting is something you'll always remember.
My daughter had her "wedding reception" at the Ahwahnee last September. It was breathtakingly beautiful - the perfect ending to a perfect day. They had a piano player there on Friday night and he played the theme from Harry Potter. We kind of felt like we were at Hogwarts.
 

sue1947

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IMO, you need to visit Yosemite multiple times to see it in various seasons. In April and May the waterfalls are the star attraction both in the Valley and over at Hetch Hetchy. Flowers start blooming outside the park in April and march up the valleys through May when the dogwood trees are putting on a show. In the summer, the Valley is a zoo but the eastern high country is the place to be with hikes into the backcountry or Tuolumne Meadows. Staying on the eastern side at June Lake or Mammoth Lakes is a good option. In the fall, the Tioga Pass area has great fall colors in late September along with the rest of the Eastern Sierra. In October, I really like Glacier Point and the hikes along the rim along with a nice lunch at the old lodge at Wawona or a walk through the Mariposa Grove. The latter is also a great place to snowshoe in the winter as is Badger Point/Glacier Point Road. They are redoing the Mariposa Grove and I think it is closed right now but I'm anxious to see the changes when it reopens.

Sue
 

Greg G

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Wow, those are breathtaking photos. So I want to go when the waterfalls are decent but not to early where the roads would be closed due to snow. So for a typical non-drought year, how late can you typically go and still see pretty decent water falls? I thought maybe early to mid June?

Greg
 

mjm1

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Great pictures. Thanks for sharing them. We haven't been there in years, so may have to stop by on our way to the Bay Area from Vegas. It is an amazing experience.

Best regards.

Mike
 

WalnutBaron

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Wow, those are breathtaking photos. So I want to go when the waterfalls are decent but not to early where the roads would be closed due to snow. So for a typical non-drought year, how late can you typically go and still see pretty decent water falls? I thought maybe early to mid June?

Greg
In a normal year, the waterfall peak is late April through May. This year is anything but normal. I would imagine the falls will be booming into early July, though the peak will likely still be May.
 

MuranoJo

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Absolutely gorgeous photos. Thanks for sharing. So much to do, so little time.
 

DaveNV

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Absolutely gorgeous photos. Thanks for sharing. So much to do, so little time.
I know, right? I've decided working is interfering with my vacation time... :)

Dave
 
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JudyH

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Love those pictures. This is from our trip on March 27. 4:15 pm the rainbow came out. It was our first trip ever to Yosemite. It was wonderful. This is Tunnel View.
 
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WalnutBaron

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Just saw a local news story indicating that--while the peak for Yosemite's waterfalls is typically late May--it will come this year during the middle two weeks of June due to the huge snowpack in the Sierras. For those of you wondering if you've missed the show, it's not too late! There is so much water this year that the falls will be roaring beyond your imagination.
 

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These photos are beautiful. We visited this park in May one year with family from Europe but the waterfalls were not as full as in the pictures here. It was still breathtaking. Isn't this the time that the Dogwood white flowers are in bloom too?

This is a very special year and also for people who like to ski. :)
 

WalnutBaron

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Unfortunately, the dogwood bloom is past. It usually occurs from mid-April to early May. I agree! The dogwoods in Yosemite are just beautiful. It is one of my favorite trees--very graceful and beautiful.
 

taffy19

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Thanks. We have been to Yosemite several times so do not remember when it was but we saw the dogwoods in bloom and found it beautiful too. We have always seen water flowing over several waterfalls and even in the fall but nothing like in your pictures this year. It's my favorite NP but I like them all.

WalnutBaron, you may be interested in this exhibit that is coming your way pretty soon. :) He has done beautiful photography of our National Parks and so much more. A true artist.
 

WalnutBaron

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Wow! Fantastic. Thanks so much. It is now on my calendar.
 

WinniWoman

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Thanks. We have been to Yosemite several times so do not remember when it was but we saw the dogwoods in bloom and found it beautiful too. We have always seen water flowing over several waterfalls and even in the fall but nothing like in your pictures this year. It's my favorite NP but I like them all.

WalnutBaron, you may be interested in this exhibit that is coming your way pretty soon. :) He has done beautiful photography of our National Parks and so much more. A true artist.

I just might be ordering his coffee table book. Looks awesome.
 

LMD

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Cool! We got an exchange for Yosemite in August. First time there. This makes it even more exciting!
 
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