Category

Landscape

Yosemite Falls Lunar Rainbow

Astrophotography and Night Scapes, California, Landscape, National Parks, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

After getting word that the waterfalls in Yosemite are pouring at ginormous levels right now (due to a timely combination of last winter’s deep snowpack and recent warm weather), I blasted up to Yosemite Valley for a quickie. Indeed, all the falls were huge. As I drove into the Valley in the dark I could just see Bridalveil and Ribbon Falls going pretty good. A short while later I got a glimpse of Yosemite Falls, also raging. These were high flow levels I had seen in these falls only a few times before in my life, pretty special. I arrived just a few hours before the rising of the full moon Friday night hoping to see the famed “moonbow” of Yosemite Falls. When I got to the foot of Yosemite Falls about 10pm, I joined a small crowd of others who were also there to witness the lunar rainbow. Unfortunately, as I feared, the mist (re: rainstorm) at the foot of Yosemite Falls was so heavy there was no way to keep a camera dry; I was not about to get my gear out for a series of four-minute exposures, I take enough photos underwater as it is. There were a few guys giving it a try, so if they got anything perhaps they’ll publish their shots. Instead I spent the evening hiking around the valley, admiring the walls and falls in the moonlight from the relatively dry vantages of the meadows, a singular experience. At one point I was accompanied by a coyote hunting something (mice?) in one of meadows. We were surrounded by such quiet that I could hear his breathing and digging. It turns out that I did manage to obtain a lunar rainbow photo after all. Although I could not see it with my eyes at the time I took the photo below, the camera managed to capture the rainbow in the lower section of the falls (look hard, you’ll see it).

Upper Yosemite Falls and lunar rainbow, moonbow. A lunar rainbow (moonbow) can be seen to the left of Yosemite Falls, where the moon illuminates the spray of the falls, Yosemite National Park, California

Upper Yosemite Falls and lunar rainbow, moonbow. A lunar rainbow (moonbow) can be seen to the left of Yosemite Falls, where the moon illuminates the spray of the falls.
Image ID: 27751
Location: Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Yosemite Falls by moonlight, reflected in a springtime pool in Cooks Meadow. A lunar rainbow (moonbow) can be seen above the lower section of Yosemite Falls.  Star trails appear in the night sky. Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Falls by moonlight, reflected in a springtime pool in Cooks Meadow. A lunar rainbow (moonbow) can be seen above the lower section of Yosemite Falls. Star trails appear in the night sky. Yosemite Valley.
Image ID: 16093
Location: Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

I spent the next day on the Mist Trail. It was a spectacular day, warm and clear with lots of people enjoying the drenching spray and giddying heights of the Mist and Panorama trails alongside Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls. I got some nice snaps.

Keywords: Yosemite falls, waterfall, yosemite national park, photo, picture, image, lunar, moon, night, photograph.

Photo of Fern Springs, Yosemite National Park

California, Landscape, National Parks, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

Fern Springs, near the entrance to Yosemite Valley, is a quietly running spring that crosses below the road and enters the Merced River. The small cascades offer a change of composition to the photographer looking for something to focus on aside from the towering granite walls and thundering waterfalls for which Yosemite is so well known.

Fern Springs, a small natural spring in Yosemite Valley near the Pohono Bridge, trickles quietly over rocks as it flows into the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California

Fern Springs, a small natural spring in Yosemite Valley near the Pohono Bridge, trickles quietly over rocks as it flows into the Merced River.
Image ID: 12650
Location: Fern Springs, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Fern Springs, a small natural spring in Yosemite Valley near the Pohono Bridge, trickles quietly over rocks as it flows into the Merced River. Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Fern Springs, a small natural spring in Yosemite Valley near the Pohono Bridge, trickles quietly over rocks as it flows into the Merced River. Yosemite Valley.
Image ID: 16084
Location: Fern Springs, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Fern Springs, a small natural spring in Yosemite Valley near the Pohono Bridge, trickles quietly over rocks as it flows into the Merced River. Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Fern Springs, a small natural spring in Yosemite Valley near the Pohono Bridge, trickles quietly over rocks as it flows into the Merced River. Yosemite Valley.
Image ID: 16087
Location: Fern Springs, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Keywords: Fern Springs, Yosemite National Park, photo, picture, image, photograph.

Photo of Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park

California, Landscape, National Parks, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

Tenaya Lake lies in the high country of Yosemite National Park, surrounded by enormous granite domes and coniferous forests.

Tenaya Lake is surrounded by epic granite domes, with Polly Dome on the left.  Late afternoon, viewed from Olmsted Point, Yosemite National Park, California

Tenaya Lake is surrounded by epic granite domes, with Polly Dome on the left. Late afternoon, viewed from Olmsted Point.
Image ID: 09955
Location: Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Tenaya Peak rises above Tenaya Lake near Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California

Tenaya Peak rises above Tenaya Lake near Tuolumne Meadows.
Image ID: 09957
Location: Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Keywords: Tenaya Lake, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, photo, picture, image.

Photo of Mammoth Peak, Yosemite National Park

California, Landscape, National Parks, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

Mammoth Peak rises above Tioga Lake and Tuolumne Meadows in the high country of Yosemite National Park.

Mammoth Peak and alpine meadows in the High Sierra are reflected in Tioga Lake at sunrise. This spectacular location is just a short walk from the Tioga Pass road. Near Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite National Park

Mammoth Peak and alpine meadows in the High Sierra are reflected in Tioga Lake at sunrise. This spectacular location is just a short walk from the Tioga Pass road. Near Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite National Park.
Image ID: 09949
Location: Tioga Lake, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Mammoth Peak in the High Sierra range is reflected in Tioga Lake at sunrise. This spectacular location is just a short walk from the Tioga Pass road. Near Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite National Park

Mammoth Peak in the High Sierra range is reflected in Tioga Lake at sunrise. This spectacular location is just a short walk from the Tioga Pass road. Near Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite National Park.
Image ID: 09948
Location: Tioga Lake, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Keywords: Mammoth Peak, Tioga Lake, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, photo, image, picture.

Photo of Lembert Dome, Yosemite National Park

California, Landscape, National Parks, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

Lembert Dome rises above Tuolumne Meadows in the high country of Yosemite National Park. The hike to the summit of Lembert Dome is easy and leads through a forest of trees before emerging on the backside of the dome, and offers expansive view of the entire Tuolumne Meadows from the top.

Lembert Dome and late afternoon clouds rise above Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra, catching the fading light of sunset, Yosemite National Park, California

Lembert Dome and late afternoon clouds rise above Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra, catching the fading light of sunset.
Image ID: 09939
Location: Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Lembert Dome and late afternoon clouds rise above Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra, catching the fading light of sunset, Yosemite National Park, California

Lembert Dome and late afternoon clouds rise above Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra, catching the fading light of sunset.
Image ID: 09938
Location: Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

The Tuolumne River flows serenely through Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra. Lembert Dome is seen in the background, Yosemite National Park, California

The Tuolumne River flows serenely through Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra. Lembert Dome is seen in the background.
Image ID: 09940
Location: Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Lembert Dome rises above Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra, catching the fading light of sunset, Yosemite National Park, California

Lembert Dome rises above Tuolumne Meadows in the High Sierra, catching the fading light of sunset.
Image ID: 09944
Location: Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Keywords: Lembert Dome, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, photo, image, picture.

Photos of Yosemite Falls in Spring

California, Landscape, National Parks, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

Falling 2425 feet (730m) in three sections, Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in North America and the fifth tallest in the world. During winter, a cone of frozen mist forms at the base of Lower Yosemite Falls. A strenuous hike takes visitors from the valley floor to the precipice of the falls, offering impressive perspective of the falls and their enormity relative to the valley itself. Yosemite Falls flows year round; May and June are most impressive, while flow slows to nearly a trickle during winter months.

Yosemite Falls at peak flow in late spring, viewed from Cooks Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Falls at peak flow in late spring, viewed from Cooks Meadow.
Image ID: 12631
Location: Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Rafters enjoy a Spring day on the Merced River in Yosemite Valley, with Yosemite Falls in the background, Yosemite National Park, California

Rafters enjoy a Spring day on the Merced River in Yosemite Valley, with Yosemite Falls in the background.
Image ID: 09214
Location: Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Yosemite Falls at peak flow in late spring, viewed from Cooks Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Falls at peak flow in late spring, viewed from Cooks Meadow.
Image ID: 12632
Location: Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Upper Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

Upper Yosemite Falls.
Image ID: 05466
Location: Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Keywords: Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Valley, Waterfall, photo. picture, image, photograph.

See more Yosemite Falls photos.

Photo of Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park

Landscape, National Parks, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

Spring is the time to visit Vernal Falls and the famous Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park. Vernal Falls is at peak flow in late May and June, the weather is usually pleasant and the dogwoods are in bloom on the valley floor. We try to make a springtime visit to Yosemite each year to hike the Mist Trail with our daughters. We get soaked by the falls on the way up, soak in the sun and dry off at the top, enjoy a lunch of trail mix and Clif bars alongside other hikers, and leisurely make our way back down the trail later in the afternoon. If one times his visit to Vernal Falls at midday, a rainbow is often visible in front of the falls when viewed from the trail just 100 yards away.

Vernal Falls at peak flow in late spring, with a rainbow appearing in the spray of the falls, viewed from the Mist Trail, Yosemite National Park, California

Vernal Falls at peak flow in late spring, with a rainbow appearing in the spray of the falls, viewed from the Mist Trail.
Image ID: 12634
Location: Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Fern Springs, a small natural spring in Yosemite Valley near the Pohono Bridge, trickles quietly over rocks as it flows into the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California

Fern Springs, a small natural spring in Yosemite Valley near the Pohono Bridge, trickles quietly over rocks as it flows into the Merced River.
Image ID: 12650
Location: Fern Springs, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Vernal Falls at peak flow in late spring. Hikers are seen at the precipice to Vernal Falls, having hiked up the Mist Trail to get there, Yosemite National Park, California

Vernal Falls at peak flow in late spring. Hikers are seen at the precipice to Vernal Falls, having hiked up the Mist Trail to get there.
Image ID: 12635
Location: Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Mountain dogwood, or Pacific dogwood, Yosemite Valley, Cornus nuttallii, Yosemite National Park, California

Mountain dogwood, or Pacific dogwood, Yosemite Valley.
Image ID: 12686
Species: Mountain dogwood, Cornus nuttallii
Location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA

See more Vernal Falls photos.

Keywords: Vernal Falls, waterfall, Yosemite National Park, photo, picture, image, photograph.

Photos of Glacial Erratic Boulders in Yosemite National Park

California, Landscape, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

Above the granite walls surrounding Yosemite Valley are found many examples of glacial erratic boulders. These glacial erratics are so named because they are erratic (i.e., differ materially from the naturally occuring stone nearby) and they were deposited by slow-moving glaciers, sometimes after having been moved a considerable distance (e.g., tens of miles) from their origin.

Glacial erratics atop Olmsted Point. Erratics are huge boulders left behind by the passing of glaciers which carved the granite surroundings into their present-day form, Yosemite National Park, California

Glacial erratics atop Olmsted Point. Erratics are huge boulders left behind by the passing of glaciers which carved the granite surroundings into their present-day form.
Image ID: 09966
Location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Glacial erratics atop Olmsted Point, with Clouds Rest in the background. Erratics are huge boulders left behind by the passing of glaciers which carved the granite surroundings into their present-day form, Yosemite National Park, California

Glacial erratics atop Olmsted Point, with Clouds Rest in the background. Erratics are huge boulders left behind by the passing of glaciers which carved the granite surroundings into their present-day form.
Image ID: 09968
Location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA

A glacial erratic hangs precariously at the precipice to Tenaya Canyon, with Clouds Rest in the background. Erratics are huge boulders left behind by the passing of glaciers which carved the granite surroundings into their present-day form, Yosemite National Park, California

A glacial erratic hangs precariously at the precipice to Tenaya Canyon, with Clouds Rest in the background. Erratics are huge boulders left behind by the passing of glaciers which carved the granite surroundings into their present-day form.
Image ID: 09969
Location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA

The edges of Tenaya Canyon, especially granite expanses at Olmsted Point, are good places to find glacial erratics, as well as the Half Dome and Little Yosemite Valley trails.

Keywords: glacial erratics, glacial erratic boulders, glacier, granite, Yosemite National Park, photo, image, photograph, picture.

Panoramic Photo of Half Dome and Washington Column from Stoneman Meadow, Yosemite Valley

California, Landscape, Panoramas, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

Yosemite Valley offers panoramic views that, in many cases, cannot be effectively captured with a single photograph (a frame of film or a single digital image capture). Stitching photographs together digitally offers a way to produce panoramic images using non-panoramic cameras. Below is an example of this technique, considering Half Dome and Washington Column viewed from Stoneman Meadow in Spring. A series of eight digital photographs were taken, with considerable overlap between each, and then stitched together using software to produce a panorama that spans 270 degrees along the horizontal plane:

Half Dome (center) and Washington Column (left), late afternoon in spring, viewed from Ahwahnee Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California

Half Dome (center) and Washington Column (left), late afternoon in spring, viewed from Ahwahnee Meadow.
Image ID: 07152
Location: Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Keywords: Yosemite Valley photo, Half Dome, Washington Column, picture, panorama, photograph, image, panoramic photo, stitching, QTVR, Quick Time Virtual Realit