Tag

Waterfalls

Photo of Nevada Falls, Yosemite National Park

California, Landscape, National Parks, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

Nevada Falls is one of Yosemite’s most spectacular waterfalls but is only reached with some effort. A 3.5 mile hike (one-way) up the Mist Trail, which includes a good soaking while passing by Vernal Falls along the way, is required to reach the summit of Nevada Falls, including 1900′ of vertical ascent. Nevada Falls lies, along with Vernal Falls, in the joints of narrow Little Yosemite Valley, faults in the valley that form angles and walls as the glacier-formed valley descends from Yosemite’s backcountry down to the main valley floor. It is at the joints that Nevada and Vernal falls occur, both dropping over sheer granite walls into boulder-strewn riverbeds below. Above Nevada Falls the Merced River flows placidly, green and glassy through pine forests. In the last several hundred yards before the brink, the river slopes downward a bit and increases in speed, enough that when it reaches the brink it shoots out dramatically and thunders 600′ down to the huge boulders before racing through forests to Vernal Falls 1.5 miles downstream. The hike to Nevada Falls begins at the summit of Vernal Falls, a natural resting point for the hiker who has just finished the soaking wet, thigh-burner steps alongside Vernal and needs a breather to recover and dry off in the sun. Leaving Vernal behind, one hikes through brief switchbacks open to the sun (not hot yet, since you are still wet) then through trees that obscure Nevada Falls for a while. After a half-mile or so the trees begin to open up, yielding stunning views of Nevada ahead. The trail then moves to a series of switchbacks among granite boulders that pass alongside Nevada Falls, near enough that one really appreciates the power manifest in the enormous amounts of water barreling over the cliff. Finally the summit is achieved, offering broad views of Little Yosemite Valley below all the across to Glacier Point. A bridge over the Merced River is placed just before the Merced plunges over the falls, and wide granite aprons on either side of the river make for great picnic spots. For the descent to Vernal Falls and the valley, its best to take the alternate route back down via the John Muir trail as it has superb views of Nevada Falls with Half Dome and Liberty Cap rising above it.

Nevada Falls marks where the Merced River plummets almost 600 through a joint in the Little Yosemite Valley, shooting out from a sheer granite cliff and then down to a boulder pile far below, Yosemite National Park, California

Nevada Falls marks where the Merced River plummets almost 600 through a joint in the Little Yosemite Valley, shooting out from a sheer granite cliff and then down to a boulder pile far below.
Image ID: 16114
Location: Nevada Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Nevada Falls, with Liberty Cap (center) and Half Dome (left). Nevada Falls marks where the Merced River plummets almost 600 through a joint in the Little Yosemite Valley, shooting out from a sheer granite cliff and then down to a boulder pile far below, Yosemite National Park, California

Nevada Falls, with Liberty Cap (center) and Half Dome (left). Nevada Falls marks where the Merced River plummets almost 600 through a joint in the Little Yosemite Valley, shooting out from a sheer granite cliff and then down to a boulder pile far below.
Image ID: 16115
Location: Nevada Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Nevada Falls marks where the Merced River plummets almost 600 through a joint in the Little Yosemite Valley, shooting out from a sheer granite cliff and then down to a boulder pile far below, Yosemite National Park, California

Nevada Falls marks where the Merced River plummets almost 600 through a joint in the Little Yosemite Valley, shooting out from a sheer granite cliff and then down to a boulder pile far below.
Image ID: 16116
Location: Nevada Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Keywords: Nevada Falls, waterfall, Yosemite National Park<

Bridalveil Falls Rainbow

California, Landscape, National Parks, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

During spring months with heavy water flow, it is easy to see a rainbow in Bridalveil Falls: just visit the falls a short while before sunset and watch as the colors climb up the plummeting water as the sun sinks behind you.

Bridalveil Falls with a rainbow forming in its spray, dropping 620 into Yosemite Valley, displaying peak water flow in spring months from deep snowpack and warm weather melt.  Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Bridalveil Falls with a rainbow forming in its spray, dropping 620 into Yosemite Valley, displaying peak water flow in spring months from deep snowpack and warm weather melt. Yosemite Valley.
Image ID: 16160
Location: Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Keywords: bridalveil falls, yosemite national park, photo, picture, image, waterfall, photograph.

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 Paradise Falls, Mt. Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier, National Parks, Washington

Last summer we visited Mt. Rainier National Park for the first time. We timed our visit to coincide with the peak flower bloom in Paradise Meadows, and we were not disappointed. The weather was spectacular, hardly a cloud in the sky, and we enjoyed hiking and driving the route around the mountain. Mt. Rainier has countless streams, creeks and rivers, all of which have cascades and falls to photograph. Our favorite was Paradise Falls, appropriately, on Paradise Creek:

Paradise Falls tumble over rocks in Paradise Creek, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Paradise Falls tumble over rocks in Paradise Creek.
Image ID: 13867
Location: Paradise Creek, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, USA

Paradise Falls tumble over rocks in Paradise Creek, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Paradise Falls tumble over rocks in Paradise Creek.
Image ID: 13869
Location: Paradise Creek, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, USA

Paradise Falls tumble over rocks in Paradise Creek, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Paradise Falls tumble over rocks in Paradise Creek.
Image ID: 13868
Location: Paradise Creek, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, USA

More waterfall photos.

Keywords: Paradise Falls, Paradise creek, Mt. Rainier National Park, waterfall

Photo of Marymere Falls, Olympic National Park

National Parks, Olympic, Washington

Marymere Falls is located near Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park. 90 feet high, Marymere Falls marks the spot where Barnes Creeks drops down a vertical rock face on its descent to nearby Lake Crescent. An easy one-mile trail leads the visitor from the Storm King ranger station on the shores of Lake Crescent through a peaceful forest of massive sword ferns and soaring cedar and fir trees. Kids will enjoy the corrugated metal tunnel under old Highway 101 and the narrow wooden bridge over Barnes Creek. At the end of the trail, a brief ascent offers two lookouts from which to admire Marymere Falls.

Marymere Falls cascades 90 feet through an old-growth forest of Douglas firs, near Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park, Washington

Marymere Falls cascades 90 feet through an old-growth forest of Douglas firs, near Lake Crescent.
Image ID: 13765
Location: Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

Marymere Falls drops 90 feet through an old-growth forest of Douglas firs, near Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park, Washington

Marymere Falls drops 90 feet through an old-growth forest of Douglas firs, near Lake Crescent.
Image ID: 13768
Location: Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

See more Marymere Falls photos.

Photo of Sol Duc Falls, Olympic National Park

National Parks, Olympic, Washington

Sol Duc Falls is one of the gems of Olympic National Park. Located in the Sol Duc Valley, not far from the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, the trail to Sol Duc Falls is an easy 1.5 mile round trip walk through old growth hemlock and douglas fir trees (some of which are over 300 years old). Sol Duc Falls itself drops over a sandstone brim into three separate falls, joining again at the bottom to flow under a dramatic wooden footbridge that crosses the river. Just before reaching the river, hikers encounter the Canyon Creek shelter, an old wooden cabin with cupola built by the Civilian Conservation Corps — its worth a peek inside.

Sol Duc Falls.  Sol Duc Falls is one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in Olympic National Park, seen here from a bridge that crosses the canyon just below the falls. Surrounding the falls is an old-growth forest of hemlocks and douglas firs, some of which are three hundred years in age, Sol Duc Springs

Sol Duc Falls. Sol Duc Falls is one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in Olympic National Park, seen here from a bridge that crosses the canyon just below the falls. Surrounding the falls is an old-growth forest of hemlocks and douglas firs, some of which are three hundred years in age.
Image ID: 13747
Location: Sol Duc Springs, Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

Old growth forest of douglas firs and hemlocks, with forest floor carpeted in ferns and mosses.  Sol Duc Springs, Olympic National Park, Washington

Old growth forest of douglas firs and hemlocks, with forest floor carpeted in ferns and mosses. Sol Duc Springs.
Image ID: 13757
Location: Sol Duc Springs, Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

Sol Duc Falls. Sol Duc Falls is one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in Olympic National Park. Surrounding the falls is an old-growth forest of hemlocks and douglas firs, some of which are three hundred years in age, Sol Duc Springs

Sol Duc Falls. Sol Duc Falls is one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in Olympic National Park. Surrounding the falls is an old-growth forest of hemlocks and douglas firs, some of which are three hundred years in age.
Image ID: 13750
Location: Sol Duc Springs, Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

Log cabin on the trail to Sol Duc Falls, Sol Duc Springs, Olympic National Park, Washington

Log cabin on the trail to Sol Duc Falls.
Image ID: 13764
Location: Sol Duc Springs, Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

Here are more photos of Sol Duc Falls

Photo of Artist Point, Yellowstone National Park

National Parks, Wyoming, Yellowstone

Road Trip: Day 7

Artist Point is a popular and dramatic spot to view Yellowstone Falls. The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone lies before you with its steep cliffs and striking yellow-orange-pink colors, the result iron oxidation and sulfur in the soil. The Yellowstone River churns at the bottom of the canyon, having just fallen 308 feet down Lower Yellowstone Falls, on its way to Tower Falls another 15 miles away. In midsummer, if the wind in the canyon and the spray from the falls cooperate, a rainbow will appear to the right of Lower Yellowstone Falls when viewed from Artist Point around 10:00am. If you are spending the day (or more) in the Canyon area of Yellowstone National Park and are into waterfalls, canyons and hiking, you owe it to yourself to hike both Uncle Tom’s Trail on the north side of the canyon, which offers a dramatic and close view of the falls near their base, and the trail to Red Rock Point on the south side of the canyon, below Lookout Point. They are steep but my kids (3 and 7 years) did both with me in one day.

A rainbow appears in the mist of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River.  A long exposure blurs the fast-flowing water.  At 308 feet, the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River is the tallest fall in the park.  This view is from the famous and popular Artist Point on the south side of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  When conditions are perfect in midsummer, a morning rainbow briefly appears in the falls, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

A rainbow appears in the mist of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. A long exposure blurs the fast-flowing water. At 308 feet, the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River is the tallest fall in the park. This view is from the famous and popular Artist Point on the south side of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. When conditions are perfect in midsummer, a morning rainbow briefly appears in the falls.
Image ID: 13331
Location: Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Keywords: artist point, lower yellowstone falls, waterfall, grand canyon of the yellowstone, yellowstone river, yellowstone national park.

Photo of Yellowstone Falls from Lookout Point, Yellowstone National Park

National Parks, Wyoming, Yellowstone

Road Trip: Day 6

Yellowstone Falls marks the point at which the Yellowstone River plunges 308 feet into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. It is a spectacular waterfall, one of the highlights Yellowstone National Park. (Actually, there are two falls, Upper Yellowstone Falls and Lower Yellowstone Falls, within a short distance of one another. Lower Yellowstone Falls is the one pictured here.) Fortunately, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (aka “Canyon”) offers several excellent vantage points to view the Lower Yellowstone Falls — Artist Point, Lookout Point, Red Rock Point, Uncle Tom’s Trail and the Brink of Lower Falls. In July I photographed the Yellowstone Falls with its morning rainbow, one day from Lookout Point and another day from Artist Point. In mid-July, if the wind in the canyon and the spray from the falls cooperate, a rainbow will appear to the right of Lower Yellowstone Falls when viewed from Lookout Point around 10:15am. The rainbow appears at Artist Point at almost the same time. Since Artist Point in on the other side of the canyon, you will be hard-pressed to witness the rainbow from both Lookout Point and Artist Point on the same day, unless you have a rocket-sled with which to jump the gorge.

A rainbow appears in the mist of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River.  At 308 feet, the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River is the tallest fall in the park.  This view is from Lookout Point on the North side of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  When conditions are perfect in midsummer, a midmorning rainbow briefly appears in the falls, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

A rainbow appears in the mist of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. At 308 feet, the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River is the tallest fall in the park. This view is from Lookout Point on the North side of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. When conditions are perfect in midsummer, a midmorning rainbow briefly appears in the falls.
Image ID: 13327
Location: Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Keywords: lower yellowstone falls, waterfall, grand canyon of the yellowstone, yellowstone river, yellowstone national park.

Photo of Gibbon Falls, Yellowstone National Park

National Parks, Wyoming, Yellowstone

Road Trip: Day 5

Gibbon Falls, on the Gibbon River between Madison Junction and Norris Geyser Basin, is one of the most stunning waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park. Gibbon Falls marks the point at which the Gibbon River flows off Yellowstone’s northern escarpment and drops into the Park’s lower volcanic caldera region. Many descriptions of Gibbon Falls state how uninspiring this waterfall is viewed from the road, or how crowded the roadside pullouts are, or complain-whine-wahwahwah. What these folks don’t realize is that it takes a little bit of work to get to the most best vantage point. Most visitors see Gibbon Falls from the pullouts on the road above the falls, which do not offer a good feel of the power and beauty of this waterfall. Instead, at the lower of the two pullouts, park and hop over the wall. With boots or good shoes, slide-jump-tumble-hop down the dirt hill to the river, then follow the fisherman’s trail up the river to the foot of the falls. Yes, you’ll get some dirt in your shoes and then they will get soaked in the Gibbon River, since there are a number of spots you’ll need to wade across the river as you move upstream. In summer the river is warm and the knee deep walk through the whitewater is lots of fun. Use your walking stick or tripod to keep your balance, and put your camera in a dry bag, ziploc or whatever. You may find yourself accompanied by one or two fly fishermen as well who generally have this section of the river all to themselves. The fellow in the photograph was catching lots of tiny little trout-something-or-others and letting them all go. For photography, the best time to shoot this is midday, since at that time you’ll have the entire falls lit evenly with no shadow or contrast problems.

Fly fishing below Gibbon Falls. This flyfisherman hiked up the Gibbon River to reach the foot of Gibbon Falls, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Fly fishing below Gibbon Falls. This flyfisherman hiked up the Gibbon River to reach the foot of Gibbon Falls.
Image ID: 13269
Location: Gibbon River, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Keywords: gibbon falls, gibbon river, waterfall, yellowstone national park.