Tag

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Valley in Spring, May 2018

California, National Parks, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

I try to get into Yosemite Valley each Spring, usually in May since that is when Yosemite’s waterfalls are at their most impressive. This year I spent a couple days photographing and hiking in early May. The dogwood bloom was peaking and, while I am not a wildflower photographer, I took a few images of them for posterity seeing as they were so nice. But the true motivation for me was, as always, making several hikes under blue skies and puffy clouds. Enjoying Spring in Yosemite requires that one skillfully avoid traffic and crowds, but fortunately during a lifetime in California I’ve learned a few things about how to negotiate an increasingly crowded Yosemite Valley, and I managed to hike around to nearly all my favorite spots over two long days. Chief among them was a requisite quickie jaunt up the Mist Trail (best in May, bring your poncho). I came away with a handful of nice images. They are not the usual moody sunset/sunrise views that most landscape photographers are after; I prefer to depict Yosemite in midday since that’s when the hiking is best! Canvas and face-mounted acrylic prints are available, with each of the following photographs available up to 60″ in the long dimension. Cheers, and thanks for looking!

Vernal Falls at peak flow in late spring, viewed from the Mist Trail, Yosemite National Park, California

Vernal Falls at peak flow in late spring, viewed from the Mist Trail
Image ID: 34539
Location: Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Bridalveil Falls at sunset, with clouds and blue sky in the background. Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite drops 620 feet (188 m) from a hanging valley to the floor of Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Bridalveil Falls at sunset, with clouds and blue sky in the background. Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite drops 620 feet (188 m) from a hanging valley to the floor of Yosemite Valley.
Image ID: 34540
Location: Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Half Dome and Clouds Rest, Sunset, Yosemite National Park

Half Dome and Clouds Rest, Sunset, Yosemite National Park
Image ID: 34541
Location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Yosemite Valley Tunnel View, Storm clouds at sunset, Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Valley Tunnel View, Storm clouds at sunset, Yosemite National Park
Image ID: 34542
Location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Cathedral Rocks at sunrise, reflected in a spring meadow flooded by the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California

Cathedral Rocks at sunrise, reflected in a spring meadow flooded by the Merced River.
Image ID: 34546
Location: Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Yosemite Falls rises above the Merced River, viewed from the Swinging Bridge. The 2425' falls is the tallest in North America, Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite Falls rises above the Merced River, viewed from the Swinging Bridge. The 2425′ falls is the tallest in North America
Image ID: 34547
Location: Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Upper Yosemite Falls near peak flow in spring. Yosemite Falls, at 2425 feet tall (730m) is the tallest waterfall in North America and fifth tallest in the world, Yosemite National Park, California

Upper Yosemite Falls near peak flow in spring. Yosemite Falls, at 2425 feet tall (730m) is the tallest waterfall in North America and fifth tallest in the world
Image ID: 34550
Location: Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Mountain dogwood, or Pacific dogwood, blooming in spring in Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Mountain dogwood, or Pacific dogwood, blooming in spring in Yosemite Valley
Image ID: 34551
Location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Black Oaks below El Capitan, Quercus kelloggii, El Capitan meadow, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Black Oaks below El Capitan, Quercus kelloggii, El Capitan meadow, Yosemite Valley
Image ID: 34557
Location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Dusk on Vogelsang Peak, Yosemite National Park, California

Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

The last time I stayed at Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, my dad and I took the Rafferty Canyon trail and arrived about 3pm. For some reason I still had some energy so I took off and tried for the summit of Vogelsang Peak, arriving just shortly before sunset. The view was spectacular, an unobstructed view of much of the high country around Yosemite National Park. I got back to camp well after dinner but my dad had saved a plate of food for me, which I scarfed up. I crashed hard that night after covering about 13 miles. It was a good day. Cheers, and thanks for looking!

Vogelsang Peak (11516') at sunset, reflected in a small creek near Vogelsang High Sierra Camp in Yosemite's high country, Yosemite National Park, California

Vogelsang Peak (11516′) at sunset, reflected in a small creek near Vogelsang High Sierra Camp in Yosemite’s high country.
Image ID: 23202
Location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Panoramic view of the Cathedral Range from the summit of Vogelsang Peak (11500').  The shadow of Vogelsang Peak can be seen in the middle of the picture, Yosemite National Park, California

Panoramic view of the Cathedral Range from the summit of Vogelsang Peak (11500′). The shadow of Vogelsang Peak can be seen in the middle of the picture.
Image ID: 25751
Location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Townsley Lake and Cathedral Range at Sunrise, Yosemite National Park

Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

One of my favorite lakes in the Sierra Nevada is Townsley Lake, located a bit above and not far from the Vogelsang High Sierra Camp in Yosemite National Park. Every time I stay at Vogelsang I make sure to spend at least one sunrise at Townsley, where I have always had quiet solitude and wonderful morning light. Vogelsang means “bird song” in German, and while I made this photograph that was indeed all I could hear: the chirping of small birds and nothing else. Two other beautiful, typical, granite-basin Sierra Nevada lakes are very close to Townsley; Hanging Basket Lake (you can actually see a bit of light bouncing around the hanging valley containing Hanging Basket at the far right of this image, below the sunlit Cathedral Range), and a lake I like to call “Nameless Lake” about 1/2 mile above and to the left of this image. All three can be easily bagged in a half-day hike from Vogelsang High Sierra camp. Cheers, and thanks for looking!

Cathedral Range peaks reflected in the still waters of Townsley Lake at sunrise, Yosemite National Park, California

Cathedral Range peaks reflected in the still waters of Townsley Lake at sunrise.
Image ID: 25756
Location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Lembert Dome Sunset, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park

Sierra Nevada, Yosemite

Nice pastel light hits the clouds and lights up Lembert Dome rising above Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park, California. An easy hike takes one to the top of Lembert Dome for expansive views of Tuolumne Meadows and the high Sierra Nevada around the eastern side of Yosemite National Park. Cheers and thanks for looking!

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

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 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.