27 May 2008

Honeymoon Pictures II - Waterfalls

There are lots of waterfalls in Yosemite. And Spring is a great time to see them. We were lucky; there was lots of snow this winter. I've picked six waterfall pictures after the jump.
The first big waterfall you come to in the park is Bridal Veil Falls. Actually there are several others beforehand, including the underrated Cascade Falls, which I don't have a great picture of (Smittywife does, though). But Bridal Veil is the first famous one. It was very wet the day we were there, and cold. Standing under Bridal Veil was like standing in the mist at Niagara... actually, it may have been wetter. And colder. We got a few good pictures of us at the falls, and I took a handful of decent ones. This happens to be my favorite just because you can see the water coming over the edge, how it seems to have separated into equal strands. It's pretty cool.

Somewhat further into the park on the opposite side is Ribbon Falls. You can easily miss Ribbon, and I never did locate it from Tunnel View (where the teaser pic I posted a few days ago was taken). I think it's before El Capitan but I'm not sure. There's a similar falls, Horsetail, on the far side of El Capitan that we looked and looked for but never did see. Ribbon is one of the ephemeral falls, meaning it dries up later in the year--probably by mid-June, if not before. This picture was taken on Tuesday, a grey, dreary day, but it's the only one I bothered to take of Ribbon Falls.

Of course the most famous waterfall in Yosemite National Park is Yosemite Falls. We intended to stop at this same location again later in the week to get a better picture of it but never did. No matter. The nice painter here is busy immortalizing the falls for us. I'm not sure whether this is the biggest waterfall in the park in volume; that may be Vernal, farther up the Merced River, or even Tuolumne (which is in the high country and inaccessible in the springtime), but it is the highest large-volume falls and it is certainly one of the prettiest.

I mentioned Cascade Falls earlier. It's the first one you come to inside the park boundary. Cascade Creek, however, falls down the valley walls from way up in the park. On Friday we drove north to Hetch-Hetchy, and on the northbound road you cross over Cascade Creek several hundred feet above the falls you see in the main valley. It's falling pretty fast here, too, but you can park at a pullover and go play in the water. If you like frostbite, that is; this creek can't have melted more than two days ago. But it's fun to throw pinecones into it and race them over the edge.

I think my favorite falls in the park might be Illiloutte Falls. Don't ask about the name; it's a corruption of an Indian name at one time considered too impolite to use (never did find out what it's supposed to mean), but even that story may be false. In any case this picture doesn't even have the main cascade in it--but if you look near the top you can see the mist cloud from the main cascade. You see this waterfall from the hike up to Vernal Falls, which we did on Thursday. There is a hike up to the waterfall but we didn't have time to make it; I understand it's well worth the trip. Of course in Yosemite just about everything is worth the trip if anybody bothered to mark a trail to it. It's quite the place.

This is a picture of Bridal Veil Falls again. Taken from Tunnel View, I shot this looking down on the waterfall itself. Pretty nice shot I think.

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