Why See Yosemite Falls? It’s a waterfall so high it has to take a break and rest twice in the course of its descent. It’s a 2,425 foot tumbler, tallest in North America and fifth tallest in the world. Ten times taller than Niagara or Shoshone Falls, nearly twice as tall as the Empire State Building, it’s about the height a 200-story building would be, if somebody ever built one. The lower fall is the shortest section of the fall, but it’s still 320 feet (98 meters) high.
Best Time to Visit: In the spring, when water is roaring off the falls and the breeze it creates at the bridge underneath the falls will blow your hat off.
Worst Time to Visit: In the early fall and late summer, by which time the falls have often dried up altogether. Visit the Yosemite Falls webcam during California daylight hours to see how much water is currently flowing over the falls. Watch the streaming version of the webcam. The webcam only shows the upper falls, but savvy outdoorsmen can infer that if the upper falls are dry, the lower falls will be as well.
Yosemite Nature Notes: Moonbows
On clear spring nights when the moon is full, photographers gather by the score at the lower falls to see the moonlit rainbows that span the water, a phenomenon known as a moonbow, the world’s most romantic portmanteau. Yosemite Nature Notes Episode 15 explores moonbow fever and includes lots of lovely footage of moonbows shimmering in front of waterfalls and starry skies. Even the most kitten-kicking of cynics should watch the first two minutes to see a few examples.
Can’t-Get-Enough-Yosemite-Nature-Notes Dept: You can find the entire YNN series here, though the first thing you should watch after this video is the Making-of-the-Moonbows-Episode episode. Ranger Bob Roney, interviewed in the film, has his own Twitter feed, as does YNN creator Steven Bumgardner. Yosemite Nature Notes itself also has a feed.
Raise your hand if you have been to Yosemite at night looking for moonbows? Would you rate the experience as one of your top ten?
I’m writing that sequel . . .