Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Few Snapshots for a Saturday: High Water in Yosemite

I've been to Yosemite Valley many, many times, so when I visit these days, I resolve to seek out the more unfamiliar corners and sort of skip past the things I've photographed a few hundred times. So it was with the iconic Tunnel View that everyone stops at. I was driving past it on the way to Glacier Point, but something caught my eye, something I had not ever seen before. Orange and yellow water flying out the base of Bridalveil Fall!

It was a rainbow, of course, as we drove by at just the perfect moment in the afternoon. It was a fascinating sight.

Bridalveil Fall is a classic example of a glacial hanging valley. The main glacier in Yosemite Valley was able to carve deeper than the tributary glacier in Bridalveil Creek, so the bottom of Bridalveil Creek stands more than 600 feet higher than the floor of Yosemite Valley.

The water was flowing at a seasonal high, and Bridalveil runoff was not sticking to the usual channels; it was flowing over the trail and through the parking lot, and the creek in the picture below was only one of three overflowing distributaries coming off the base of the fall. "Rain" was falling everywhere around the fall, and everyone hiking to the viewpoint came back soaked.
We came by in the twilight and had the falls more or less to ourselves. Bridalveil Fall and the adjacent Leaning Tower are two of the spots that make Yosemite a special place!


Gaelyn said...

What wonderful luck to spot a rainbow at the falls. I really like the look of the water flowing amongst the trees and over the boulders. Hope there isn't any serious flooding.

We had snow, rain, sleet and hail today here, but I didn't see any rainbows.

yosemite faith said...

i think if was 1992 - not much snow pack, but what there was all come down in 2 or 3 days and the valley was roaring. i had pictures that for a while i thought was happy isles and finally realized that they were of the area surrounding bridal veil. i see that in your pictures too. so cool. you really captured a beauty with the bridal veil shot!