|Quick quiz: What is the name of this waterfall?|
|Part of the Middle Cascades (April 2003)|
Many first-time visitors to the valley are drawn to Bridalveil Falls (620 feet/189 meters) because it is the first major waterfall visible as one enters the valley. But when standing at the base of Bridalveil, they see another high waterfall across the valley and wonder if it is Yosemite Falls. It's not. It's called Ribbon Fall, and it has a single drop of 1,612 feet (491 meters). That's nearly 200 feet higher than Upper Yosemite Falls (it's the one in the picture at the top of the post). It is less familiar than many of the other waterfalls because it is usually dry by June when the majority of people visit the park. But if you get the privilege of seeing by visiting in the spring, you are in for a treat.
I have been trying to get a particular picture of Ribbon Fall for a long time. When driving towards the Tunnel View parking lot from Bridalveil Falls, there is a panorama of Ribbon Falls and the cliff of El Capitan, but there is no way to stop or pull out to get the shot, and the road is too narrow for walking. But yesterday I was there with my students in a bus. Since I wasn't driving, I was ready with the camera as we came back down the road, and I finally got it (below).
Ribbon Falls is one of many treasures that make a spring visit to Yosemite Valley a worthwhile effort.