I think they've outsourced it for use in a new amusement park...
I'm kidding, of course...I just wanted you to think about something. Yosemite Falls is just spectacular this time of year, but would you visit Yosemite Valley if you didn't get to see it?
Is there another reason to visit the valley, waterfall-wise? I got to see two nice candidates during the high runoff event last week (the Merced River was flowing three times its normal discharge). It is true that both of these falls dry up relatively quickly in the late spring or early summer, but when they flow, they are world-class.
More below the fold
I saw the first of these from a new spot last week...somehow, I've never stopped at Bridalveil Meadow before (in 80 trips!!). Viewed from the southwest edge of the meadow, Ribbon Fall leaps off the cliff and falls for 1,612 feet, making it the highest single drop of any waterfall in the valley (Yosemite Falls drops 2,425 feet, but does so in three parts, the tallest being 1,430 feet). Combined with the west face of El Capitan, it makes for a memorable view.
Here is a closer view from Bridalveil Meadow. The entire fall can be seen from the large pullout at Bridalveil Falls view (for an example at Geotripper, click here). You just have to turn around and look away from Bridalveil Fall, and many people seem to miss it.
Another fall that reaches for majesty in the spring runoff is Sentinel Falls, which drops 1,920 feet in five steps, the largest of which is 500 or so feet. It is accompanied by the incredible Sentinel Rock, to the left in the picture above, one of the other "not always noticed" rocks in Yosemite. I call it that because to see it, you have to turn and look away from Yosemite Falls, if you can. It's behind you!
If you ever have a chance to see Yosemite in the spring, go for it...
This is my first diary entry, and was cross-posted from my geology blog Geotripper. I will be posting in the future on issues related to the geological sciences and the natural world, and our influence upon it. Enjoy!