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Big Waterfall Season Shaping Up at Yosemite

Waterfall season in Yosemite: It could be huge this year, reports the Modesto Bee.

If you dig seeing waterfalls at their high-volume peak, the snowbound Sierra high country will make Yosemite National Park a tremendous destination to visit this spring -- that is, unless the government really does shut down this weekend and park access is blocked. That dreary thought generated the tweet of the day from Kyle Smith of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.: "Do the waterfalls still run if the Gov shuts down?!!?"

Yosemite FallsAnyone who does get into Yosemite this spring is in for a visual spectacle. Yosemite Falls, the tallest confirmed waterfall in the United States (with 3 stages totaling 2,425 feet), was a thundering giant when I visited in May of 2008, another heavy snow year.

Fellow blogger Steve T. and I visited the Hetch Hetchy section of Yosemite that year. On a sweaty, 80-degree day while hiking on the north side of the reservoir, I figured a 4-second walk through the deluge being generated by Wapama Falls (estimated height: 1,341 feet) would be a refreshing thing. Stepping inside that dense, all-encompassing silo of snowpack runoff was jolt to the senses.  My skin temperature went from frothy to frosty in a split second. Kind of fun, but a couple of passes through one of nature's iciest water cannons was enough. The sun felt might good after that.

Imagine this: The forecast for Yosemite, which was closed for 3 days last month due to excessive snowfall, calls for more snow on Thursday.

Hey Congress: Get it together. Don't cause anyone to miss one of nature's great shows. Warm weather will create the best waterfall viewing opportunities, so we can only hope the park will be accessible by May. Checkout this fine video on Yosemite Falls, created by videographer Steve Bumgardner (Yosemite Steve).

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service Historic Photograph Collection, showing Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir stand atop Glacier Point with Yosemite Falls in the background. 

Posted on at 1:37 PM

Tagged: Yosemite, Yosemite falls and national parks

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