HALF DOME, YOSEMITE FALLS AND VERNAL FALLS

Half Dome is one of the most widely recognized images in the world, and for good reason - it is nothing less than spectacular, from any angle, at any time of the day.

Spring is the best season for viewing the waterfalls in Yosemite National Park, when the snowmelt runoff sends torrents of water over the cliffs. Many of the falls are temporary, drying up during the summer months.

Two of the most popular falls are Yosemite Falls (Upper and Lower), and Vernal Falls. Both falls can be reached by paved hiking trails, though the trail to Vernal Falls is considerably longer and steeper.

Half Dome



Ahwahnee Meadow, near the famed Ahwahnee Hotel, is one of the best places in Yosemite Valley for photos of Half Dome. This photo was taken from the trail that runs along the west edge of the meadow.


Yosemite Falls



Cook's Meadow offers beautiful views of Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls. On this particular day a blustery wind made the falls even more spectacular.


Half Dome



Sunlight breaking through late afternoon clouds creates a tableaux of light and dark across the face of Half Dome.


Yosemite Falls (Upper Falls)



Upper Yosemite Falls, from one of the many walk/bike trails in Yosemite Valley.


Half Dome



Another in a series of photos I took of Half Dome, from Ahwahnee Meadow.


Merced River, Along the Vernal Falls Trail



The trail to Vernal Falls gives hikers beautiful views of steep narrow canyons, water falls, and towering granite cliffs. After crashing over Vernal Falls, the Merced River tumbles over large boulders on its way to the Yosemite Valley floor.


Oaks and Granite, Along the Vernal Falls Trail



Hiking down from Vernal Falls on a rainy day, I was suddenly dazzled by this scene - the sun briefly broke through the clouds and lit up the leaves of the oak trees along the trail.


Mom and Dad at Vernal Falls



Mom and Dad pose on the bridge below Vernal Falls. Although fairly steep, the trail to the bridge below Vernal Falls is now paved and easier to hike than in the past. Beyond the bridge the trail is unpaved, steeper and much rougher, and goes all the way to the top of the falls.

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