Yosemite_Falls

Yosemite Falls is the signature waterfall in Yosemite NP and one of the tallest waterfalls in the world.
Yosemite Falls is composed of six separate drops in three sections: the Upper Fall is 1430 feet tall,
the Middle Cascades (three falls and a cascade) drops 675 feet, and the Lower Fall drops 320 feet.
Yosemite Falls, considered the most beautiful in the USA, is visible from many places in the Valley.

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Yosemite Section Index
 

Yosemite Select

Yosemite Valley
Valley Views
Yosemite Assorted
Mirror Lake
Rivers and Creeks

Waterfalls
Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Rim
Glacier Point and Washburn Point
Taft Point

Yosemite Wildlife
Deer and Birds
Squirrel and Marmot

Yosemite Plant Life
Mariposa Grove
Sequoia National Park
Assorted Plant Life

Bodie Ghost Town
Mono Lake
Mariposa

A 75 image Overview of the Yosemite Portfolio

An Overview page with sample images from the following pages:
Discovery View (Wawona Tunnel View) and Valley View
El Capitan, Half Dome, Cathedral Rocks, and other Scenery
The exquisitely beautiful Mirror Lake in Tenaya Canyon
The Merced River, Tenaya Creek, Yosemite Creek and more

Bridalveil, Vernal and Nevada Falls, and selected images of Yosemite Falls
Detail shots, vignettes and scenic images of Yosemite’s signature waterfall

An Overview page with sample images from the following pages:
Yosemite National Park’s two most famous rim views
Taft Point Fissures and spectacular views from 3000’ over Yosemite Valley

An Overview page with sample images from the following pages:
Mule Deer in the Valley meadows, Hummingbirds, Steller’s Jays, etc.
Golden-Mantled Squirrels, Ground Squirrels and a Tioga Pass Marmot

An Overview page with sample images from the following pages:
Images from the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
Images from nearby Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Parks
Lupines, Dogwood, Snow Plants, Thistle, Forest Moss and Lichen

50 images of the gold mining boom town north of Mono Lake
A highly saline lake in the Eastern Sierras with otherworldly scenery
A Cigar Store Indian, a Thunderbird Totem, and antique Farm Machinery

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

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There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Yosemite Falls Sunrise Swinging Bridge X0573
(732 KB)

Yosemite Falls reflected in the waters of the Merced River at sunrise, from Swinging Bridge.

Yosemite Falls was originally named by Dr. Lafayette Bunnell of the Mariposa Battalion in 1851.
The name Yosemite was derived from the group of Ahwahneechee Indians living in the Valley, who
were called “Yoh’hemeti” (Southern Miwok) or “Yos.s.e’meti” (Central Miwok), which literally means
“those who kill” (they were greatly feared by the surrounding Miwok tribes). The Ahwahneechee
called the valley “Awooni” or “Owwoni” (large mouth) for the appearance of the valley walls
from Ahwahnee Village, located at the base of the Falls (the spelling was confused by
Dr. Bunnell to Ahwahnee). Dr. Bunnell originally thought the name meant Grizzly Bear,
as Major Savage had confused “Yoh’hemeti” with the word “ihumat.i” (Grizzly Bear).

The Ahwahneechee name for Yosemite Falls was “Choo-look” or “Scholook” (the Fall).

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Upper Yosemite Fall 3709
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Upper Yosemite Fall from the pathway at the edge of Leidig Meadow, off the Southside Drive in May.

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Upper Yosemite Fall 3728
(514 KB)

Upper Yosemite Fall blown out of its watercourse by the wind, taken from the side from Cook’s Meadow in May.

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Upper Yosemite Fall 2971
(568 KB)

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Upper Yosemite Fall 3569
(605 KB)

Upper Yosemite Fall from Sentinel Meadow in May. The character of the fall changes greatly with the wind.

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Upper Yosemite Fall Vignette X2288
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Upper Yosemite Fall, framed by foliage from Cook’s Meadow in May.

Yosemite Falls are most spectacular in late May, when runoff from the snowmelt
is at its peak. In some years, the flow is so great that it floods the valley meadows,
creating opportunities for spectacular reflections such as those seen further below.

Because much of the Sierra Nevada range, including the Yosemite Wilderness areas
above Yosemite Falls, is composed almost entirely of exposed granite with little soil to
retain moisture, the snowmelt runs off very rapidly. Once the summer rains have stopped
the flow in the creeks dries up quite rapidly. Some of the creeks are completely dry by late
September or October, and Yosemite Falls is often completely dry by October. Occasionally,
during years with a dry winter followed by a dry summer, the falls can be dry by late summer.

The dry watercourse of Yosemite Falls in October is shown on the Taft Point page.

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Upper Yosemite Fall Dawn X0366
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Upper Yosemite Fall at dawn in May from Cook’s Meadow.
The light is spectacular in the few minutes just before sunrise.

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Upper Yosemite Fall Frozen at Sunrise 2613
(472 KB)

Upper Yosemite Fall at sunrise in March.

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Upper Yosemite Fall Frozen at Sunrise 2591
(576 KB)

Upper Yosemite Fall from Cook’s Meadow at sunrise in March.
The spray from the waterfall has frozen on the cliff face overnight.

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Yosemite Falls Cook’s Meadow 2988
(531 KB)

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Yosemite Falls Cook’s Meadow 2996
(598 KB)

Yosemite Falls from Cook’s Meadow in March. The dense clumps of grass look like a Cousin It convention.

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Yosemite Falls Cook’s Meadow 2991
(820 KB)

The majestic beauty of Yosemite Falls rising above mounds of grass in Cook’s Meadow in March.

The wedge-shaped feature below Yosemite Point, to the right of the Upper Fall, is called the Lost Arrow.
There is an Indian Legend (considered fictitious) associated with the Lost Arrow (click this link to read it).

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Yosemite Falls Leidig Meadow 2802
(798 KB)

Upper Yosemite Fall twisting in the wind, from Leidig Meadow in May.

The Upper Yosemite Fall is so high (1430 feet) that on a windy day it erupts
from the brink in pulses and the spray from the falls can spread over a wide area.

Like Bridalveil Fall (see the Waterfall page and the Valley Views page), Yosemite Falls
originates in a hanging valley formed when the creeks that feed the falls could not keep up
with the Merced River erosion and the grinding caused by the glacier which cut the valley.

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Yosemite Falls Leidig Meadow 3720
(605 KB)

Yosemite Falls from Leidig Meadow in March.

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Yosemite Falls Leidig Meadow 3561
(658 KB)

Yosemite Falls from Leidig Meadow in May.

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Yosemite Falls Leidig Meadow 3391
(478 KB)

A dead tree provides a foreground subject for this shot of Yosemite Falls from Leidig Meadow on a bleak day in May.

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Yosemite Falls Leidig Meadow Fir 3379
(590 KB)

Leidig Meadow Fir, with Yosemite Falls in the background. The Fir tree provides a reference in the reflection shots below.

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Yosemite Falls Leidig Meadow 3396
(712 KB)

Yosemite Falls and Leidig Meadow on an overcast day in May.

In some years, the snowfall in the wilderness areas of Yosemite is massive,
and the snowmelt is so great that it overwhelms the banks of the Merced River,
flooding Leidig Meadow. Several shots below were taken in the spring during years
with exceptional snowmelt. Sometimes the flooding extends to the Fir tree, and in other
years it can extend further, occasionally to the tree line bordering the edge of the meadow.

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Yosemite Falls Reflection Dawn X0347
(498 KB)

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Yosemite Falls Reflection Dawn X0349
(421 KB)

Yosemite Falls is reflected in the flooded Leidig Meadow at dawn in May, during a year with an exceptional snowmelt.

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Yosemite Falls Reflection Dawn X0351
(531 KB)

Yosemite Falls is reflected in Leidig Meadow, just before sunrise in May.

Note the extend of the flooding in the image above, compared with the image below
taken four days later. The flood waters in this image reach to the base of the Fir tree.

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Yosemite Falls Reflection Sunrise X0811
(651 KB)

In this image, taken at sunrise four days after the previous image, Yosemite Falls
is reflected in flood waters which cover Leidig Meadow to the edge of the tree line.

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Yosemite Falls Reflection X2106
(611 KB)

This image shows a reflection of Yosemite Falls in the flooded Leidig Meadow the
following year, a week earlier than image X0811. The snowfall that year was more
extensive, and the snowmelt flooded the valley earlier than in the previous year and
kept the valley closed later into the spring than usual due to the flooded valley roads.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Yosemite Falls Cook’s Meadow Dawn X0366
(490 KB)

Yosemite Falls in beautiful dawn light from Cook’s Meadow.

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Yosemite Falls Cook’s Meadow Dawn X0382
(536 KB)

Yosemite Falls just before sunrise from Cook’s Meadow.

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Yosemite Falls Cook’s Meadow Dawn X0377
(474 KB)

Dead Tree in Cook’s Meadow and Yosemite Falls at dawn.

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Yosemite Falls Cook’s Meadow Dawn X0379
(479 KB)

Yosemite Falls in superb dawn light from Cook’s Meadow.

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Yosemite Falls Cook’s Meadow Sunrise X0842
(583 KB)

The Dead Tree in Cook’s Meadow provides a foreground subject for Yosemite Falls at sunrise.

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Yosemite Falls Reflection Dawn X0381
(466 KB)

Yosemite Falls is reflected in a flooded section of Cook’s
Meadow in magnificent light at dawn, just before sunrise in May.
Lost Arrow can be seen at the upper right of the frame, just below
Yosemite Point (it is the wedge-shaped protrusion pointing up).

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Yosemite Falls Reflection Sunrise X0600
(441 KB)

Yosemite Falls reflected in a flooded section of Cook’s Meadow at sunrise in May (shot taken at 17mm, f/11).

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Yosemite Falls Reflection Sunrise X0602
(395 KB)

Yosemite Falls reflected in a flooded section of Cook’s Meadow at sunrise in May (shot taken at 15mm, f/11).

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Lower Yosemite Fall Vignette 3731
(623 KB)

Lower Yosemite Fall, vignetted by foliage from the Yosemite Falls Trail in May (85mm at f/8).

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Lower Yosemite Fall Vignette X2284
(713 KB)

Lower Yosemite Fall, framed by foliage. Note the greater flow of water the following May (105mm at f/11).

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Yosemite Falls Trail X0624
(661 KB)

The Eastern Approach trail to Lower Yosemite Fall is a 3/4 mile walk from the Ranger’s Cabins above Yosemite Village. The entire trail is paved to allow wheelchair access.

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Moss on Tree Yosemite Falls Trail X0398
(574 KB)

A moss-covered tree next to a split-rail fence beside the trail.

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Moss on Tree Yosemite Falls Trail X0391
(371 KB)

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Moss on Tree Yosemite Falls Trail X0392
(453 KB)

Detail of boreal forest moss and lichen on a tree beside the Eastern Approach trail to Lower Yosemite Fall.

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Moss on Boulders Yosemite Falls Trail X0394
(637 KB)

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Moss on Tree Yosemite Falls Trail X0629
(889 KB)

Boreal forest moss on boulders and at the base of a tree on the Eastern Approach trail to Lower Yosemite Fall.

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Moss on Boulder Yosemite Falls Trail X0396
(476 KB)

Boreal forest moss on a boulder, Lower Yosemite Fall trail.
Mosses and lichens are widespread in Yosemite’s forests.

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Moss on Tree Yosemite Falls Trail X0401
(545 KB)

Forest moss on a fallen tree, backlit by diffuse sunlight on the Eastern Approach trail to Lower Yosemite Fall.

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Moss on Boulder Yosemite Falls Trail X0422
(580 KB)

Detail of boreal forest moss covering a boulder on the Eastern Approach trail to Lower Yosemite Fall.

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Lower Yosemite Fall Approach X0404
(644 KB)

The Eastern Approach to Lower Yosemite Fall, with a rainbow in the mist below the Lower Fall.

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Lower Yosemite Fall Approach X0405
(741 KB)

A vertical portrait of the rainbow at the Eastern Approach to Lower Yosemite Fall.

Images of the Lower Fall are shown at the bottom of the page, below the Western Approach.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Yosemite_Creek_2471


Yosemite Creek 2471
(488 KB)

Yosemite Creek below the John Muir Cabin Site.

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Yosemite Creek John Muir Cabin Site 2629
(669 KB)

Yosemite Creek, looking toward the John Muir Cabin Site.

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John Muir Cabin Site 2637
(558 KB)

The commemorative plaque at the John Muir Cabin Site.

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John Muir Cabin Site Plaque
(408 KB)

Detail of the commemorative plaque, which was mounted on a boulder at the John Muir Cabin Site in 1924.

John Muir (1838-1914) was a naturalist and author who founded the Sierra Club. His writings and his activism were the major force which helped to create legislation to preserve Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, and many other wilderness areas. He first saw Yosemite in 1868 and was overwhelmed with the landscape. The cabin he built at Yosemite Creek was designed so that a portion of the creek flowed through a corner so he could enjoy the sound of the flowing water.

John Muir was the first to suggest that glaciers had sculpted the valley and the surrounding region, in contradiction to the theory proposed by Josiah Whitney (head of the California Geological Survey) who maintained that the valley was formed by a catastrophic earthquake. Whitney tried to discredit Muir, but the premier geologist of the day (Louis Aggasiz) supported Muir. When Muir found an active alpine glacier below Merced Peak in 1871, his theory gained widespread acceptance.

John Muir, more than any other person, was responsible for the preservation of the American Wilderness. He wrote more than 300 articles and 12 books, co-founded the Sierra Club, guided several Presidents of the United States through Yosemite, and led efforts which created several National Parks and preserved a number of pristine forested areas.

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Yosemite Falls John Muir Cabin Site 2626
(568 KB)

Yosemite Falls in March from the John Muir Cabin Site. John Muir woke to this view for two years from 1869-1871.

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Yosemite Falls John Muir Cabin Site X2083
(560 KB)

Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Creek in May from the John Muir Cabin Site. The previous five shots were taken in March. This shot was taken without the use of a polarizing filter.

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Yosemite Falls John Muir Cabin Site X2269
(658 KB)

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Yosemite Falls John Muir Cabin Site X2270
(661 KB)

Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Creek in May from the John Muir Cabin Site, taken with a polarizing filter.
The shot on the left was taken with a 50% setting, the shot at right was taken with a 20% setting. Notice
the darker sky and greater color saturation of the image at left (effects of higher polarization settings).

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Yosemite Creek John Muir Cabin Site X2087
(964 KB)

Yosemite Creek below the John Muir Cabin Site. Nice place to wake up every morning.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Lower_Yosemite_Falls_Trail_X2282


Lower Yosemite Falls Trail X2282
(633 KB)

The Western Approach to Lower Yosemite Falls in May.
These shots were taken when the crowds were at low ebb.

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Lower Yosemite Falls Trail X0640
(642 KB)

The Western Approach begins in the parking lot off the loop road, and is a 1/4 mile paved trail through the forest.

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Yosemite Falls Forest Vignette 2218
(568 KB)

Yosemite Falls as seen from the Western Approach, vignetted by the forest at mid-afternoon in March.

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Yosemite Falls Forest Vignette 2997
(638 KB)

Yosemite Falls from the Western Approach, vignetted by the forest in the early afternoon in May.

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Yosemite Falls Forest Vignette 3736
(637 KB)

Yosemite Falls with the Upper Fall blown sideways by the wind, vignetted by the forest in the early afternoon in May.

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Yosemite Falls Forest Vignette X0418
(505 KB)

Yosemite Falls as seen from the Western Approach, vignetted by the forest at mid-morning in May.

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Lower Yosemite Fall 2230
(494 KB)

Lower Yosemite Fall at late afternoon in March.

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Lower Yosemite Fall 2454
(515 KB)

Lower Yosemite Fall at late afternoon in March.

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Lower Yosemite Fall X0410
(437 KB)

Lower Yosemite Fall from within the mist cloud at mid-morning in May. It can be hard to get a clean shot because of the mist.

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Lower Yosemite Fall X0638
(400 KB)

Lower Yosemite Fall from within the mist in the late morning. You have to dry your lens, turn and immediately shoot.

There are more shots of Yosemite Falls on the Yosemite Waterfalls page.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Click the Display Composite above to visit the Yosemite Waterfalls page

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Click the Display Composite above to visit the Yosemite Select page

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Click the Display Composite above to visit the Yosemite Section Index page

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