Waterfalls, Lakes & Rivers

El Capitan from the Merced River

California Has 2 out of 7 Natural Wonders of North America

Yosemite, with its stunning features and incredible wildlife, earned a spot on the list. Judges say the park earned its top seven ranking because of its distinctive monoliths El Capitan and Half Dome. Yosemite also features North America’s tallest waterfall at 2,425 feet. Read More...

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Controversial Merced River Plan Finally Approved

After many years of back and forth comments, numerous plans and even court battles, Yosemite National Park is unveiling the Merced Wild and Scenic River Final Comprehensive Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement. Read More...

Horsetail Fall

February Sets Yosemite’s Horsetail Falls Ablaze

Weather permitting, as the sun sets the Horsetail Fall waterfall is illuminated to the point that the streaming liquid looks like flaming lava cascading down the face of El Capitan. Read More...

Heroics and Tragedies at Yosemite’s Vernal Falls

A hero was made last Tuesday when Alec Smith leapt over the protective barrier at the top of Yosemite National Park’s Vernal Fall. He did so just in time to save the life of a young boy caught in the Merced River’s turbulent flow and its impending rush toward the 317-foot fall. Read More...

Nevada Falls Sunset.

How to Photograph Waterfalls in Yosemite

Grant Ordelheide showcases his photos of waterfalls and gives you tips on how best photograph these cascades. Read More...

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Lake McClure and Lake McSwain

Two great lakes, one great adventure. Located 40 miles east of Modesto. Friendly camping accommodations, fishing and water activities. Read More...

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Lakes Beyond Yosemite Park

The following are a few of our favorite Sierra Nevada lakes outside Yosemite National Park. Read More...

Lakes in Yosemite Park

While many remote alpine lakes are seen only by backcountry hikers and backpackers, Yosemite also has some aquatic gems that you can either drive right up to or visit on a leisurely morning or afternoon hike with the kids. The following are just a few of our favorite lakes and reservoirs in the park. Read More...

Moonbow at lower Yosemite Falls. Photo by Brocken Inaglory [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Moonbows (Night Rainbows) in Yosemite

Moonbows, Lunar Rainbows, or Spraybows happen when the moonlight refracks off the spray of water such as a waterfall. The best time to see moonbows in Yosemite is during the full moon. Watch the video. Read More...

Mono Lake Tufa Formations

Restoring Mono Lake in the Eastern Sierra Nevada

The story of Mono Lake reflects the historical and political struggles between nature conservation and California’s burgeoning urban populations. Read More...

Rivers Beyond Yosemite Park

Whether you drive into the dramatic depths of the Kings River canyon or take a swim in the gently flowing Kaweah River during late summer, the rivers of the southern Sierra Nevada have a lot to offer outdoorsy travelers, besides just some incredible scenery. Read More...

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Rivers In Yosemite Park

In late spring and early summer, when melting snow from Sierra Nevada peaks thunders down into the valleys below, it’s easy to imagine how millennia of erosion has shaped the landscape of the park today. Read More...

Horsetail Fall

The Firefall in Yosemite Valley

The tradition of Yosemite’s firefall started in the late 19th century. Today park visitors see a natural firefall every February. Read More...

Lembert Dome and Mt Dana from Tuolumne Meadows

Tuolumne River Meadows in Yosemite National Park

At 8,600 feet they are one of the highest elevation meadows in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. A single road, Tioga Pass Road makes them accessible by car. Read More...

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Waterfalls Beyond Yosemite Valley

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Yosemite Valley Waterfalls

When snow melt from mountain peaks brings icy waters rushing downstream into Yosemite Valley, great waterfalls spring to life. During the peak seasonal flow, which usually happens in May, the thundering of waterfalls can be heard clear across the valley. Read More...

Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley is now a reservoir.

Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy vs. California’s Need for Water

John Muir couldn’t save the Hetch Hetchy Valley from being flooded. San Francisco needed the water. Now the Hetch Hetchy water fight resumes – farmers vs. cities. Read More...

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