Frazil Ice and Snow Cone Formations in Yosemite

Stand on the Yosemite Creek bridge below Yosemite Falls in March and April and you may see frazil ice in the creek and a snow cone under the upper falls.
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Frazil Ice on Yosemite Creek

Frazil ice in Yosemite Creek

It's like a big slushy machine. Stand on the Yosemite Creek bridge below Yosemite Falls in March and April. If the timing is just right, you may see something that is not ice, not snow, but something in between, flowing down the creek. It's frazil ice, small crystals of frozen mist that form on the falls and wash down the stream making a slurry.

As the slush builds up in areas, it stops and blocks the stream, causing the stream to detour to the nearest, lowest ground. The blockages often look like common snow but don't step on it or you'll go right down into the icy water.

Yosemite Falls Snow Cone

Snow cone that forms underneath Yosemite Upper Falls

Every winter at the base of upper Yosemite Falls, a mound of snow and ice forms reaching hundreds of feet tall. It resembles an upside-down snow cone.