Yosemite in the Snow

We got the view above on our incoming flight on December 1 and I am pretty sure that it includes some of the Yosemite area. For one reason, the pilot had just announced that we were flying over Yosemite. The other reason is that their are two roads showing in the pictures, and the only two roads likely are the one toward Yosemite Valley and the road toward the Tioga Pass.

Anyway, we were excited about the prospect of seeing Yosemite in the snow, so we were headed in that direction. From the amount of snow we had seen, we were not surprised to hear that you could not enter the area on Hwy 120 without chains in the car. We stopped and bought some tire chains at Walmart and headed for Yosemite.

Sure enough, we reached snow shortly before the gate to Yosemite National Park. These scenes are just past the gate. The ranger told us that there was one icy stretch on the high Crane Flat (at about 6000ft) but that with care, we should be able to make it without the chains.

We got a view of the sunset and a couple of nice views of the valley below as we approached darkness.

December 5, 1994

Last night we had settled down in one of the half dozen or so buildings of Yosemite Lodge and were a bit disappointed to hear rain on the roof all night. We thought it would take away all the snow.

But in the morning we found that the rain on us had been snow up on the mountains above us, so the trees on the high ridges were beautiful.

After breakfast we went to the entrance to the walking trail to view the falls and found this snow deer. I call this one the dear with the deer. There were a lot of snowmen and snow sculptures in the valley.

We could see the upper cascade of Yosemite Falls from the door of our room in the Lodge.

We were pleased to see all this water coming over the falls since it had been bone dry when we came here in September.

The left photo above shows all three cascades of Yosemite Falls. The upper cascade comes through a notch in the granite, worn by millennia of flow. The total height of the falls is 2425 feet, ht highest falls in the United States and the fifth highest falls in the world. The right photo above shows the middle and lower cascades as seen from a point near the entrance to the foot trail.

We found that just the snow on the rocks was spectacular. Snow is such an unusual experience for us that we enjoyed seeing the different settings in the woods and rocks. The lower falls can be seen in the background of the photo at left.

This view of the lower cascade of Yosemite Falls is from the footbridge across the stream. It shows the subtle hint of a rainbow.

The early morning ground fog produced some neat streamers in the sun. We walked through the woods near the falls to see all the light patterns in the wooded area.

.. to dance with a snowman ..

There were many snow sculptures along the roads of the valley and in the snow-covered meadows. We were here on Monday, and could see the creations of the weekend visitors.

The combination of the snow and the rapidly changing cloud formations along the top of the granite mountains kept us "..lifting up our eyes unto the hills."

Changing clouds around the upper cascade of Yosemite Falls.

The snow along the banks of the Merced River in the valley was spectacular. The fog over the river added to create a magical atmosphere.

From almost anywhere in this area you could see the upper cascade.

A bank of fog hung over the snowy meadow which had been so green when we were here in September.

The view at right captures a bit of the feeling of how massive El Capitan is. You have to lean your head way back to see the top of it.

Brenda looks out over the fog-shrouded snowy meadow.

The little evergreens out on the snowy meadow were an unusual sight for us. The shroud of fog added to the magic of the scene. We have rarely been in a setting anything like this.

More exploration of Yosemite Vallley

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