The powerful falls also bring increased flooding risk.
After a winter of heavy snowfall, Yosemite National Park is putting on one of its most incredible spring seasons for visitors.
The waterfalls are more powerful, the rivers run faster, and new streams have appeared out of nowhere.
“With the incredible waterfalls going right now, it’s attracting a lot of people," park ranger Scott Gediman told a local NBC News affiliate.
The larger-than-usual water show is courtesy of this past relentless winter. Officials at the park say that the snowpacks at the top of Yosemite’s mountains were about 200 percent larger than normal this year. And the National Park Service reports that this year’s snowmelt is more than the past four years combined.
As the snow continues to melt, visitors should expect to find a mixture of conditions on trails in the park. Downed trees, snow fields, and water runoff are just a few common things you’ll come across; these pictures taken along the Panorama Trail showcase just that…along with a very full Illillouette Fall! #Yosemite #NationalPark #IllillouetteFall #Panorama
Yosemite showing off her magical waterfalls. •••••• Thanks to Alexandra @alexgoldman for the goodness of Yosemite. ・・・ A rainbow & a waterfall 🌈😍 If that doesn't make you smile, I've got jokes as backup.. ------- #nationalparkgeek #FYPyes #nps #nationalpark #nationalparks #americasbestidea #findyourpark #goparks #nationalparkfoundation #everykidinapark #nature #naturelovers #npca #nationalparktrust #protectourpubliclands #climatechangeisreal #yosemite
The more powerful streams also carry added dangers, and the flood risk is the highest it’s been in nearly a decade.
Earlier this month, the Merced River was only about six inches away from officially being labeled a flood. And the season has barely begun. Park officials say that there is still about 20 feet of snowpacks at the tops of mountains. Once that snow starts to melt, the potential for flooding gets a lot higher.
Visitors to the park should keep an eye out for flood warnings and road closures. Despite the fact that rivers have not yet reached a critical flood level, park officials are warning guests to stay away from the high water.