Yosemite’s Waterfalls Are Roaring Back to Life After Years of Drought
Thanks to a large winter snowfall, this year will bring spectacular viewing opportunities of Yosemite National Parks’ magnificent waterfalls.
“Due to all of the rain and snow we’ve had this winter, Yosemite park’s waterfalls are flowing at an incredible rate,” Jamie Richards, a park ranger and spokesperson told Travel + Leisure.
The park is best known for its waterfalls, though droughts over the last five years have led to the waterfalls receiving less water and often drying up earlier in the year.
Since the park sits by the Sierra Nevada mountain range, its waterfalls are fed by melting snow in the spring and summer, meaning how vigorously they flow and for how long they flow depends on the volume of snow the park receives each year.
This year, the park is seeing one of the biggest snowpacks on record, according to park ranger, Scott Gediman.
Gediman says the falls are bigger in volume than in the years past and will run later into the year, giving visitors a longer opportunity to see them in all their glory.
Falls like the Yosemite Falls, which is one of the tallest in the world and the tallest in North America at a staggering 2,425 feet, will now likely be running through the end of August as opposed to drying out in the end of June or early July.
“Yosemite Falls is flowing at a very high rate and it’s quite beautiful at this time,” Richards said.
The same goes for Bridalveil Fall, which is often the first waterfall that visitors see when entering the park.
“We’re also seeing a lot our ephemeral waterfalls that have not been going for years start flowing,” Gediman said.
These falls and creeks include Sentinel Falls, made up of cascades that range from 50 to 500 feet, and Staircase Fall.
“A lot of these smaller falls have not been going for years, so it’s been wonderful this year,” Gediman said.
Visitors planning to head the park this month can take advantage of free admission the weekends of April 15-16 and April 22-23 as part of National Park Week.