It’s much easier to chase waterfalls if they’re frozen in place.
Hidden in California’s Inyo National Forest, there’s a fantastic ice sculpture with perfect curves that could only have been carved by mother nature herself.
Earlier this month, the Sky Meadow waterfalls above Emerald Lake froze into a swirling cascade of ice. Although the waterfall always freezes in a similar form, the exact shape and size depends on “how cold and fast” the water freezes, a spokesperson for Mono County Tourism told Travel + Leisure. This year’s rounded formations are particularly impressive:
The waterfall will most likely remain frozen all winter until the thaw in April. Ice climbers can hike their way up this frozen waterfall or explore the nearby Mammoth Lakes Trail System to find other icy spots.
Once the first snow falls in the area, it will transform into a destination for snowshoers or cross-country skiers. It’s also possible to take horses on some of the trails or rent out a snowbike for a wintry ride.
Those who are looking for something more extreme can head to the nearby Mammoth Mountain for skiing and snowboarding — and, of course, après-ski activities.