Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rippin' Falls

Ribbon Fall is one of the many unheralded glories of Yosemite. Anywhere other than Yosemite Valley, you might build a whole national park around this one feature. It's North America's highest uninterrupted waterfall, at over 1600', but few visitors see it. It's a springtime-only show, supplied by a small watershed which runs dry when the snow's gone. It's at the west end of the Valley, which most people simply drive through. It's opposite Bridalveil Fall, which is closer to the Valley floor and roads, and more visible; Ribbon is way up high on the rim. It's tucked into an alcove so only seen from a relatively narrow area. Steve Bumgardner told me about a short walk to a seldom seen view of Ribbon Fall, where this picture was taken at mid-day today.
Sentinel Creek is bigger than ever, crossing under the road in nine culverts now. The creek from what some call West Sentinel Falls is finally flowing all the way to Southside Drive. Meanwhile the river volume actually dropped a bit, from just a few degrees cooler temperature.
Pileated Woodpeckers are making themselves known with loud trumpeting in various Valley locations.


  1. one of the reasons may is my favorite time of year in yosemite is the spring run-off and the echoing of the falls through out the valley. such a great way to drift off to sleep at night. alas - this year i won't be there. thanks for feeding my obsession for all things/news yosemite.

  2. One of my favorite sights, since I am Yosemite every spring. They are surprised to find Upper Yosemite Falls is not actually the highest. I wrote about when I was beginning my blog a few years ago: