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Yosemite Valley

Just as a reminder, here is the best of the tunnel viewpoint pictures again. The large rock structure on the left is El Capitan. The mountain peak at the far end of the valley is Cloud's Rest. Just to its right is Half Dome. The peak that you can see in the foreground just to the right of Half Dome is Sentinel Rock (the large structure between Sentinel Rock and Half Dome is Glacier Point). Coming forward to the right are the three peaks that make up Cathedral Rocks. Finally, the waterfall clearly visible on the right is Bridalveil Falls. In this section, pictures with water falling were taken in 1997; the rest in 2002.

Yosemite Valley

Bridalveil Falls

Bridalveil from a distance

While it looks small compared with the high peaks surrounding it, Bridalveil Falls is the height of a 62-story building (620 feet).

The winds in the area will often cause the water to shift side-to-side. The Indians observed this and felt it was the work of the gods. They called the area Pohono (Spirit of the Puffing Wind) and considered it sacred.

Bridalveil up close

1930s Picture

Bridalveil in the 1930s; a little fuller and from a closer point.

Ribbon Falls and El Capitan

From the floor of the valley at the Merced River you can see El Capitan on the left and one of the Cathedral Rocks on the right. If you look at the left edge of this picture you will see a dry, dark V-shaped area. Remember this area; you'll see it again just below.

Valley floor

Ribbon Falls

As promised, on the left is the area pointed out above. Only this time it has water in it. This is the mysterious Ribbon Falls that only shows up when water conditions are just right.

Just beyond the falls is El Capitan, a granite rock some 3,593 feet high base to summit. El Capitan has become something of a challenge to rock climbers all over the world. While many take several days to climb the rock, staying overnight on ledges in hammocks, some have made the climb in just a few hours. The "fastest" record keeps changing so I'll let you find it elsewhere.

El Capitan

And, here we see a picture of the valley from the late 1930s I did not recognize.

My thanks to an alert viewer who pointed out that this is a picture of Half Dome looking from the valley floor toward the back of the valley. If you're following along in the tour Half Dome is on the next page.


Ok, now let's go further into the valley...

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Copyright © 2002 Tom Simondi, All Rights Reserved