With a 2,700 ft. elevation gain, the Yosemite Falls trail is challenging even when not covered in snow and ice. In February, when I hiked this trail, the snow was very deep and part of the trail hadn't been traveled on since the last big snow, making it extremely easy to get lost. The dark appearance of this photo is a combination of fog and an intermittent, light snow. The cold, the snow, and the lack of crowds gave a thrilling sense of isolation. Perhaps isolation's not really the right word. I don't feel alone in these situations, I feel alone with nature. The feeling was only heightened later when the tracks of others disappeared, and I trail blazed through virgin snow.
The Snow Set of Photographs
I have always viewed the following photographs as a set. I even arranged them together on one of my walls.
Above Left: Yosemite Falls Creek as it rushes toward a 2,700 ft. drop. Above Right: The final stretch of the trail was particularly treacherous. One bad step on ice or unstable snow, and 2,700 ft. later my body would be returned to nature.
Below Left: Clinging to the edge of the cliff, this weathered pine is the picture of patience and perseverance. Below Right: The clouds would partially clear to provide views of a stunning landscape.
Resources (Other Sites)
View the NPS description of this trail on their website (scroll down to "Upper Yosemite Fall).
View Yosemite Explorer's detailed guide to this trail here.