Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Snow Set -- Yosemite Falls Trail

The Isolation
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.


  1. thx for ur visit to my selection, ur photo blog is amazing, see u

  2. The places that you go to are extraordinary and your photos not bad!! In order to get these photos you have had to hike into some wild places.

  3. Thanks Island Rambles. I really love hiking to beautiful places. My love of photography actually grew organically out of my hikes and a desire to capture a little of the beauty of the places I've been.

  4. Awesome pics. We don't often see such familiar Yosemite spots in such unfamiliar conditions. I've never quite gotten myself up to the top of the Falls in winter. Anyway, thanks for putting these pics on the web.

    PS - as soon as I get my site upgrades done, I'll be able to link to you from my page on the Falls Trail (and thanks for the mention you already gave me). Definitely want to send people here to see this, especially if all they know is toiling up the Falls Trail on a July afternoon with the sun baking their brains!

  5. Thanks Tom. I've learned so much from your site, so it's nice to know it's not all one-sided.

  6. Which month were these fotos taken? I am planning to hike in late October this year and was wondering if the trail would be still ice-free.