Horsetail Falls-Yosemite National Park

It’s February and that means people from around the world go to Yosemite National Park to capture a photo of Horsetail Falls. In a previous post I mentioned the years it took me to capture this photo. This week I wanted to revisit the experience.

Park staff has made it more difficult to capture this phenomenon in 2020. After the 2019 season resulted in partial destruction of the southern beach along the Merced River and a trash heap from photographers, NPS has closed the southern location. They have limited photographers to the Northern viewing location (Rowell’s View) and limited the area to walk in only.

If you plan on going check with the Yosemite NP web page. The photo above was taken before the fall turned the bright orange it is so famous for. I post the yellow version of the fall to encourage you to take several shots as the waterfall changes color from silver to yellow and then orange. If you’re lucky you might see it flicker pink just before the light is gone.

Don’t limit yourself to the fall only. This photo was taken at the North site (Rowell’s view) in the afternoon at about 3pm. The streaks of the clouds and the contrails of airplanes add to the beauty of Yosemite Valley. Look around for other views while you’re there.

I want to leave you with a humorous story about the 2016 photo. We had arrived early to set up, enjoying getting to know the other photographers and talking about gear in the late afternoon. As if to mock the photographers and all the expensive equipment on the beach, this bald eagle came by to see what all the ruckus was about.

Someone in the crowd shouted “Eagle” and no one had a camera trained on this magnificent bird. He perched in the tree, did a parade lap, and flew away. This poor photo is the only one taken by the people around me. It was all I could do to get the camera off the tripod and focus it on the beautiful bald eagle.

Do you have stories about Yosemite photo trips? I’d love to read them.

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