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  • Stephenie Hollyman

Waterfall Flow in Yosemite

Updated: Nov 5, 2019

It’s June and you’re sitting at home watching the latest meme on Instagram while trying trying to decide if you’ll drive to Yosemite #yosemite tomorrow to take pictures along the Mist Trail.You know that all Yosemite waterfalls #yosemitewaterfalls are theoretically at their peak of run- off now. But you want to know how much water is actually flowing today.


Check out this website for a description of each waterfall in the Park.


In science-speak the discharge level of water is measured as “cfs” (cubic feet per second). If you go to the the Internet, read the weather for Yosemite,and then consult the current csf reading you might find enough information to help you decide whether or not to go.


For instance, the latest reading for water discharge at Vernal Falls is 2700 cfs. The Yosemite Park Service website further informs you,


“If the Merced River’s flowing at 5 cfs (cubic feet per second), which is not at all uncommon in the autumn, the views may underwhelm you. At 3,000 cfs, sections of the overlook above Vernal Falls will be flooded and the mist will be so thick below the fall that if you can’t see without glasses, you’ll be more or less blind. But there’s a wide range of good conditions, and the waterfalls will be memorable at flow levels down to a hundred cfs, at least, which can last well beyond the April – June peak runoff.”

Sounds hopeful. Pack your bags or backpack and head on down the road!


Buy my new eBook, " A Visitor's Guide to Photographing Yosemite", a stepping stone to help you strike out on the path less trampled and to observe more fully as you photograph in Yosemite. Check out the video  ! 




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