Yosemite is flourishing in the season

March 16, 2013 12:52:01 AM PDT
This week's record high temperatures after last week's storm have created a spectacular sight in Yosemite.

The snowcapped cliffs and bare tree branches show winter is lingering in Yosemite, but the flowing waterfalls look more like mid-spring.

Yosemite visitor Denise Walton said, "I'm happy to see they are flowing this much, and i think the weather is absolutely perfect for sight-seeing."

Park rangers say the warm weather this week melted enough snow to give the falls some extra force.

You can hear and feel the power of Bridalveil through its thundering sounds and swirling spray. Visitors are soaking it all in.

Yosemite visitor Jose Velazquez said, "The mist is part of the fun. You go to Disneyland and you pay to get wet. This is just nature. This is the purest water you can find."

The Merced River is also rising thanks to last week's storm and climbing temperatures. Rangers say this winter brought more moisture than the previous one, but the snowpack is only 70 percent of normal -- so the waterfalls may lose their strength by mid-summer. That's why Rita Locke drove from Coalinga to capture them on camera now.

Yosemite visitor Rita Locke said, "The waterfalls are spectacular, and they're always changing so it's never the same from day to day and from year to year, and they're just breathtaking."

And the best is yet to come. Many of the falls reach their peak flow in May.

Of course the waterfalls are just some of the many attractions in the park. The iconic sights here at tunnel view draw people from around the world all year long.


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