Springtime Splendor in Yosemite

As the winter snows thaw, visitors flock to the popular national park to see frazil ice, moonbows and other seasonal sights

Springtime visitors to Yosemite National Park are treated to sweeping views of lush landscapes. (Oleksandr Buzko / Alamy)

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It seemed our luck was bad for seeing the special sights of springtime Yosemite, aside from the emerging green and the booming waterfalls. Then we went on a bus tour through the Yosemite valley. We arrived at an elevated viewing area and, as if decreed by a higher power, the clouds parted, displaying many of Yosemite’s iconic landmarks in a single view: El Capitan on the left, Yosemite Falls towards the center, Half Dome in the distance and Bridalveil Falls to the right.

The bus driver, a climber who’s been working at Yosemite for 14 years, pointed. “Look at the bottom of Bridalveil Falls,” he said. “When the sun hits it, you’ll see a rainbow in the mist.”

And sure enough, the sun lit up the valley and shone on the falls. Suddenly, there were colors in the mist. Not a rainbow, exactly, but a roiling turbulence of greens and reds and yellows, like colorful ruffles at the hem of a long white dress. We gasped along with everyone else on the bus, our thirst for spring spectacle quenched.


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