Photograph Moonbows at Yosemite Falls

Details

Distance

1 miles

Route Type

Loop

Added by Beth Young

Photograph moonbows, or lunar rainbows, a rare occurrence throughout the world. Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in Yosemite National Park and provides the opportunity to capture a phenomenon on camera barely detectable to the naked eye.

In spring at Yosemite National Park, a unique phenomenon occurs, called “moonbows.” Seen during the full moon, moonbows are rainbows produced by light reflected off the surface of the moon, and are relatively faint and difficult to detect with the naked eye, but they do appear in long exposure photographs.

Don Olson of Texas State University publishes an accurate schedule of moonbow prediction dates and times for both the upper and lower falls. The predictions are based on the orientation of the full moon lining up correctly with the waterfall’s mist.

Moonbow conditions are dependent on clear, dark skies, bright moonlight, and adequate mist in the falls. Expect to arrive early, well in advance of the scheduled moonbow time, as you will be one among dozens, if not hundreds, of photographers and photography groups. Try the rocks in front of the bridge path of Yosemite Falls Trail for a beautiful composition.

For hike information to the Lower Yosemite Falls viewpoint, see this adventure

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Know for

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
River
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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