Outbound Collective logo

Photograph Moonbows at Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Valley, California

Details

Distance

1 miles

Route Type

Loop

Description

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

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app

Features

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
River
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Lower Yosemite Falls

Rock Climb Penthouse Cracks, Yosemite NP

Bike Yosemite Valley

Hike the Sentinel Meadow Cook's Meadow Loop Trail

Hike to Yosemite Point

Hike the North Dome Loop via Yosemite Falls Trail