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Bridalveil Fall

Bridalveil Fall, seen here from a couple miles away at the Tunnel View, is 620 feet (189 meters) high. Bridalveil Creek flows out of what geologists call a "hanging valley" - a tributary valley that drops off into a lower, larger valley. The larger valleys (and this the case with Yosemite Valley) are usually lower because they were created by glaciers, which are able to carve out more of the planet than the streams that cut away the higher tributary valleys. (If you're interested in Yosemite's geology - and even if you're not, for that matter - Geology Underfoot in Yosemite National Park is a good layman-readable guide.)