Yosemite Hikes Home » Yosemite Valley » Bridalveil Fall » View from the Tunnel View, winter
Bridalveil Fall and Cathedral Rocks in winter

Bridalveil Fall and Cathedral Rocks

Storms in Yosemite send most visitors in search of a bar with a big fireplace, but for photographers, these kinds of days are catnip. Gathering and clearing storms add bonus drama to Yosemite's already dramatic vistas, with combinations of lighting, clouds, and mist that are likely to never be quite the same again.

This photo, taken from the Tunnel View, captures Bridalveil Fall and Cathedral Rocks during an intermission between storms on March 13, 2006. A park ranger was parked across the road here to prevent anyone from going farther up Highway 41 without tire chains, but the Tunnel View vista itself was accessible to anyone. This is a useful point to keep in mind if you're seeking winter storms in Yosemite: though you're required to carry tire chains in your car at all times, you'll seldom have to use them if you're staying in Yosemite Valley, which has an elevation of only 4,000 feet, and you enter the valley via Highway 140 (the road through Mariposa and Merced), which winds through the Merced River canyon and never exceeds Yosemite Valley's elevation. (Here's a road map of the Yosemite area.)