Photo: A sign of climate change in Yosemite?

Picture: Non-existant Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

This is a postcard photo you don’t see too often. It’s of a completely dry Yosemite Falls. There should be a dramatic white plume of cascading water, but the year when this photo (2001) was taken, the falls ran totally dry due to lack of water in the snow pack. If it wasn’t for one big set of storms last month, this might be the scene for the bulk of this year. However, we still have our fingers crossed that mother nature will provide more fuel for the world’s third highest waterfall. Below is a 100% detail.


El Nino strikes again…?

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4 Comments on “Photo: A sign of climate change in Yosemite?”

  1. Peter T. Says:

    Yosemite Falls has always been an ephemeral fall. It will almost always run dry by mid-September except during the years with the heaviest amount of snowfall.

    I’ve been in Yosemite Valley too many Augusts (usually giving tours of Yosemite to relatives and non-local friends) when Yosemite Falls has been bone dry.

    Yosemite Falls running dry by late summer isn’t the exception — it’s the norm.

  2. enlightphoto Says:


    You’re entirely right. Chlak this one up to me not being in the Valley from June to October in almost 15 years. I have a huge distaste for summer crowds. Thanks for the correction, I didn’t realize that it was normal to go fully dry like in the photo. Aprreciate your time in commenting.

  3. Richard Says:

    The first time I went to Yosemite was 15 years ago when my parents took us on a vacation there. I didn’t see what the big deal with Yosemite was… Because there were no waterfalls flowing, it was hot and a fire was causing it to be really hazy. It was the beginning of October. It wasn’t until I went there in 2001 right after a winter snow storm that I realized how great of a place the valley is.

  4. Photo Buffet Says:

    I returned last week from eight days at Yosemite and that “plume of cascading water” was alive & well. It was a great time of year to visit – traffic & crowds at a minimum – and the weather was absolutely perfect every day except one. Here’s a photo I took late the first day:


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