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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

High water in Yosemite

Nevada Fall, June 2010

The Merced River was in spate this year.  Really in spate. 

It was unusually balmy as we drove down the central valley to Yosemite last week, and the warm air drifted up the Pacific slope and kicked off a serious snowmelt. 

For the first time in 6 years we were not booked for riverside sites in the Housekeeping Camp, but when we saw the vacant flooded campsites no one in the group complained about being far from the river.

Since you needed waders to get around down there, the park rangers relocated the riverside campers to unoccupied sites, which bumped other folks who had reservations. 

There were not as many happy campers this year, and the park maintenance crew were busy removing log jams from the bridges.   


Below the bridge to the Mist trail and Vernal Fall. 

All the same, the river was a thrilling sight, and we hiked to Nevada Fall past roaring cataracks and flooded banks.

Just before it spills over Nevada Fall the river had spread over an area that was twice its width in June of previous years.

Here's the big water as seen from the Four-mile Trail to Glacier Point.

The river and falls roar around the clock, but it's best heard at night.

I don't know why, maybe it's the wind, but sometimes it sounds like breakers on a beach.


randomtruth said...

I think it sounds like breakers because when there's that much water it has a tide! :)

Nice pics Codger. Now I know what the Merced looked like before I saw it outside the Park.

That was some serious snowmelt.

Anonymous said...

i would have loved to see pics from housekeeping camp. the units we were in ( and we our faves for well over a decade) 39/40 DID NOT flood in 1997 - yet units all around us did - as did the restrooms across the street from our unit. they closed the park and we and the a few brave souls in units in the 500's stayed and had a blast.

Camera Trap Codger said...

I should have taken pictures of the flooded Housekeeping camp. Drat. We were flooded there last year, but our camp sites, right next to the river were spared the flood.