Vernal Fall - Beautiful Scenic Waterfall in Yosemite Park, CA
Vernal Fall is a tall beautiful scenic waterfall that drops some 317 feet along the Merced River in the Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park in east-central California. The Native American Indians who lived in the area called this magnificent waterfall Little Cloud or Yan-o-pah due to the great cloud of mist around Vernal Fall.
In 1851 physician and explorer Lafayette Bunnell from Rochester, NY saw the waterfall while on a military expedition to defeat the local Indians. The great cloud of mist thrown up by the waterfall reminded Bunnell of April showers in spring and he renamed the waterfall Vernal Fall.
Vernal Fall is located along the Merced River just downstream from another beautiful waterfall - Nevada Fall. Between the two scenic waterfalls and just above Vernal Fall is a lovely pool of water known as the Emerald Pool. Though the pool looks enticing swimming is strictly forbidden here as a number of people have been swept right over Vernal Fall and to their death from the Emerald Pool.
Liberty Cap, a huge granite dome, is located just above and to the left of both waterfalls and is another beautiful sight in Yosemite. All three of these sights - Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall and Liberty Cap can be seen from Glacier Point and make a spectacular sight to behold.
In 1932 the Philippines issued a postage stamp with Vernal Falls on it by mistake. The stamp was supposed to show a famous and popular Philippine waterfall Pagsanjan Falls but the waterfall on the stamp is unmistakably Vernal Falls.
Hikers can reach the base and top of Vernal Fall by taking the Mist Trail which starts at Happy Isles which is shuttle stop #16. At the base of Vernal Fall the trail passes over the Merced River along a footbridge which offers great views of the waterfall. The Mist Trail then climbs up over 600 granite steps to the top of Vernal Fall. As the name implies hikers are sure to get wet going up the trail from the mist from the waterfall especially in spring and early summer when the water is flowing at peak capacity.
Image Source (Photo taken by Carleton E. Watkins in 1858 - compare to photo below taken in 2010)
During the late summer and dry spells the water flow over Vernal Fall is usually greatly reduced which can cause the waterfall to split into two or three falls. When this occurs Vernal Fall is still a beautiful sight.
Many visitors to scenic Vernal Fall in Yosemite National Park in California consider it to be the most beautiful waterfall in the park.
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