Yosemite Falls

Are you one of those people who is always looking for the best, the tallest, the biggest, the wettest? If so then Yosemite Falls is one place that has to top your vacation must sees. Noted as North America’s highest measured waterfall, Yosemite Falls also boasts a respectable 5th place (this is sometimes debated) in the world. If you’re going to make the trek to Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California you might want to schedule it for late spring when the water flow is at its peak. If it’s an extremely dry year the falls can cease flowing altogether in late summer or early fall.

The falls are actually divided into three different segments. The lower part of the falls lies next to a viewing area and is very popular with tourists and photographers. The middle of the falls is referred to as the cascades and really doesn’t lend itself well to spectators. In fact helicopter rescues for people who have strayed off the trail are not an uncommon occurrence. The very top of the falls measures 2425 feet from the base and has a look out point but only the fit members of your crew should attempt this strenuous and steep 3.5-mile hike. If the 3.5-mile hike isn’t daunting to you at all then perhaps a little rock climbing would better suit your needs. Climbers have been known to attempt the face of the falls when droughts have reduced it to less than a trickle. The problem is one brief thunderstorm can rain serious trouble onto those in its path. If you’re one of these adventurous souls you may want to take it a little easy at Yosemite, several deaths have occurred in this protected paradise, some are unexpected accidents while others are the result of irresponsible actions. It’s surprising how many people have died while actually pretending to fall over the edge. One of the most noted deaths was the 1925 suicide of Polish Count Theodore James Jackowski who plunged over the falls after leaving a note and jacket at the top of the mountain with a notebook holding his will. As far as anyone can figure, the count had inherited a quarter of a million dollars and came to America to live the high life. Life in the lap of luxury didn’t last long and neither did the money. Once broke Jackowski became depressed and decided to kill himself.

Creative Commons License Photo credit: Kevin Eldon