It had been 3 weeks since we last checked out the fall colors along the Merced River in Yosemite Valley. We had been focusing on the dogwoods on that trip but had been hearing that the yellow and orange colors were really popping so we needed to check it out. If you haven’t already taken a drive up there to admire the fall show, it isn’t too late. Or, you can just take it easy and check out my pictures.
Where: Yosemite National Park
Elevation Range: About 3,880′
Date: November 11, 2014
Maps: El Capitan Topographic Quad
We started out at Fern Spring, just after you cross the Pohono Bridge and on the right side where is a pullout where you can stop and check out the spring. The yellow Big Leaf Maple leaves reflected beautifully in this small pool of water that slowly cascades over rocks. The patterns and reflections are constantly changing.
We crossed the road and headed down to the river, admiring the gorgeous reflections that we could see in the river, as we very slowly made our way downstream to the Pohono Bridge. Big Leaf Maples, Cottonwoods, and Black Oaks provided yellow and orange colors but those colors would not contrast so well without the conifers providing their green backdrop.
We drove up the road a little bit, parking at a pullout on the left side of the road and walked down to the river. We had to work a little harder for these shots, climbing over old logs and making our way through brush. It was worth it and we worked our way upstream. In addition to the colorful fall colors, we were treated to reflections of El Capitan and a few clouds. The sky was a hazy color, so we didn’t get any of those blue sky contrasts or reflections but it still was mighty nice.
Depending on the weather, I figure the next couple of weeks or so will be a nice time to do this hike and see some nice color. Of course, we could get a storm and it could blow all of the leaves off the trees but I guarantee it will still be gorgeous!