Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite National Park, California, USA
© Jeff Foott/Minden Picture
Yosemite National Park, USA
There are thousands of waterfalls in Yosemite National Park in the United States, but perhaps none are as well known as Bridalveil Fall. Bridalveil, as seen in today's photo, is often the first waterfall visitors to Yosemite encounter. It plunges 188 metres and flows year-round, fed with water from Ostrander Lake approximately 16 kilometres away. When the flow is light, brisk winds blow the water sideways. That’s why the Ahwahneechee Native Americans, who have lived in the Yosemite Valley for centuries, traditionally called the waterfall Pohono, or Spirit of the Puffing Wind.
When Yosemite was made a national park in 1890, it was pivotal to the continued idea of protecting natural areas for the future. Scottish-American environmentalist John Muir is credited with convincing President Benjamin Harrison to preserve the Yosemite Valley, and that success inspired a series of conservation efforts that would eventually lead to the creation of the National Park System. Today, Yosemite’s pristine wilderness is internationally known for mountains, granite cliffs, giant sequoia groves and, of course, waterfalls.