The Magic of Hiking to Yosemite’s Waterfalls
By Michael Lanza
My seven-year-old daughter, Alex, is engaged in some heavy intellectual lifting. I can tell by the way she stares quietly, her brow knitted in thought, at Upper Yosemite Falls. We’ve hiked for 90 minutes up a thousand vertical feet of hot, dusty trail above Yosemite Valley to stand below this curtain of water that plunges a sheer 1,430 feet off a cliff, ripping through the air with a sound like fighter jets buzzing us.
I can only imagine how it challenges her young sense of perspective. I was an adult when I first saw Yosemite Falls, the tallest in North America at 2,425 feet, consisting of the upper falls in front of us, several hundred feet of cascades below it, and 400-foot-tall Lower Yosemite Falls, out of sight far below us.
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