Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Silent Rainbow Falls

(GPS: 37 36.090 W119 05.075)

I think Youtube has the advantage on this one since I had to use a little more compression on Vimeo, but I will post both versions:

I use some alternative footage and show the falls from the other two observation points:

A young boy commented in a loud voice on the bus ride back to Mammoth that, "Devils Postpile is overrated. Rainbow Falls is what the area should be really called." I had to laugh at that because I understood what he was trying to say. I think the average person gets more of the "wow" factor from seeing waterfalls.

We continued the last 1/2 mile from the area I showed in the previous blog entry. The San Joaquin River was beside us for most of the hike. Here is where it drops over the falls.

When we got to the first observation point I quickly started videoing the area. I wanted to get a few minutes in, but the problem was everyone started really crowding in at this point. There was not an overwhelming amount of people, but the people that were there quickly crammed into the areas right next to me. I do not think I have ever had that issue in the Sierra before, but as I said in the previous blogs this is a well known tourist area. It would have been nice if they could have given me a minute or two before they tried to take my place.
A few blogs back I mentioned we did not get on the tour bus as early as we should have. I think this is the area I kind of "paid" for it in that the rainbow might have been a bit better an hour earlier. I do not know, but from what I have read you need to be there during the morning hours. We were sometime before noon, so at least I was able to get the above.
There are two other main observation points of the falls. One is a little lower from the first one (which you can see in the second video), but the bottom one is where you go down a long stairway to get to the above picture. You can definately feel the mist down here.

According to what I have read, the falls have actually moved 500 feet back from the original location. This has to do with the erosion due to the water continuously undercutting or sculpting the rock below it over long periods of time.

People were really complaining about going back up the stairway. The way the hike worked out the stairway back up those 100 steps is lot more work that the hike itself. From the falls you just have go back the way you came, but there is a closer trailhead to where the bus takes people out. From there we rode the bus back to Mammoth.

My day was not over with this though. I wanted to be sure to hit two Mammoth movie location areas before we headed home. Those will come up in the next blog.