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Conserving Yosemite’s Beloved Bridalveil Fall
A Community Effort in Yosemite National Park
Announcement: For every Ansel Adams Bridalveil Fall Modern Replica purchased, our Gallery will donate 10% to the Yosemite Conservancy Bridalveil Restoration Fund for the expected three-year duration of the Bridalveil Restoration Project. Help us contribute to the effort!
Bridalveil Fall, 1927, Highest Quality Reproduction of Ansel Adams’ Original Photograph Available in many sizes, finished to museum quality, and exclusively from The Ansel Adams Gallery
Carved by glaciers eons ago, this 620-foot waterfall is one of the most beautiful and majestic waterfalls in North America. Ansel Adams captured this thundering image of Bridalveil during the late 1920’s. Years before, his father-in-law, Harry Best, exchanged vows with his wife at the base of Bridalveil for their wedding ceremony. Guests could hardly hear a thing with the roaring waters as their backdrop! Bridalveil’s wispy curling mist, known to all Yosemite visitors, inspired its Native American name Pohono, meaning “spirit of the puffing wind.”
Bridalveil Fall is the first grand waterfall that most park visitors experience. It typically flows year-round, resulting in constant visitation. The popularity of this fall has out-spaced surrounding facilities and trails, which has led to the need for a large-scale restoration project to protect the surrounding habitat and enhance the visitor experience.
Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite National Park, Spring 2019
Yosemite Officials have created a robust restoration plan estimated at $13 million in improvements, with half of the funding being provided by the non-profit Yosemite Conservancy.
According to the Yosemite Conservancy, “The project to restore Bridalveil Fall will enhance the visitor experience and protect surrounding habitat, based on a design informed by a public process and a shared vision for the area.”
Bridalveil Fall, Photo courtesy of the Yosemite Conservancy
You can expect some changes at the beloved Fall—all for the better. Schuyler Greenleaf, Projects Director of the Yosemite Conservancy updated us on how a planned restoration to the popular site will unfold and when. With construction beginning in the summer or fall of 2020, the upgrade will be executed in two phases. The good news is that during the project, the trails and site will remain open for all to enjoy!
The plan redevelops the trails to allow for wheelchair access at an additional viewing area, and looping the trails to allow better distribution of visitors.
The trail’s alignment has been laid out. Trees have been cut for historic views and also fire and forest protection.
The accessible trail will will start at the new restrooms and will include a boardwalk through the areas that get spring runoff.
The second half of the project is to have an upgraded restroom facility appropriately designed for the high volume of visitors.
A hookup will be added to the valley water, sewar, and power systems. Work has already begun on the water source.
There may be temporary closures at times, and the existing parking lot will close for an extended period, but access from Southside Drive will remain open. This project is currently in the design phase, with anticipated completion during the winter and contracting in the Spring.
“Ultimately, this project will reclaim the priceless natural beauty, rustic character and riparian habitats of a popular part of Yosemite Valley, while providing an exceptional and memorable experience for visitors.” — Yosemite Conservancy