The perfect Yosemite photo – sunny skies, green trees, and breath taking views of El Capitan, Half Dome, and Bridalveil Falls at Tunnel View. Millions of people come to Yosemite National Park every year to capture scenes like this.
In the most popular national park in the US, people from all over the world visit this central California paradise to gaze upon her beauty made famous by John Muir and Ansel Adams. When it comes to hiking in California, there may not be better trails or views anywhere.
Numerous Yosemite photo opportunities at El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Mirror Lake, Cathedral Spires, meadows, lakes, are some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see. For many people, their Yosemite summer vacation may be a dream come true.
However, what if I told you winter in Yosemite is better than a summer vacation in Yosemite?
That’s what happens when the views look a little different and Yosemite speaks to your soul.
Winter in Yosemite
When I arrived in Yosemite on a cold Saturday morning, I knew this day was special. I was getting to see a side of this beautiful park many people don’t experience.
For me, this snow covered Saturday morning was special. I was spending my birthday in Yosemite. Wrapped in layers of shirts, socks, gloves, and thermals, the crisp cool air burned my lungs yet made me feel alive.
This was the Yosemite photo opportunity of a lifetime – fresh fallen snow, some early morning blue skies, and the peaceful, quiet sounds of nothing but the Yosemite landscape.
While there were a number of people in the park that day, I spent time alone with Yosemite. We made our acquaintances as she shared a side of herself many people don’t get to see.
Beneath the snow covered peaks of Half Dome, she whispered to me as her majestic peak played host to an audience of one. As I stood there, I mumbled words of awe and admiration. Time stood still.
For a few moments, everything was quiet. Dressed in a blanket of white, fresh powder adorned her elegant cracks and crevices all the way to her top. Her trees were bare but she wore a canvas of blue for a crown as the sun was shining all around her.
Mount Watkins and Half Dome joined me on the shores of Mirror Lake this winter afternoon. Yosemite knew she looked beautiful on this day for her image cast a perfect reflection in the lake.
On this special day, she created a Yosemite photo of herself to enjoy – the photographer and subject. She shared that moment with just me – a birthday gift.
While many people see Yosemite with their eyes, I experienced Yosemite with my soul.
This is Yosemite in winter.
A Yosemite photo journey for the soul – Yosemite Falls and Half Dome
During the summer, thousands of people crowd around her and enjoy her splendor snapping one Yosemite photo after another for the scrapbook. With the blues and greens of summer adorning Yosemite’s granite, you can enjoy a summer Yosemite photo essay or Yosemite pictures in Spring.
But these photos aren’t for me. Not today.
A Yosemite winter is as much about the soul and the experience as it the views and beauty. I wasn’t there snapping photos of Yosemite as she was on parade for the masses.
I spent a couple of hours alone staring at her and listening with my soul. You see, Yosemite isn’t just on display for summer crowds.
You can get to know a different side of Yosemite in winter, spring, and Fall. Like a fashion show, she changes her dress and her colors. She shares a different side of her personality as the seasons change.
I spent my morning and early afternoon at Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and Mirror Lake.
As you walk with me through this winter Yosemite photo experience, enjoy these photos as I did – looking with your soul as well as your eyes.
Which of these Yosemite photos is your favorite? What unique travel experiences have spoken to you?
If you enjoyed this Winter Yosemite photo journey look at Yosemite Falls and Half Dome, check out my Yosemite Zipline adventure and Part II Yosemite winter photos of El Capitan, a Yosemite sunset, Cathedral spires, and more.
Enjoy more Yosemite photos or purchase one of these in my Yosemite winter gallery.
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