Yosemite Valley is a freak of nature. It’s only seven miles long and less than a mile wide, but it ranks higher in scenery per square foot than perhaps anywhere else in the world. Because it was formed by glaciation, the valley walls are sheer and high, leading to world-famous cliffs: El Capitan, a mountain-climbing mecca, rises more than 3,000 feet (900 meters) virtually straight up from the Yosemite Valley floor, and Half Dome looms 4,800 feet (1,600) meters above.
It’s also heaven for waterfalls. Why does central California fill up with storm clouds in the winter? Because adrenaline-junkie water droplets from all over the world are jostling to make it into the Sierra snowpack, just so they can spend twenty unforgettable seconds plunging over Yosemite or Bridalveil Falls.
Of course, these thrill-seeking waters are exhibitionists, too. They know that when they leap into the abyss, people will be watching…
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