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Exiting Yosemite National Park to the east will take you down the steep and winding Tioga Pass with drop offs of over 2000 feet. Far below the treacherous road lays the hidden glory of Lee Vining canyon. Sweet water from the high Sierra flows down the canyon in to a paradise covered with deep green pines and aspens. In the Fall months, during a very short period of time the aspens suddenly change color and the California gold show is on. The trees will change from their deep green to a lime green, yellow, orange and on occasion go all the way to a deep red. Many of the campgrounds are closed at this time so it takes a bit of a hike down the road to find the key locations along the creek.

I nearly missed this stunning cascade which was just off the edge of the road down a steep slope. As I carefully made my way down the falls became framed by the stunning golden aspen trees and brilliant red rabbit shrubs. The sound of the falls became thunderous as I approached and the light would peak in and out from behind high clouds. The wind had been gusting and it took some patience to get a fairly long exposure to blur the water but try to keep the aspens fluttering leaves in focus. Eventually I would make my way all the way down to the rocks below the falls but you will have to wait till I post that shot.

© Darvin Atkeson

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