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Jerry Pillarelli | profile | all galleries >> Travel and Nature >> US Travel >> California >> Yosemite National Park – California >> Yosemite National Park – Hetch Hetchy Valley – California (2019) tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Yosemite National Park – Hetch Hetchy Valley – California (2019)

Images of Yosemite National Park, Hetch Hetchy Valley – Central California, taken in June 2019.

This is a valley that John Muir called “a wonderfully exact counterpart of the great Yosemite”. Today in place of that valley there is an 8 mile long reservoir which supplies drinking water and hydro-electric power for San Francisco and the surrounding area. In the early 1930’s Muir led preservationists in the fight to oppose the building of the O’Shaughnessy Dam but lost out to dam supporters who touted the economic benefits and the need for water in the rapidly growing Bay Area.

The Hetch Hetchy Valley is still a spectacular place to visit and is by all park standards a ‘hidden gem’ as most people that come to Yosemite don’t venture beyond the Yosemite Valley itself. As Hetch Hetchy came into view the first thing I noticed was that the Tueeulala Falls was flowing; I expected this because of all the snowfall they had this year in the Sierras, still I was thrilled because when I was here last July it was dry with only watermarks on the cliff indicating that water had once flowed there. The other great waterfall, Wapama Falls was stronger than ever. It runs year round but was a torrent of water right now. So amazing to see both falls flowing and one can only imagine this valley before the dam was erected.

I took the trail that follows the north bank of the reservoir toward Wapama Falls and was thrilled that the area was awash in wildflowers and butterflies. For the most part this five mile trail is pretty easy although right now that includes fording runoff from the Tueeulala Falls forcing anyone wanting to hike to Wapama Falls to get their feet wet. Unfortunately this was also the reason that Search and Rescue teams were in the area as that excess snowmelt just the day before had swept a hiker off of the footbridge at Wapama Falls.
Tueeulala and Wapama Falls over the reservoir in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Tueeulala and Wapama Falls over the reservoir in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Wildflowers in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Wildflowers in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Tueeulala (880 feet) and Wapama Falls (1,400 feet) in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Tueeulala (880 feet) and Wapama Falls (1,400 feet) in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Blooming wildflowers in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Blooming wildflowers in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Tunnel as seen from the top of the O’Shaughnessy Dam in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Tunnel as seen from the top of the O’Shaughnessy Dam in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Butterfly on a flower in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Butterfly on a flower in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
O’Shaughnessy Dam with Tueeulala and Wapama Falls in the distance in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
O’Shaughnessy Dam with Tueeulala and Wapama Falls in the distance in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Hetch Hetchy Valley from the O’Shaughnessy Dam in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Hetch Hetchy Valley from the O’Shaughnessy Dam in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Wapama Falls flowing into the reservoir in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Wapama Falls flowing into the reservoir in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Wildflowers in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Wildflowers in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Dragonfly perched on granite in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Dragonfly perched on granite in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Large butterfly in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Large butterfly in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Harvest Brodiaea blooming in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Harvest Brodiaea blooming in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Butterfly on the ground in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Butterfly on the ground in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Dead tree in a meadow in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Dead tree in a meadow in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Wind alters the path of a small waterfall in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Wind alters the path of a small waterfall in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Manzanita Bush on the edge of the reservoir in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Manzanita Bush on the edge of the reservoir in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Hetch Hetchy Valley as seen from the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Hetch Hetchy Valley as seen from the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
The O’Shaughnessy Dam as seen from the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
The O’Shaughnessy Dam as seen from the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Yawning Penstemons blooming in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Yawning Penstemons blooming in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Tueeulala Falls as seen from the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Tueeulala Falls as seen from the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Hetch Hetchy Dome (left) and Kolana Rock (right) in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Hetch Hetchy Dome (left) and Kolana Rock (right) in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Harvest Brodiaea blooming in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Harvest Brodiaea blooming in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Wapama Falls as seen from the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Wapama Falls as seen from the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Yellow Jacket hovers over the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Yellow Jacket hovers over the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Plants growing on top of a creek fed pond in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Plants growing on top of a creek fed pond in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Monkeyflowers growing in a mountain stream in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Monkeyflowers growing in a mountain stream in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Timeworn tree branch in a mountain stream in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Timeworn tree branch in a mountain stream in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Plant life in a valley stream in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Plant life in a valley stream in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Butterfly close up in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Butterfly close up in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Large bee taking pollen from a Yawning Penstemon in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Large bee taking pollen from a Yawning Penstemon in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Lizard on granite along the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Lizard on granite along the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Fiddleneck plant along the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Fiddleneck plant along the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
The Hetch Hetchy Valley from the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
The Hetch Hetchy Valley from the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Butterfly in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Butterfly in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Tueeulala Falls from the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Tueeulala Falls from the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Water from Tueeulala Falls floods the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Water from Tueeulala Falls floods the Wapama Falls Trail in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Search and Rescue Helicopter flies over the reservoir in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Search and Rescue Helicopter flies over the reservoir in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Searchers look for a lost hiker on the rocks below Wapama Falls in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Searchers look for a lost hiker on the rocks below Wapama Falls in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
The raging waters of Wapama Falls in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
The raging waters of Wapama Falls in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Search and Rescue Helicopter at the base of Wapama Falls in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Search and Rescue Helicopter at the base of Wapama Falls in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Mist from Wapama Falls crashing into the rocks at its base in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Mist from Wapama Falls crashing into the rocks at its base in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Hanging garden on the damp rocks in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Hanging garden on the damp rocks in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Growth on granite under a small waterfall in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Growth on granite under a small waterfall in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Blooming succulent in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Blooming succulent in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Plants growing from a crack in the granite near water runoff in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Plants growing from a crack in the granite near water runoff in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Williamson’s Clarkia flower in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Williamson’s Clarkia flower in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Close up of a butterfly in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Close up of a butterfly in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
A bee harvests pollen from a Yerba Santa flower in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
A bee harvests pollen from a Yerba Santa flower in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Blue butterfly on the ground in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP
Blue butterfly on the ground in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of Yosemite NP