Yosemite Falls Moonbow

Lunar Rainbow and Big Dipper Photo by Nancy Robbins - click for larger image
Lunar Rainbow and Big Dipper
Photo © Nancy Robbins

Also known as lunar rainbows, John Muir called the amazing colors seen in Yosemite Falls by the light of the full moon Lunar Spraybows.  Whatever you call them, make sure you don’t miss this amazing event.  According to moonbow predictions by the researchers at Texas State University, the many factors that go into this elusive display come into alignment in Yosemite only a few days each year.

These factors include: clear skies, enough water in Yosemite Falls to create sufficient mist, dark skies, bright moonlight not blocked by the surrounding mountains, and the correct rainbow-making geometry.

Where to see the Moonbow
Although there are other places you can see a moonbow, the research done by the Texas State group is for the viewing terrace at the west end of the bridge near the base of Yosemite Falls location, and from the parking lot north of Sentinel bridge and along the boardwalk in Cook's Meadow. Nancy got her amazing shot with the Big Dipper in the sky from the bridge near Yosemite Falls.

When should you go?
The dates below are your best chances for seeing the moonbow in 2014.  Visit the Texas State University page for more complete predictions, including times.

 2014 Dates
 Apr 14 - 15
 May 13 - 14
 Jun 12 - 13