The Cathedral Range: Project Yosemite’s Favorite Spots


In an ongoing series, we’ll feature the favorite Yosemite places of filmmakers Sheldon Neill and Colin Delehanty, the creators of the stunning Yosemite HD time-lapse video that became a runaway favorite online with over 3 million views on Vimeo.

The Story

Colin: “After capturing sunset from the summit of Cockscomb Peak Sheldon and I prepared for a night under the stars at 11,000 ft. We had hiked all day into the heart of the Cathedral Range to this spot and planned to stay for sunrise. As the last bit of light faded from the sky so did our view of neighboring peaks such as Echo Peaks, Cathedral Peak and Matthes Crest.

Following dinner we emerged from our warm sleeping bags to setup a few timelapses that would last a couple hours. As I setup my shot it was easy to forget where I was. My eyes had adjusted to the extreme brightness of my headlamp narrowing my vision down to a few feet. I couldn’t wait to see what was out there. I pointed my camera in the direction of the Milky Way, set focus and fired. 20 seconds later an image popped up on my camera LCD. In it I could see Matthes Crest standing there under the Milky Way. It was magic! In that moment I felt so much excitement. I still can’t believe that its possible to capture images like that.”


Sheldon Neill and Colin Delehanty of Project Yosemite

Sheldon Neill and Colin Delehanty of Project Yosemite

The Cathedral Range is south of Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park. Though formed by glaciation, the very top of the peaks in this range rose above the highest level of the glaciers, where they didn’t suffer the same erosion processes as the valley below. Lack of glacial erosion contributes to their spire-like appearance and consequent name.

Read more about Colin, Sheldon and Project Yosemite.

We’re collecting more pictures and stories about favorite Yosemite spots. Keep checking back for more.

Favorite Yosemite Spots: Vogelsang


Photo by Christy Dudley


Photo by Christy Dudley

As part of an ongoing series, we’ll feature the favorite places of Yosemite community members and park visitors. The area near the Vogelsang High Sierra Camp in Yosemite’s backcountry is a favorite spot of Christy Dudley, who lives and works in Yosemite Valley. “The High Sierra Camps are known for their beautiful locations, and Vogelsang is no exception. The hike in from Tuolumne Meadows is not easy as the slog uphill seems to go on forever, but as you approach the camp, Vogelsang Peak slowly comes into the horizon. Before you know it, you are walking in to the camp surrounded by towering granite peaks on either side and sweeping views down the valley. As you continue on toward Vogelsang Pass, the trail takes you right by Vogelsang Lake. While it is difficult to move on from this beautiful spot, you are rewarded with another great view from the top of the pass of Gallison Lake. I found this vantage point particularly special, as it is not every day you get to see the beginnings of the mighty Merced River.”


Photo by Christy Dudley

At 10,130 feet of elevation, the Vogelsang High Sierra Camp is the highest of Yosemite’s five backcountry camps. Vogelsang camp, lake, peak and pass were all named for a California Fish and Game commissioner sometime around the turn of the twentieth century, but the name itself may be singularly appropriate. In old German, Vogelsang means “a meadow in which birds sing”. Vogelsang High Sierra Camp is located at the base of Fletcher Peak, known for its vivid display of alpenglow, and provides a comfortable base to explore the surrounding beauty of the high Sierra.

Favorite Yosemite Spots: Bridalveil Fall


Photo by Jennifer Lopez

As part of an ongoing series, we’ll feature the favorite places of Yosemite community members and park visitors. Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite Valley is a favorite spot of Jennifer Lopez, who lives and works in Yosemite National Park. “Bridalveil Fall has always been my favorite Yosemite waterfall. From 2005 to 2008, I lived in the town of Midpines just outside the park, and Bridalveil Fall always seemed to welcome me with a new look as I drove into Yosemite Valley for work every day. Since I worked varying shifts I was able to see the waterfall in many lights and sometimes under the light of the moon as I drove home. Its beauty and grace is a constant reminder of why I chose to work in Yosemite. Knowing that Bridalveil Fall is my favorite waterfall, my husband Tim proposed to me at its base while we got drenched by the heavy mist on a May afternoon. Of course it was the backdrop for many of our wedding photos, which I had dreamed about for years.”Jen and Tims Wedding

Though not as famous as Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Fall is the first waterfall you see when entering Yosemite Valley and makes up one third of Yosemite’s most iconic panorama at Tunnel View along with El Capitan and Half Dome. On windy days, the thin ribbon of this waterfall will appear to be falling sideways and during the low water levels of summer, the fall often doesn’t reach the ground. The waterfall itself also creates wind in the form of downdrafts and spraying mist, causing a lopsided pruning effect on the trees located within the vicinity due to constant exposure. Because of this phenomena, the Native Americans called this waterfall “Pohono”, which means Spirit of the Puffing Wind. By the late 1800s, the name Bridalveil came into popular usage and though its origin is unclear, it is also rumored that inhaling the mist of Bridalveil Fall will improve your chances of marriage.