Moonbow Magic Over Yosemite Falls

One is due on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. Curious?

Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau

LIGHT AND WATER: The sights and sprays of Yosemite Valley are some of the best-known in the world, and especially in the springtime, when the national park's waterfalls are at their most robust. But it isn't always just the water-and-rock element that visitors journey to the Sierra to see. Very often how the light plays off the famous falls is the draw, specifically at certain times of the year or certain phases of the moon. Take the Horsetail Fall's annual "firefall," a mid-February marvel that results from the rays of a setting sun and the fall itself (the "fire" in the name is a clue as to the appearance). But moonbows can also be seen around the valley at certain times. Surely you know the moonbow, yes? Less common than a rainbow but just as magical, a moonbow is simply a bow created from light reflected from our lunar orb. We'd almost be inclined to call them even more magical than rainbows, since the light has to make a pit stop on the moon before reach our watery planet, but we don't want to be accused of thinking anything is more magical than a rainbow. That's practically law, right?

HERE COMES A MOONBOW NOW: There may be a chance to see this enchanted sight on the evening of Saturday, May 25 at Lower Yosemite Fall. "May"  is the operative word, of course. As with all natural wonders and marvels, timing, atmosphere, and a hundred other elements play into the final result. But, still, there's a full moon due, and there are only "a few days a year," per a Yosemite site, that a bow is possible. May 25 is one, hooray hooray, so bet the bow buffs'll be out. Even if the magic doesn't happen, you'll be in the Valley, on Memorial Day Weekend, so we're just betting you'll find a horse to ride or a hike to join.

MOONBOW PREDICTIONS: The moonbow predictions shared by Yosemite are made by Texas State University researchers. Wouldn't you love to be a moonbow predictor? No joshing here. We'd put that at the top of our resume, out of pure pride.

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