Alpenglow is an optical phenomenon in which a horizontal reddish glow is observed on the horizon opposite to the sun.

Tuolumne Meadows, in the Eastern Sierra Nevada’s high country of Yosemite National Park, is the place to witness the amazing alpenglow at sunset. The phenomenon often lingers for several minutes after the sun has completely set, filling the sky with the ethereal orange-red glow.

alpenglow on high Sierra
High Sierra sunset creates alpenglow on opposite horizon

Not only is alpenglow an amazing phenomenon, but John Muir described the Sierra Nevada Range as “The range of light.”

“Then it seemed to me that the Sierra should be called, not the Nevada or Snowy Range, but the Range of Light. And after ten years of wandering and wondering in the heart of it, rejoicing in its glorious floods of light, the white beams of the morning streaming through the passes, the noonday radiance on the crystal rocks, the flush of the alpenglow, and the irised spray of countless waterfalls, it still seems above all others the Range of Light.” — from The Yosemite (1912)

Hard to capture with anything other than the naked eye, there is something magical about the sunlit Glow reflected on the billions of pine needles that give off a light of their own.

Light emanates even from the pine needles

Even the shining granite known as “glacial polish” adds the ethereal glow Muir described.

Glacial Polish on Lembert Dome

The Range of Light has infused inspiration into my soul since I walked these meadows in 1968 as an eight year-old. TWSchrandt

For earlier post on this subject visit, No Room, But There’s a View.

Pin or Flip Me! still seems above all others the Range of Light.- john muir

I hope you enjoyed some light and inspiration from my backyard (wink)! Posted for the Weekly Photo Challenge “Glow.”

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29 thoughts on “The Glow from “The Range of Light”

  1. Gosh, that’s gorgeous! Very interesting facts, too. There’s something about sunsets, isn’t there? (Maybe it’s just because I’m awake for those rather than sunrises lol) Have a great day and thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a gorgeous post, Terri! I’ve seen the alpenglow many times but never knew it had a name. No matter how many times you see it, it’s always breathtaking. Thank so much for sharing these brilliant photos and lovely tutorial ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! First of all, your photos are stunning. And second of all, thank you for explaining alpenglow. I looked into it a little further to see if it is a phenomenon associated in only certain locations but was happy to learn that it isn’t. And that what we have probably be labeling as a stunning sunset in El Paso has actually been alpenglow. Especially since it is often in the skies opposite the sun.
    You taught this old dog something new. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful shots, Terri. I love all your quotes of John Muir as well. While we are exploring some of the most amazing national parks of Utah, Mark is STILL comparing everything to Yosemite! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a hard scene to capture, Terri. When storm Ophelia hit the UK last week, the sun and sky turned a red colour because the winds had picked up dust from the Sahara Desert. At 10 am, all the street lights came on as if it were dusk. The whole thing lasted about an hour before the rain arrived, but none of the photos I took showed up the amazing sky and colours. ☹️ I suppose there’s always the next time. and I have at least captured some wonderful sunset and sunrises.

    Liked by 1 person

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