Falls, Yosemite National Park

4.5 out of 5 stars 55 Reviews

Yosemite National Park

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  • Falls
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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Lower Yosemite Fall

    by chewy3326 Written Jul 3, 2006

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    Lower Yosemite Fall
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    Lower Yosemite Fall is probably one of the most popular attractions in Yosemite Valley; on any given day during late spring and early summer, you'll probably find the parking area completely full, as well as tons of tourists on the trail. The quickest route to the falls is from the Yosemite Lodge parking area, which unfortunately, is for lodge guests only; if you start from there, you can save about 5 minutes of round-trip walking time. The paved trail from the Yosemite Falls shuttle bus stop is wheelchair accessible part of the way. It leads through forest, with the first part of the trail offering a view of both the Upper and Lower Fall. Eventually, you'll lose the view of the Upper fall as the trail approaches the footbridge; occasionally, mist will blow onto you. The trail parallels the sometimes-dry creekbed of part of Yosemite Creek, then climbs slightly (no physical effort needed) to the footbridge over Yosemite Creek just below Lower Yosemite Fall. The roar, the spray, and the power make this an awesome sight, but the immense crowds do not. I visited Lower Yosemite Fall three times while I was in Yosemite; once at 6:40 AM, once in mid-afternoon, and once at 6 PM. To figure out when you should go, I'll give some approxiamate stats on how many people were there each time: In the afternoon, there were 100+ people; at 6 PM, there were about 20 people; at 6:40 AM, the trail was entirely empty and I was alone with the fall. (To tell the truth, Lower Yosemite Fall is spectacular, and since the trail's only 1/2-mile round trip, it's worth doing it more than once to see it without the crowds.) Some people will climb on the rocks near the fall, but it's dangerous and not recommended by the National Park Service.

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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Yosemite Falls

    by chewy3326 Written Jul 3, 2006

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    Yosemite Falls
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    2,425-tall Yosemite Falls thunders down in three falls as the single most impressive waterfall I have ever seen. It is the world's fifth tallest waterfall (but according to others, the sixth, seventh, or eighteenth), and the tallest waterfall in North America. The Ahwahneechee called the falls 'Cholok' (sorry, forgot what that means). Yosemite Falls is really amazing, though, with its three steps: the Upper Fall, 1,430 feet tall, the Middle Cascade, 675 feet tall, and Lower Yosemite Fall, 320 feet tall. The falls are a drop on Yosemite Creek, which originates near Mt. Hoffman. Because the waterfall is entirely dependent on snowpack, it is usually dry between late July and the winter. The falls will generally peak in late May/early June, when the snowpack is melting fastest; even when we were there, we could here the thunder of the falls from about a mile away.

    A trail leading to the top of Upper Yosemite Fall starts at Camp 4 and is 7 miles round trip; we did not do that hike. A 1/2-mile round trip trail leads to the base of Lower Yosemite Fall. There are many other places to view the waterfall, such as Yosemite Lodge, Cook's Meadow, Sentinel Meadow (one of the best views), Glacier Point, Taft Point, and Sentinel Dome.

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  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    Yosemite, Yosemite Falls

    by Martin_S. Written Jul 2, 2006

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    Yosemite, Yosemite falls from Valley floor
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    Yosemite Falls for which the park derives its name is a beautiful two level falls and can be viewd from a variety of viewpoints, from Glacier Point or the valley floor. There is also a very well designed path from the visitor center to the base of the lower falls, a nice easy walk well worth the visit.

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  • roamer61's Profile Photo

    Yosemite Falls

    by roamer61 Written Jun 8, 2006

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    One of the largest and most breathtaking of all the waterfalls in the park is Yosemite Falls.
    It is the only one in which there are 2 levels, making it unique. The upper level is called whatelse, but Upper Yosemite, the lower level being call Lower Yosemite. There are trails leading up to the very base of these falls. So, if you do, prepare to get wet from the spray.

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  • sunshinejo's Profile Photo

    Yosemite Falls

    by sunshinejo Written Jun 6, 2006

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    Upper & Lower Yosemite Falls

    Although some claim that, at 2425 feet, Yosemite Falls are the 5th highest falls in the world, many disagree due to the fact that it's actually 2 waterfalls separated by what is known as the Middle Cascade - 675 feet of bubbling rapids.

    Even though it is still pretty impressive, I personally preferred Nevada Falls and Bridalveil Falls. Although we chose not to do it, there is a 7 mile trail that climbs steeply up the side of the falls to the north rim of the valley. The trailhead is at Shuttle Stop 7, and I hear it's best to start early to avoid te worst of the midday heat.

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  • Shihar's Profile Photo

    Upper Yosmite Falls Trail

    by Shihar Written May 26, 2006

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    This is quite a strenous hike in itself, especially if you are not used to it. There are sandy narrow, steep switch backs that can be absolutely grueling in hot weather. As you approach the falls, you will be refreshed with a cold mist. The views of the Valley are wonderful just schedule time to enjoy the whole trail.

    The trail is 3.5 miles, but 80% is mountain switchbacks. Look for trailhead behind Camp 4 parking lot.

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  • aukahkay's Profile Photo

    Yosemite Falls

    by aukahkay Written Mar 17, 2006

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    Magnificent Yosemite Falls in June 2002
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    Yosemite National Park is full of waterfalls, the most famous of which is the Yosemite Falls. Yosemite Falls, one of the world's tallest, is actually made up of three separate falls: Upper Yosemite Fall (1,430 ft), the middle cascades (675 ft), and Lower Yosemite Fall (320 ft). The peak runoff is during the months of May and June.

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  • frank_delargy's Profile Photo

    Yosemite Falls

    by frank_delargy Updated Dec 6, 2005

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    Yellowstone Falls
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    Probably, next to Half Dome, the most photographed thing in the Valley. As with other falls, this one is very seasonal, with a torrent in the spring and a trickle in the late summer.
    The walk up from the road is quite short and enjoyable. In my younger days we would swim in the pool at the bottom of the falls in the summer, but in the spring, that is really much too dangerous. The rocks are slippery from the ever-present mist.
    The picture here is taken from the Yellowstone lodge.. a short walk to the falls.

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  • Gerrem's Profile Photo

    Yosemite Falls

    by Gerrem Written Sep 4, 2005

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    Yosemite Falls is the world's 5th tallest.
    The walk to Lower Yosemite Falls is one of the most popular activities in the Park and should not be missed.Yosemite Creek has no gauging station for accurate flow measurements. Hydrologists have estimated an average spring flow of 300 cubic feet per second (cfs). There's approximately 8 gallons per cubic foot of water which converts to 2,400 gallons/second or 9,000 liters/second. The reason the tributary streams to the Merced River in Yosemite Valley have their great height above the valley floor (hanging valleys) is due to differential erosion. That is, the valley's rivers and glacierscut down into the rocks more quickly where the valley now lie, than did other tributary streams and glaciers. Tributary drainages were left behind at higher elevations

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  • Hike Upper Yosemite Falls Trail!

    by chicka_explorer Written Aug 31, 2005
    Upper Yosemite Fall

    Upper Yosemite Falls Trail is described as strenuous by the National Park, yet it's more doable than I thought it would be! The hike is about 11.5 km (~7 miles), and leads you to the gorgeous view of Upper Yosemite Falls and the Valley.

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  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Yosemite Falls

    by goingsolo Updated Jun 22, 2005

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    Yosemite Falls

    Yosemite Falls are some of the world's largest. I forget where they are specifically ranked, but that is not important. There are trails leading to both upper and lower Yosemite Falls. The latter is a pretty easy and short stoll and the former is far steeper, as you would expect.

    The picture was taken at the spot of Lower Yosemite Falls. You may be surprised, as I was, to find that there is no water. I walked right past it on the first go round. Apparently, drought conditions and insufficient snowmelt may cause the water flow to be substantially less and to dry out lower Yosemite Falls. Pretty strange for one of the world's tallest waterfalls.

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  • annk's Profile Photo

    Yosemite Falls & Meadows

    by annk Updated Jun 13, 2005

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    Upper Yosemite Falls

    Shown are the Upper Yosemite Falls, 1430 ft. which plunges to the Yosemite Creek. The creek continues and drops another 675 ft. and continues to the lower falls of 320 ft. The 3 falls combined are the parks tallest for a total of 2425 ft and the tallest series of waterfalls in North America. Best viewing is in late spring and I've heard by early autumn the falls dry up.

    Hiking trails lead to the falls in the Yosemite Valley and start near the Yosemite Lodge.

    Some of the meadow areas and boardwalks were flooded due to the large amout of rain received in late 2004, early 2005.

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  • KevinMichael's Profile Photo

    Hike just a to the lower part of YOSEMITE FALLS

    by KevinMichael Updated Jan 9, 2005

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    It only takes a few minutes to hike here from the main road. You might need a windbreaker to keep you warm under the mist of the waterfall.

    If you counted all together, then Yosemite Falls would be designated the 2nd longest waterfall in the world.

    This is the longest one I`ve ever seen.

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  • acemj's Profile Photo

    Hiking the falls

    by acemj Updated Jan 3, 2005

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    You can do a really quick and easy hike to the base of the Lower Yosemite Falls or the more strenuous and time consuming hike to the Upper Falls, but we just pulled the car to the side of the road and let our camera lenses do all the work when we were driving through the Valley. From this angle at Glacier Point, you get an idea of the enormity of this place, but even from a slight distance, the falls are impressive. The water is flowing from winter through early to mid-summer.

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  • pmarshuk's Profile Photo

    Yosemite Falls again, with lots of water.

    by pmarshuk Updated Aug 13, 2004

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    Here's what Yosemite Falls look like in late spring when the snows are melting and there is a lot of water to come down. Only problem is that because the weather is warmer there are a lot more visitors. and the approach to the falls and the lower viewing areas can get very crowded.
    The viewing area at the base of the falls can get very wet and slippery when the waters is flowing like this., especially if there is any wind which will blow the spray over a large area.

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