What makes Yosemite Falls "falls" (plural), but Vernal Fall just a "fall"? Technically, if a waterfall drops in one continuous downpour, it's a "fall", otherwise it's called "falls" like in Yosemite Falls.
As seen in photo, Yosemite Falls has 3 such sections: the upper, the middle cascades, and the lower. With the total height of 2,425 feet, it is the tallest waterfall in North America, and the 5th tallest in the world. Of course it depends on who you talk to. Some may argue the upper and the lower should be measured separately. Let's just forget the numbers and enjoy Yosemite Falls' impeccable beauty.
Yosemite Falls is actually three separate leaps, the highest of which is by far the tallest. The middle section actually carries the falls several hundred feet out from the valley wall before the lower falls drops over 300 feet into a creek that feeds the Merced River (buried within the trees in the present photo). In 1997, the perspective of this photo would have been impossible, due to the worst flooding in Yosemite in over a century.
Some of Yosemite's sites requires one to hike a lot, however the walk to Lower Yosemite Falls is not that long (maybe 15-20 minutes), and it is rather flat. Here is a view from a bridge - some folks will venture further off the trail and climb through the rocks to get closer to the falls. This is not that treacherous as it seems, though be careful if you try this.
You can get up close to Lower Yosemite Falls. The best place to get a picture of both the Lower Yosemite and Upper Yosemite Falls is on the path that takes you the Lower Falls. The upper falls are accesible to climbers.
The most popular waterfall in Yosemite National Park is Yosemite Falls. There is an upper portion and a lower portion of the falls. It is also the waterfall that has the highest volume of water flowing down it. It is seen in many pictures and paintings. I even saw a portrait of Yosemite Falls being sold for quite a bit of change on the day I wrote the page.
A few turns to the left away from Half Dome reveals a better (topside) panorama of the three separate stages of Yosemite Falls. The picture here does not do justice to the scene, but you can tell by looking closely that the lower and upper sections are set back several hundred feet from one another.
There are simply not enough views from which to observe this incredible combination of snow and granite and forest and river. The composition is beyond belief and few pictures (certainly not mine) can do it justice. Once you think you've seen it from every perspective, you can infinitely multiply your appreciation by hunting out every conceivable isolated detail.
Move over Niagara - height dominates width. This awesome, three-part 2,425 foot waterfall is far and away the most impressive "living" thing in Yosemite. There are so many vantages from which to capture this miraculous spectacle, but don't wait until later summer when the output dies down, and make sure that your shutter speed is as high as possible under the conditions.
Yosemite Falls, which drop 2,425 feet, the highest in North America. This is the real star of Yosemite's waterfalls. The Upper Falls plunge over 1,300 feet releasing huge amounts of spray, before cascading to the Lower Falls where a final 320 feet brings the flow to the valley floor.
When it's running in the spring it's the highest falls in the US. Unfortunately during summer it's dry.
Here are more images taken of the highest falls in North America during April of 2013. Also, are the stunning nearby cliffs that can be seen during a hike to the top of the falls.