All the Falls of Yosemite
The thundering turbulence and sifting mist are truly majestic. The enormous ones strike us with awe and the small misty ones speak to us through peace and tranquility.
Yosemite provides the largest concentration of incredible falls in one area in addition to amazing hikes, climbs, and immersive landscapes. Watch the water fall from cliffs and mountains descending into the forests below.
Exiting the tunnel into the Yosemite Valley floor, one of the first sites people immediately will see as they enter the Yosemite park is the Bridalveil Fall cascade is near the entrance of the valley falling 620 feet. While a torrent in the spring, it becomes less pronounced as the summer wears on. It will flow to some degree all year.
Consisting of three separate falls, the water falls 2,425 feet to the valley floor. Flowing approximately from November through July, the peak flows are in May. You can see Yosemite Falls from numerous places around Yosemite Valley, especially around Yosemite Village and Yosemite Valley Lodge (formerly Yosemite Lodge). A one-mile loop trail leads to the base of Lower Yosemite Fall (the eastern side of the loop, from the shuttle stop to the base of the waterfall, is wheelchair accessible). It’s also possible to hike to the top of Yosemite Falls as a strenuous, all-day hike.
As the sunset catches the falls, the water looks as though it’s on fire. This is is such a unique phenomenon. Falling 1,000 feet down the east side of El Capitan, it is best seen from just east of El Capita. To see Horsetail Fall, park at the El Capitan picnic area (on Northside Drive west of Yosemite Valley Lodge, formerly Yosemite Lodge) or in turnouts just east of the picnic area. You can see the waterfall from the road. This can be seen between approximately December and April.
View the1,612 foot Ribbon Fall from the road as you drive into Yosemite Valley, just beyond the turn for Bridalveil Fall (parking is available in turnouts). It flows approximately March through June, with peak flow in May.
This waterfall is located on the south side of Yosemite Valley, just west of Sentinel Rock. It is comprised of multiple cascades, which range in height from 50 – 500 feet. You can see this waterfall from areas along Southside Drive near the Sentinel Beach Picnic Area, and near the Four Mile Trailhead. Alternatively, you can view it from across Yosemite Valley near Leidig Meadow, or while hiking the Upper Yosemite Fall Trail.
Vernal and Nevada Falls
These two falls come as a pair, hiking the Mist Trail to the top of Vernal Falls and up to the top of the Nevada is a 5.4-mile hike. The Mist Trail as is aptly named is covered in a mist from the Vernal Falls. Stone steps make the 2,000 foot incline more attainable.
Flowing all year round, the 370 foot falls peak is in May. While many hikers notice this waterfall as they’re hiking toward Vernal Fall, the best place to see it is on the Panorama Trail, a few miles from Glacier Point. This waterfall is not visible from any road; it’s only visible by hiking on steep trails.
Wapma Falls is one of the least visited but can be worth the trip. The trail is less maintained than some of the others. As you get close to the falls. There is bouldering that is fun stuff. You can see this waterfall from the parking lot at O’Shaughnessy Dam or you can hike on an uneven trail to near its base.
his waterfall, located in Wawona, hides behind twists and turns in the rock; it’s impossible to see the entire fall at the same time. You can’t see this waterfall from a road; the only way to see the fall is to hike to its top via a steep trail.