Hike Date: April 12, 2007
Distance: 0.5 miles
Trail(s): Lower Yosemite Falls Trail
Where’s it at? North side of Yosemite Valley


Yosemite Falls is one of the great views of visiting the valley in Yosemite National Park. It is located about in the middle of the park on the north cliff face and can be seen from most areas of the valley. You can hike to both the Upper and Lower falls, depending on which season and what level of activity you’re looking for. The hike to Upper Yosemite Falls is pretty steep and strenuous and much longer than the short and easy half mile hike on the paved and fenced paths of the Lower Falls.

We visited in mid April in a year with nearly double the normal snowfall in Yosemite. The peak snow melt, and therefore the greatest flow of the falls is said to be in mid to late May, but we were not disappointed on this trip at all. It was cold enough that in the upper falls, the water mist was turning to ice crystals in mid air creating a gorgeous view, and the lower falls were really flowing.

There are a number of photo opportunities along the paved path, with bathrooms at the trailhead and a free shuttle stop nearby. When I was younger we used to hike up to the pools at the bottom of the lower falls but with the water flowing like it was on this trip, that was going to be a wet and dangerous journey, so we avoided it. I’m not sure if you’re “supposed” to go off the path there anyway, it has warning signs but doesn’t really say it’s forbidden.

It’s very easy to combine this short hike with another one to Bridalveil falls, and still have time to visit Yosemite Village, Curry Village or the Ahwahnee.

Photos from a Hike to Lower Yosemite Falls (click to enlarge)

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Hiking to Lower Yosemite Falls Hiking to Lower Yosemite Falls Hiking to Lower Yosemite Falls
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Hiking to Lower Yosemite Falls Hiking to Lower Yosemite Falls Hiking to Lower Yosemite Falls
Hiking to Lower Yosemite Falls   Hiking to Lower Yosemite Falls

Directions to Lower Yosemite Falls Trailhead


View Short hike to Lower Yosemite Falls in a larger map

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