Yosemite Valley, California

Hike to Lower Yosemite Falls

1 Miles Total - Loop Trail

Originally added by Tiffany Nguyen

The Lower Yosemite Falls Loop in Yosemite Valley is a leisurely walk to the bottom of the highest waterfall in North America. Enjoy views of both Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls. It's open year-round so you can enjoy the falls any time time of year.

At 2,425 feet, Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in North America. The falls consists of three sections: Upper Falls, Middle Cascades, and Lower Falls. At 320 feet, Lower Yosemite Falls is one of the most popular attractions at Yosemite National Park. This 1-mile loop is a leisurely walk with awesome views of both Upper and Lower Falls and viewing access to the bottom of Lower Falls. The paved loop trail begins at shuttle stop #6. For the best views of Yosemite Falls, consider walking the loop in a clockwise direction.

Lower Falls is open all year long, but peak water flow is during late spring and early summer after all the winter snow has melted. Visiting Yosemite in the wintertime is an entirely new and amazing experience compared to the summertime appearance that most are acquainted with. Another plus is that Yosemite Falls is much less populated in the winter as compared with the summer. Visit Yosemite Falls during the wintertime and you will find a huge mound of snow collected at the bottom of the falls.

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Falls flowing in full force!

As of April 2016, the falls are flowing strong! You'll feel tons of mist as you approach the falls, so plan accordingly. The doggies loved it! With full waterfalls comes full crowds, so if you'd like more solitude, make sure you get there very early, or go around dinner time. And a brief safety note: the rocks at the base of the falls are incredibly slick! I saw many flip-flop wearing visitors attempting to get to the very base of the falls almost fall in, which could be life-threatening. It is much more safe to view the falls from the footbridge during this time of the year, but if you must venture further, at least wear some sturdy shoes and watch your footing!

Beautiful Winter Spot

Yosemite Falls is especially pretty in the winter! It is not flowing at its full capacity but the snow covered rocks and icy sections give it beautiful wintry vibe that make up for the weaker flow.

Low Effort, High Reward

Yosemite Falls, as with most waterfalls in Yosemite, don't always flow year round. The best time for seeing it in its full glory is definitely around April or May, right when the snowpack is melting and therefore the falls are in full force. However, Yosemite Falls usually flows almost year round. The view of the falls is stunning. It's a very easy hike (more like a walk) to the falls, and can be done by most people of all ages. Do be aware that it gets very crowded.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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