Hike to Hidden Falls (aka Tenaya Creek Falls)

Mirror Lake Trailhead, Yosemite NP

Distance: 6 miles roundtrip from trailhead. Duration: 3-4 hours. Secret waterfall and swimming hole.

Also known as Tenaya Creek Falls or Three Chutes Falls, this spot is loved by locals and is definitely worth the hidden trail and scramble over rocks. The hike takes you along Tenaya Creek, Mirror Lake, and a boulder-filled canyon. Great for photos or for relaxing by some secluded falls.

To get there, start at the Mirror Lake trailhead (shuttle stop #17, or park at Curry Village and walk up the road about a mile), hike 2.5 miles on a well maintained trail to a footbridge spanning Tenaya Creek. Look for a faint user trail on the southeast side of the creek, and start hiking upstream. You may have to scramble over some boulders, but after a half-mile, you'll see a log (see photo above) that you'll walk across. After a bit more scrambling, you'll be greeted by the mist from this cascading waterfall and can enjoy your packed lunch on the platform directly facing the falls.

Many people also choose to climb up further past this section to get a better view of the top of the falls. This is safer when water flow is minimal. Depending on your skill level, shoes, water level, this will all vary. Always practice the LNT principals. 

Pack List

  • Water
  • Hiking shoes
  • Food or snacks
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • ND filters
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Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Swimming Hole


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

While this is a rad spot, I definitely wouldn't recommend trying to find it on your own. The trail is faint and sketchy in places. Don't be another Yosemite tourist that got in over their head and got lost. If you have access to a local who's been there before then go for it.

Be super careful if doing it in spring when there is lots of water.

I think it's disgusting that people would share gems only known to locals, if you don't know where to go, you'd have a really hard time getting there. It's not on the books for a reason. If you get hurt it's hard to get help to you. With all the t said meet a local and go with them.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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