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Yosemite Falls

You may hear these thundering falls, which are among the top 10 tallest in the world, before you see them in California’s Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite National Park sets the bar high for magnificent natural beauty, but Yosemite Falls is indisputably one of its most striking features. This towering waterfall is one of the highest in North America. Water plunges a total of 2,425 feet (739 meters) from top to bottom of Yosemite Falls in three distinct sections. 

The 1,430-foot (440-meter) drop of Upper Yosemite Falls is impressive by itself. To experience its deafening power up close, follow one of several trails between its base and top. Note that the hike to the top of Yosemite Falls is strenuous and will take all day.

The Middle Cascades are a series of five small falls. These don’t have great public access so many people miss them entirely. 

Although Lower Yosemite Falls is the smallest portion, its accessibility makes it the most popular viewing point for the waterfall. Explore it via the popular 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) loop trail or take the free shuttle bus to the base of the falls.

The most dramatic time to visit Yosemite Falls is in May or June, when the runoff from snowmelt creates an impressive cascade with a deafening roar. By the end of summer, most of the snow in the high country has melted and the falls are reduced to a mere trickle. 

If you visit in the spring, look for a moonbow, also known as a lunar rainbow in the spray from the falls. In winter, a unique “snow cone” formation develops at the base of the falls. 

Yosemite Village is nestled near the foot of the falls. This quaint town is a great place to stop for a snack or souvenir. If you want to stay overnight, get a room at Yosemite Lodge. For a more rustic experience, bring your tent or RV to one of Yosemite’s many rentable campsites. Book well in advance to ensure you can get accommodations.

While visiting Yosemite National Park, seeing Yosemite Falls is a must. You might get a little wet, but it is well worth it to experience this natural wonder.  


Top Hotel Deals

See all 246 Properties near Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Valley Lodge £185
Yosemite Valley Lodge

Yosemite Valley Lodge

9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in a national park, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Yosemite Valley and Yosemite Falls. Yosemite Visitor Center is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) away.

    The Ahwahnee £360
    The Ahwahnee

    The Ahwahnee

    9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in a national park, this historic hotel is steps away from Ahwahnee Meadow and Yosemite Valley. Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Visitor Center are also within 2 miles (3 km).

      Curry Village
      Curry Village

      Curry Village

      9010 Curry Village Dr., Yosemite National Park, CA
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Yosemite National Park, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Yosemite Mountaineering School and Yosemite Valley. Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Visitor Center are also within 2 miles (3 km).

        Yosemite View Lodge £94
        Yosemite View Lodge

        Yosemite View Lodge

        11136 Highway 140, El Portal, CA
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated on the riverfront, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Yosemite National Park and 2.5 mi (4.1 km) from Yosemite Arch Rock Gate Entrance. Yosemite Valley and Tunnel View are also within 12 miles (20 km).

          Timberlodge Cabin
          Timberlodge Cabin

          Timberlodge Cabin

          7458 Yosemite Parkway, Yosemite National Park, CA
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Yosemite National Park, this cabin is 3.5 mi (5.6 km) from Lukens Lake Trailhead and within 12 miles (20 km) of Yosemite Valley and Olmsted Point. Tenaya Lake and Murphy Creek Trailhead are also within 12 miles (20 km).

            Brookside Cottage
            Brookside Cottage

            Brookside Cottage

            7201 Yosemite Parkway, Yosemite National Park, CA
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Yosemite National Park, this cottage is 3.5 mi (5.6 km) from Lukens Lake Trailhead and within 12 miles (20 km) of Yosemite Valley and Olmsted Point. Tenaya Lake and Murphy Creek Trailhead are also within 12 miles (20 km).

              Forest Glen-yw
              Forest Glen-yw

              Forest Glen-yw

              7515 Henness Circle, Yosemite National Park, CA
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Yosemite National Park, this holiday home is 3.5 mi (5.6 km) from Lukens Lake Trailhead and within 12 miles (20 km) of Yosemite Valley and Olmsted Point. Tenaya Lake and Murphy Creek Trailhead are also within 12 miles (20 km).

                Large Vacation Home, Former B&b, Inside Yosemite
                Large Vacation Home, Former B&b, Inside Yosemite

                Large Vacation Home, Former B&b, Inside Yosemite

                7210 Yosemite Park Way, Yosemite National Park, CA
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in the mountains, this holiday home is 0.4 mi (0.6 km) from Yosemite National Park and 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Sierra National Forest. Yosemite Valley and Badger Pass Ski Area are also within 9 miles (15 km).