Yosemite Falls Hike (Yosemite National Park)

A hike to Yosemite Falls is something the entire family can do together while visiting Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Falls is the 5th tallest waterfall in the world and it is an amazing sight to see when water is cascading over Yosemite Falls. Ashley and I really enjoyed this hike in Yosemite National Park and the best part is that it is a fun short hike on a paved hiking trail that the whole family can do together. The best part about this trip was Ashley and I got engaged on this trip!

Directions to trailhead: To get to Yosemite Falls, coming from Orange County, take the 5 freeway north to Fresno, California and merge onto the 41 and head north to Yosemite National Park. Once you are inside Yosemite National Park, follow the 41 for about an hour to Yosemite Valley. Follow the signs to the Yosemite Lodge and parking is available there. There is normally adequate parking available at Yosemite Lodge. The hiking trail to Yosemite Falls is just on the other side of Yosemite Lodge. If you are staying elsewhere in Yosemite National Park, there are several YART bus stops that are near this trailhead to hike to Yosemite Falls. The closest one is Shuttle Stop #6.

Description of Hike: This is an easy, must do hike, while in Yosemite National Park. There is virtually no elevation gain and roundtrip the hike is about a half a mile. This paved hiking trail will be a crowded spot during the summer months, because seeing Yosemite Falls is popular due to its spectacular stature. The falls are 2,425 feet tall and this hiking trail gives you a great view of Yosemite Falls final 400 foot drop. Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in all of North America and is the 5th tallest waterfall in the world. The hiking trail is well marked and is well maintained by the National Parks Service. Yosemite Falls is visible from many points along the paved hiking trail, so make sure to have your camera with you. The hiking trail to Yosemite Falls is also a part of a larger hiking trail system within the valley floor of Yosemite National Park. You can hike much farther on the trails if you like, however, this hike should take about 20 - 30 minutes at a leisurely pace.

Further Thoughts: Ashley and I really enjoyed our time on this hike to Yosemite Falls. The path was paved and hiking in Yosemite Valley we found was a breeze. Yosemite Falls had plenty of water in when we went during the winter time and Yosemite Falls only gets more spectacular as spring comes. The best time to see the waterfalls in Yosemite Valley is during the spring when all the snow is melting.

The hike to Yosemite Falls is a popular hiking trail and you should expect to see many people while hiking on this trail during most any time of the year. Make sure to bring your camera with you because this is one of the best places to take pictures of this waterfall. You also never know when you will run into wildlife in Yosemite National Park. The food court at the Yosemite Lodge is a great place to have lunch when you are done with the hike. Note: The top picture above was taken on a different day, when the weather cleared up and the snow moved out of the valley. You can make this hike as long as you wish, because the hiking trail can be taken to see many other sites within Yosemite Valley. For more information on Yosemite National Park, the park website can be found Here.

Rating: Elevation Gain: Less than 100 ft. (Very Easy), Distance: 1.2 Miles Roundtrip (Easy).

Time to Complete Hike: 30 minutes.


Yosemite Falls (This Post)

View Yosemite Falls in a larger map


  1. Hi Brian and Ashley,
    I came across your blog after a google search on OC hiking. We have 2 daughters and they are now 5 and ready to start doing a few good day hikes and I was seeing what was out there, and your blog came up. I like your comments on the different trails available. I hope to do the Holy Jim hike with the kids soon. Congratulations on your engagement!! Take care

  2. hey guys was wondering out of everything in yosemite what would you say one could not miss?

  3. Kiliptis,

    That is a very hard question because in reality there is just so much to see and do. If you are going in the summer and are looking for a great hike and are up it, half dome is a must do. Bottom-line you must spend some time and explore Yosemite Valley. If you go in the winter they also have a full moon snowshoe hike that you can sign up for an do.


Post a Comment

Ashley and I encourage and welcome our readers to submit comments about their experiences on the trails we have posted on our blog or about their own hiking experiences in general.