Wapama Falls

Yosemite, California

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The thrill of a hike to Wapama Falls is the stretch of trail that leads right through the fury. A boardwalk winds through the boulder field that catches the Wapama spill, while mist like spindrift swirls above. The destination is visible from the trailhead. Wapama Falls appears big, white, and relentless from a viewpoint on O’Shaughnessy Dam, but the distance minimizes its impact. And your focus will falter on the lovely walk that traces the shoreline of the deep, blue, quiet Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, with the falls mostly out of sight. But there is sound and fury in Wapama. The roar strikes you first, rumbling around the rock face on the final approach. Climb onto the boardwalks at the base of the falls, and the mist and noise envelop you. Round the bend to near trail’s end and crane your neck; the genesis of the falls is more than 1,000 feet above.
Hiking Waterfalls in Northern California

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Waterfalls in Northern California

by Tracy Salcedo-Chourré (Falcon Guides)

The thrill of a hike to Wapama Falls is the stretch of trail that leads right through the fury. A boardwalk winds through the boulder field that catches the Wapama spill, while mist like spindrift swirls above. The destination is visible from the trailhead. Wapama Falls appears big, white, and relentless from a viewpoint on O’Shaughnessy Dam, but the distance minimizes its impact. And your focus will falter on the lovely walk that traces the shoreline of the deep, blue, quiet Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, with the falls mostly out of sight.


But there is sound and fury in Wapama. The roar strikes you first, rumbling around the rock face on the final approach. Climb onto the boardwalks at the base of the falls, and the mist and noise envelop you. Round the bend to near trail’s end and crane your neck; the genesis of the falls is more than 1,000 feet above.

© 2015 Tracy Salcedo-Chourré/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Yosemite
Distance: 5.2
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 5-7 hours
Season: Year-round
Features: Waterfalls
Local Contacts: Yosemite National Park, Public Information Office, PO Box 577, Yosemite, CA 95389; (209) 372-0200 (dial ext. 3, then 5); www.nps.gov/yose. The website is extensive and should be every visitor’s first stop for information on the park.
Local Maps: USGS Lake Eleanor CA; Yosemite National Park map available online and at the park entrance station
Driving Directions: Directions to Wapama Falls

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Apr 2018