Lower Yosemite Falls Trail

Yosemite National Park, California 95389

Elevation Gain82ft
Trailhead Elevation3,967ft
Elevation Min/Max3966/4008ft
Elevation Start/End3967/3967ft

Lower Yosemite Falls Trail

Lower Yosemite Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Mariposa County, California. It is within Yosemite National Park. It is 1.1 miles long and begins at 3,967 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 82 feet. Near the trailhead there are bicycle parkings, restrooms, parking, meadows, waste baskets, drinking water, a picnic site, a recycling, and a telephone. The Carabiner Post information can be seen along the trail. There are also a bare rock and a scrub along the trail. The trail ends near Falls View and another viewpoint. There is also a cliff near the end of the trail. This trail connects with the following: Bike Path, Valley Loop Trail, Lower Yosemite Fall Trail and North Valley Trail.

Lower Yosemite Falls Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Waterfalls in Northern California (Falcon Guides)
Tracy Salcedo-Chourré
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"An easy paved trail leads to the base of Lower Yosemite Fall, where Yosemite Creek completes its dive onto the valley floor. One of the park’s premier attractions in spring and early summer, Yosemite Falls features three tiers that drop more than 2,400 feet from rim to valley floor. The upper fall is the tallest at 1,430 feet; the middle cascades are the most difficult to see; and the lower fall, at 320 feet, attracts the hordes. For good reason: The paved path to Lower Yosemite Fall leads into the spray itself when the flows are at their peak, and the experience is sublime."
50 Best Short Hikes: Yosemite National Park and Vicinity (Wilderness Press)
Elizabeth Wenk
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"A must-do hike for every visitor to Yosemite Valley, this walk takes you right to the base of Lower Yosemite Fall, thundering in spring and dry by late summer, when you gaze upon an impressive rock wall. The loop walk takes you across the many forks of Yosemite Creek en route to the fall."
Top Trails Yosemite (Wilderness Press)
Jeffrey P. Schaffer & Elizabeth Wenk
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"From Memorial Day to the Labor Day weekend, more than a thousand visitors daily make a short pilgrimage north to the base of Lower Yosemite Fall, many (if not most) arriving by tour buses and from out of state. And why not? Yosemite National Park is one of the most famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites; Yosemite Valley is its star attraction, and Lower Yosemite Fall is its most accessible fall. On your hike the vast majority of hikers only go to the bridge view of Lower Yosemite Fall and return the way they came, whereas I describe a slightly longer route, a 1.2-mile loop. The route is elegantly designed, with information placards and statues further enriching your walk."
Best Easy Day Hikes: Yosemite National Park (Falcon Guides)
Suzanne Swedo
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"Yosemite Falls is among the most famous and frequently photographed falls in the world, and this walk gives you the closest top-to-bottom head-on view you can get anywhere. The trail crosses a bridge so close to the base of the lowest fall that you can feel the spray early in the season. This hike is the most dramatic when done clockwise. According to some, this is the highest waterfall (2,425 feet) on the continent. It is actually a series of three falls—the upper one dropping 1,430 feet, a middle series of cascades totaling 675 feet, and a lower one tumbling 320 feet—and qualifies as the highest only if all three are added together. In May and June, the thunder of the water from melting snow falling onto the rocks below can be heard all over the valley, and the spray drenches onlookers hundreds of feet away."

Lower Yosemite Falls Trail Trip Reports

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This is a pretty short hike with a nicely paved path. Not very strenuous at all and a beautiful view in the end. It stops after the bridge and you can climb down the rocks to wade in the water. We climbed up to the highest pool, beautiful!
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This is one of the shorter but very satisfying hikes in the park. A quick stroll to the first bridge brings you face to face with the aquatic thunder that echoes throughout the whole valley. It is quite relaxing to just stand on the bridge and drink in the sight of millions of gallons of water doing nothing but obey gravity's call. If you have a little more time on your hands you can walk further up the trail and enjoy the woods and green moss on all of the boulders.

I have been going to Yosemite since I was a boy and WAY back then the rangers used to dump huge amounts of flaming coals into the top of the falls at night. The sight was really unbelievable. Nowadays such a thing would be as reviled as turning the giant redwoods into lumber.....

Lower Yosemite Falls Trail Photos

Trail Information

Yosemite National Park
Nearby City
Yosemite National Park
Kid-friendly, Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
Additional Use
Waterfalls, Views
Yosemite National Park
Local Contacts
Tom Harrison Yosemite Valley map (1:24,000 scale), the National Geographic Trails Illustrated #306 Yosemite SW map (1:40,000 scale), and the USGS Yosemite Valley map (1:24,000 scale).
Local Maps

Trail Log