Waterfall in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Falls

North America's tallest waterfalls, drops 2,425 ft in three sections, attracting hikers and photographers all year.

Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in North America and a key attraction in Yosemite National Park. This impressive cascade has a total drop of 2,425 feet (739 meters), making it a prominent feature in the park's landscape. It is composed of three sections: the Upper Fall, the Middle Cascades, and the Lower Fall, offering visitors different views and experiences at each point.

Yosemite Falls attracts visitors with its size and beauty. The Upper Yosemite Fall drops 1,430 feet (436 meters) into the valley below, creating a loud roar that is particularly strong in late spring when the snow is melting fast. A hike to the top offers a stunning view but it requires effort, so hikers should be ready with water, snacks, and good shoes.

The Middle Cascades are a series of five smaller falls that together drop another 675 feet (206 meters). Though these falls are not as easily seen, they add to the waterfall’s overall measurement and can be seen via certain trails. The Lower Yosemite Fall is the easiest to get to, with a short, simple walk leading to its base. Here, you'll feel the spray on your skin and hear the powerful flow of water.

Besides the waterfall itself, the area around it is full of natural and human history. The Ahwahneechee people, who first lived in Yosemite Valley, had great respect for the waterfall and believed that the pool at its base was home to spirits.

Visitors in spring and early summer will see Yosemite Falls at its strongest, while those coming in late summer or fall might find it much smaller or even not flowing at all. Seeing wildlife is common, so look out for mule deer, squirrels, and if you're fortunate, black bears, while always keeping a safe distance.

Photographers visit Yosemite Falls throughout the year for its changing appearance. Morning light is particularly good for taking pictures of the falls. For those seeking adventure, nearby rock climbing and other waterfall hikes offer plenty of chances to see the park’s rough landscape.

When planning a visit, it's smart to check current conditions, as weather and the time of year can greatly affect access and what you can see. Remember to take care of the environment and take all trash with you to help keep Yosemite’s environment clean for others to enjoy.

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