Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls showing a waterfall and mountains
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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 Hotels Close to Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge
3 out of 5
9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA, 93727
The price is $183 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 8
$183
per night
Dec 7 - Dec 8
Stay at this 3-star hotel in Yosemite National Park. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 restaurants. Our guests praise the helpful staff in our reviews. Popular ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (320 reviews)
"Great location with beautiful view and natural scenery"

Reviewed on Dec 3, 2022

Yosemite Valley Lodge
The Ahwahnee
The Ahwahnee
4 out of 5
9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA, 93727
The price is $372 per night from Dec 13 to Dec 14
$372
per night
Dec 13 - Dec 14
Stay at this 4-star ski hotel in Yosemite National Park. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Popular attractions Yosemite National Park and Yosemite ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (201 reviews)
"It is a lovely hotel with beautiful views, and the dining room is beautiful. However the room was really warm and the thermostat didn’t seem to work. It made for an uncomfortable night."

Reviewed on Feb 16, 2022

The Ahwahnee
Housekeeping Camp
Housekeeping Camp
1.5 out of 5
9004 Southside Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA, 95389
Stay at this campground in Yosemite National Park. Enjoy free parking, a free area shuttle, and a 24-hour front desk. Popular attractions Yosemite National Park ...
3.5/5 Good! (105 reviews)
A really fun place to stay in Yosemite
"I was dubious about this place when I booked it as I don't like camping and I do like my creature comforts, but actually I really loved it and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for somewhere to stay in Yosemite. Firstly, it's a really affordable option in Yosemite where the hotels and ..."

Reviewed on Sep 9, 2016

Housekeeping Camp
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Yosemite Falls

Curry Village
Curry Village
2.5 out of 5
9010 Curry Village Dr., Yosemite National Park, CA, 93727
Curry Village
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge
3 out of 5
9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA, 93727
Yosemite Valley Lodge
The Ahwahnee
The Ahwahnee
4 out of 5
9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA, 93727
The Ahwahnee
Housekeeping Camp
Housekeeping Camp
1.5 out of 5
9004 Southside Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA, 95389
Housekeeping Camp
PaPa Bear Cabin
PaPa Bear Cabin
Wawona, CA
PaPa Bear Cabin
Yosemite View Lodge
Yosemite View Lodge
2.5 out of 5
11136 Highway 140, El Portal, CA, 95318
Yosemite View Lodge
Large Vacation Home, Former B&B, Inside Yosemite
Large Vacation Home, Former B&B, Inside Yosemite
Yosemite, CA
Large Vacation Home, Former B&B, Inside Yosemite
Wonderful Studio w/Full Kitchen, WiFi - Inside Yosemite National Park
Wonderful Studio w/Full Kitchen, WiFi - Inside Yosemite National Park
Yosemite West, CA
Wonderful Studio w/Full Kitchen, WiFi - Inside Yosemite National Park
Scenic Wonders El Capitan Loft 3 Bedroom
Scenic Wonders El Capitan Loft 3 Bedroom
4 out of 5
7306 Buck Brush Lane, Yosemite National Park, CA, 95389
Scenic Wonders El Capitan Loft 3 Bedroom
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.