Yosemite Falls

Vacation Travel Guide
Yosemite Falls showing a waterfall and mountains

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 things to do in Yosemite Falls

Top Hotels Close to Yosemite Falls

Curry Village
Curry Village
2.5 out of 5
9010 Curry Village Dr., Yosemite National Park, CA
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $90 per night from Nov 16 to Nov 16
Situated in a national park, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Merced River and Yosemite Mountaineering School. Ahwahnee Meadow and Yosemite Valley Chapel ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (33 reviews)
"If you are use to 5 stars stay this is not your place other than that location is perfect place is good shower and sleep after your day activities. Thumb down for food available"

Reviewed on Oct 24, 2021

Curry Village
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge
3 out of 5
9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
Situated in a national park, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Yosemite Falls, Cook's Meadow, and Merced River. Yosemite Falls Trailhead and Swinging ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (198 reviews)
"Amazing views and close to trails. Absolutely a great time"

Reviewed on Mar 18, 2021

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Yosemite Valley Lodge
Housekeeping Camp
Housekeeping Camp
1.5 out of 5
9004 Southside Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
Situated in a national park, this campground is within a 10-minute walk of Merced River and Ahwahnee Meadow. Yosemite Mountaineering School and Yosemite Valley ...
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

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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
The price is $90 per night from Nov 16 to Nov 16
Curry Village
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge
3 out of 5
9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Housekeeping Camp
Housekeeping Camp
1.5 out of 5
9004 Southside Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
Housekeeping Camp
The Ahwahnee
The Ahwahnee
4 out of 5
9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA
The Ahwahnee
PaPa Bear Cabin
PaPa Bear Cabin
Yosemite National Park, CA
PaPa Bear Cabin
Yosemite View Lodge
Yosemite View Lodge
2.5 out of 5
11136 Highway 140, El Portal, CA
The price is $130 per night from Nov 2 to Nov 2
Yosemite View Lodge
Yosemite Retreat for you and your family
Yosemite Retreat for you and your family
Yosemite National Park, CA
Yosemite Retreat for you and your family
Large Vacation Home, Former B&B, Inside Yosemite
Large Vacation Home, Former B&B, Inside Yosemite
Yosemite National Park, CA
Large Vacation Home, Former B&B, Inside Yosemite
Scenic Wonders Yosemite Park Place 3 Bedrooms
Scenic Wonders Yosemite Park Place 3 Bedrooms
3.5 out of 5
7507 Yosemite Park Way, Yosemite National Park, CA
Scenic Wonders Yosemite Park Place 3 Bedrooms
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.