Yosemite Falls

If you go to Yosemite, one of the highlights of the trip will be seeing Yosemite Falls. It’s highest measured waterfall in North America with a drop of 2,425 feet (739 meters) and the sixth (sometimes now listed as seventh with the discovery of Gocta Cataracts) highest measured waterfall in the world. While it appears from Yosemite Valley that Yosemite Falls consist of a two-stage drop of Upper Yosemite Falls and Lower Yosemite Falls, there is actually a Yosemite Falls Middle Cascades which consists of five smaller plunges. These are rarely mentioned because they can’t be seen from Yosemite Valley (although they can be seen when hiking the Yosemite Falls trail up to the Upper Yosemite Falls). The Middle Cascades plunge 675 feet (206 meters) which is more than double the drop of Lower Yosemite Falls.

There are a number of vantage points in Yosemite Valley where it’s possible to get a photo of the entire Yosemite Falls which make a spectacular sight.

Yosemite Falls through pine trees

Yosemite Falls Upper and Lower

Yosemite Creek

Yosemite Creek is often overlooked due to the magnificence of Yosemite Falls, but definitely should not be dismissed as it offers a number of beautiful photo opportunities. Yosemite Creek emerges from the base of Yosemite Lower Falls which eventually flows into the nearby Merced River. The first part of Yosemite Creek is rugged with large boulders, but becomes calmer as it flows away with it meandering under a few beautiful bridges:

Yosemite Creek near base of Lower Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Creek Bridge

Lower Yosemite Falls

The Lower Yosemite Fall is one of the easiest Yosemite Valley waterfalls to access and makes for some wonderful photos. The Lower Yosemite Falls is the final portion of Yosemite Falls and descends 320 feet (98 meters) drop. There is a viewing area at the bottom where many people that visit Yosemite gather to take photos. The Lower Yosemite Falls is easily accessible near the Yosemite Lodge on flat paved paths and just over a mile hike from the Yosemite visitor center:

Lower Yosemite Falls from hiking path from Yosemite Lodge

Lower Yosemite Falls viewing area