Our 5 Favorite Yosemite Waterfalls

Mar 13, 2024Things to Do, Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is home to some of the most iconic waterfalls in the world, each offering a mesmerizing display of nature’s power and beauty. From thundering cascades to delicate veils of mist, these majestic falls attract visitors from far and wide. If you’re planning a trip to Yosemite and want to experience the wonder of its waterfalls, here are some of our favorites that you won’t want to miss.

Yosemite Falls

Standing at a towering height of 2,425 feet, Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in North America and one of the park’s most famous attractions. The falls consist of three sections: Upper Yosemite Fall, Middle Cascades, and Lower Yosemite Fall. During the spring snowmelt, the falls roar to life, sending plumes of mist into the air and creating a spectacle that is truly awe-inspiring. Visitors can enjoy views of Yosemite Falls from various vantage points throughout the valley, including the popular Yosemite Falls Trail, which offers a challenging but rewarding hike to the top.

Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls

Bridalveil Fall

Named for its delicate appearance, Bridalveil Fall is a graceful cascade that plunges 620 feet into Yosemite Valley. The falls are easily accessible via a short walk from the parking area, making them a popular stop for visitors of all ages. In the spring, Bridalveil Fall is at its peak flow.

Vernal Fall

For those willing to embark on a moderate hike, Vernal Fall offers a rewarding adventure with breathtaking views. The Mist Trail, one of Yosemite’s most popular trails, leads hikers alongside the roaring Merced River to the base of Vernal Fall. From there, a steep ascent up granite steps brings you to the top of the falls, where you can marvel at the cascading waters below. In the spring and early summer, Vernal Fall is at its most impressive, with a thunderous roar that echoes through the valley.

Vernal Falls taken by @jordankudla

Vernal Falls taken by @jordankudla

Nevada Fall

Continuing up the Mist Trail beyond Vernal Fall, hikers are rewarded with another stunning sight: Nevada Fall. This towering waterfall drops 594 feet in a single plunge, sending a powerful torrent of water crashing into the rocky canyon below. The hike to Nevada Fall is challenging but well worth the effort, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the opportunity to witness one of Yosemite’s most dramatic waterfalls up close.

Ribbon Fall

Tucked away in a secluded corner of Yosemite Valley, only visible on the west side of El Capitan in early spring when all the falls in the Valley are at peak flow is Ribbon Fall – hidden gem that captivates with its sheer beauty. With a single drop of 1,612 feet, Ribbon Fall is one of the tallest waterfalls in Yosemite and a testament to the raw power of nature.

Whether you’re seeking a stroll to admire a gentle cascade or a challenging hike to witness a thundering torrent, Yosemite’s waterfalls offer something for everyone to enjoy. Just be sure to book a room for this spring well in advance as spring and summer are popular times to visit, and don’t forget your hiking boots or camera!