The crown jewel cascading in the heart of Yosemite Valley is the one and only Yosemite Falls. With a total drop of 2,425 feet spread across three distinct tiers, this towering waterfall stands proud as the highest in Yosemite National Park and one of the tallest in North America.
The journey commences at the thundering 1,430-foot Upper Yosemite Falls, where the meandering Yosemite Creek suddenly launches into a dramatic plunge off a sheer cliff. Misty trails winding up from below allow hikers to feel the rush of the falls’ full power. The deafening roar reverberates off granite walls, drowned out only by the frequent gasps elicited by peering over guardrails at the waterfall’s crest.
Nestled below lies the overlooked Middle Cascades, a series of smaller yet still sublime plunges totaling 675 feet. The precarious plunges rage through narrow, hidden gorges, restricting views to occasional glimpses from trails nearby.
Another view of the falls crescendos at the iconic 320-foot Lower Yosemite Falls directly across from scenic Yosemite Lodge. While placid by summer’s end, spring snowmelt transforms Lower Yosemite Falls into a wall of thunderous white water with prismatic rainbows arcing through its mist.
No Yosemite Falls visit is complete without pondering the interplay between seasons, geology, and erosion that shapes the falls’ ever-changing personality. Or explore trails recounting native Ahwahneechee legends of spirits dwelling in the churning waters below.
Over 2,400 feet of cascading majesty, Yosemite Falls stands immense with thundering beauty, calling adventurers to ascend its misty veil or simply transfixing anyone gazing up at the endless rush of one of Mother Nature’s grandest watery wonders.
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