Yosemite Falls (2,425 ft) flows approximately from November through July, with peak flow in May. Yosemite Falls, one of the world's tallest, is actually made up of three separate falls: Upper Yosemite Fall (1,430 feet), the middle cascades (675 feet), and Lower Yosemite Fall (320 feet). You can see Yosemite Falls from numerous places around Yosemite Valley, especially around Yosemite Village and Yosemite Lodge. A one-mile loop trail leads to the base of Lower Yosemite Fall (the eastern side of the loop, from the shuttle stop to the base of the waterfall, is wheelchair accessible). It's also possible to hike to the top of Yosemite Falls as a strenuous, all-day hike.
Yosemite Falls is a fun, doable nature walk/hike with kids. It took us about 20 minutes to walk the paved path to the foot of the falls. While it was dissapointing that the water level was low in July 2012 (it all depends on the amount of snow/rain recieved), the site itself was impressive. Because the water level was shallow and slow moving at the bottom, my kids were able to walk down into the rocky area to splash around.
There is very limited parking at the trail head. You will most likely have to park in a larger lot and take a free shuttle bus to the trail head. Once you get there, it is a paved trail all the way to the base of the falls. Easy walk and plenty of room for a stroller.
Please note that on this site, allot of Yosemite destinations show up as free, but you do have to pay to get into the park. At the time of this post, it is $20 per day per car or $40 for a one year pass.
This hike is a must when you're in the valley. And an easy hike for all kids - even the beginner walker. Be sure to stand on the bridge below the falls and hopefully you get a bit of spray. There are also caves to explore on the way up to the falls in the rocks off the path - see if you can find them (with older kids, of course)
If you're up for an adventure and have older kids - take the hike up to the top of the lower falls or even all the way to the top. An incredible hike, tough, but amazing views of the valley and surrounding mountains.
You can hear the roar of the waterfalls as you walk along the level, well-marked trail. There are plenty of streams to throw rocks into and fuzzy caterpillars to stop and look at. When you get to the end of the trail, you walk across a bridge at the base of the waterfalls and feel the wind and spray of the water. Your kids will be in heaven.
We went in Spring, so the waterfall was at its fullest. At that time, there is no way you can let your kids get close to the pools at the base of the waterfall or anywhere near the slippery rocks.
Although this trail can get overcrowded, we did it early in the morning on Memorial Day weekend, and found it pretty quiet.
We have visited these falls in August of many years and still find them spectacular! So don't miss a visit just because there may not be much water coming down.
Another thing to note is that if the falls are somewhat dry and you have older children who you feel comfortable letting scramble over the often slippery rocks, there are many pools to explore and discover, including a deep one just at the base of the lower falls.
Bring a picnic lunch and eat on the rocks across the bridge or under the bridge. Our kids had a great time splashing in the little pools under the bridge and floating sticks down the little "waterfalls" created by the many rocks.
There’s a reason this is one of the most popular hikes in Yosemite Valley. The half-mile stroll to Lower Yosemite Falls is almost entirely flat, paved and perfect for little legs just discovering the fun of hiking. And the payoff is huge – an up-close view of one of the most well known waterfalls in Yosemite National Park (and mist from the falls if it’s full enough).
Although this walk can be done in half an hour, I recommend you take it easy, enjoying the scenery along the way. My oldest especially enjoys “rock climbing” on all the big boulders beside the trail. When the falls is full, keep kids off the rocks at the base of the falls; they're wet & very slippery!
If you are physically fit enough to hike up the falls this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Make sure to watch for a year to with a good rainfall to ensure lots of water in the falls. Upper and lower Yosemite Falls are fabulous.
Partly wheelchair accessible, you can make it up part way to a nice viewing place if you have a decent wheelchair.
Be prepared to get wet on your hike up the falls. Also make sure to pack a great healthy lunch for the trail. As I child I can remember hiking this many times with the family. Very memorable and very beautiful.
Yosemite Falls is nothing short of spectacular. Even the tiniest munchkins and those who are disabled can get up close and personal with the Lower Falls and those who are phisically fit can make the trek up to Upper Falls which I highly reccommend. Be warned- if you go too late in the season the falls could be dried up. The best time to see them is during the snow melt in late May through July.
This is a great hike! We did this trail a few years back and it is gorgeous!! Any place in Yosemite really is just breathtaking, but Yosemite Falls is a site to see. It's best after the Winter season when their is lots of water flowing!...just don't too soon or you may get icy roads :)
A small hike to a BEAUTIFUL location.
What a beautiful setting, and well worth the hike. Once you get the the falls, you will just be in awe of the rushing water. Children will be amazed at how big these falls are.
Make sure to being a snack and some drinks to enjoy !
Just got back from Yosemite. Our group of 4 adults and 4 young kids all under 5 had a fabulous time. Yosemite Falls is the most impressive water fall in Yosemite Valley. In April with all the recent snow melt, the waterfall was very full. The lower falls are really easy to reach with a stroller. The walk to the falls passes over some little streams that the kids loved to stick their hands in. The little ones also really enjoyed throwing sticks off the bridges in the gushing water. A visit to Yosemite Valley would not be complete without a close up view of Yosemite Falls.