Interesting Facts & Highlights


The highest measured waterfall in North America is 2420 ft from the top of the upper fall to the base of the lower fall. That qualifies it currently as the 6th highest in the world, however with the recent discovery of Gocta Cataracts in Peru, it appears to have bumped this venerable Yosemite icon to seventh.

The Ahwahneechee people of Yosemite Valley called the waterfall "Cholock" and believed that the plunge pool at its base was inhabited by the spirits of several witches, called the Poloti. An Ahwaneechee folktale describes a woman going to fetch a pail of water from the pool, and drawing it out full of snakes. Later that night, after the woman had trespassed into their territory, the spirits caused the woman's house to be sucked into the pool by a powerful wind, taking the woman and her newborn baby with her.

Elevation & GPS



2009 Mz first add to web site

While most believe it is two tiers, it actually has three sections as detailed below.

• Upper Falls: The 436 metres (1,430 ft) plunge alone is among the twenty highest waterfalls in the world. Trails from the valley floor and down from other park areas outside the valley lead to both the top and base of Upper Yosemite Falls. The upper fall is formed by the swift waters of Yosemite Creek, which, after meandering through Eagle Creek Meadow, hurl themselves over the edge of a hanging valley in a spectacular and deafening show of force.

• Middle Cascades: Between the two obvious main plunges there are a series of five smaller plunges collectively referred to as the Middle Cascades. Taken together these account for a total drop of 205 metres (670 ft), more than twice the height of the Lower Falls. Because of the narrow, constricted shape of the gorge in which these drops occur and the lack of public access, they are rarely noted. Most viewpoints in the valley miss them entirely. Several vantage points for the cascades are found along the Yosemite Falls trail. Several hikers climbing down from the trail towards the cascades have required an expensive helicopter rescue due to steep and slippery terrain and features.

• Lower Falls: The final 97 metres (320 ft) drop adjacent to an accessible viewing area, provides the most-used viewing point for the waterfalls. Yosemite Creek emerges from the base of the Lower Falls and flows into the Merced River nearby. Like many areas of Yosemite the plunge pool at the base of the Lower Falls is surrounded by dangerous jumbles of talus made even more treacherous by the high humidity and resulting slippery surfaces.


Winter Snocone 2013


Rainbow Fall 2012


Nighfall 2014

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