Hike to Wapama Falls

Rate this Adventure Yosemite O'Shaughnessy Dam - Wapama Falls Trailhead

Added by Matt Purciel

If you are looking for a quieter, less-crowded Yosemite hike that provides spectacular waterfalls, granite rocks and views, Hetch Hetchy may be your Nirvana. 

Hetch Hetchy has a completely different character than other areas of Yosemite National Park, and the hike to Wapama Falls is an excellent way to explore this relatively remote section of the park. You can only imagine what this valley looked liked before it was dammed and is second to none compared to Yosemite Valley. 

The hike is relatively easy as the trail wanders around the northern shore of the reservoir. There are nice views throughout the trail - especially Kolana Rock, which is seen from a variety of angles along the way. If you hit the trail in spring you might witness Tueeulala Falls, similar to Bridalveil Fall in beauty. Be aware there are a couple of fairly strenuous segments, including the rocky descent just before reaching Wapama Falls.

Wapama Falls, when raging (usually May and June), is a large waterfall with a lot of volume that splits off into different cascades. If you've never taken a shower with your clothes on, cross the bridges below the falls, and you'll never have to wonder about that particular experience again. 

Pack List

  • Plenty of water
  • Sunscreen
  • Good hiking boots.
  • Mosquitoes repellent 
  • Be aware of bears that frequent that area
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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Activities:

Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

5.5 Miles

Elev. Gain:

200 Feet

Features:

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Added by Matt Purciel

California native and outdoor enthusiast and who's always in search for the beauty of creation.

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