Hike to Waterwheel Falls

Details

Distance

17.32 miles

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Alex Souza

Scenic hike that follows along the Tuolumne River. Plenty of spectacular swimming holes along the way. Multitude of waterfalls. Distance: 17+ miles round trip from Tuolumne Meadows.

Waterwheel Falls may be the most unique waterfall in Yosemite. During high waterflow an extraordinary phenomenon appears as the raging water hits a series of ledges creating a plume, this coupled with strong gust blowing upward create cyclical "waterwheel" effect hence the name.

On a good day these waterwheels can reach heights of 30ft. Bring the camera, tripod, and neutral density filter for some beautiful long exposure shots of the falls.

If the long 18 mile round trip sounds a bit daunting... Make it an overnight trip and stay at the backpackers campground at the Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp just 3.3 Miles before you get to the Falls.

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Known for

Chillin
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Easy Parking
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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