The Lower Yosemite Falls falls trail is a very popular short hike in the heart of Yosemite Valley. The trail takes visitors to the base of the tallest waterfall in California and one of the tallest in the entire world.

Hiking The Lower Yosemite Falls Trail

Yosemite Falls is one of the most popular attractions in Yosemite National Park. The waterfall cascades down three seperate tiers over 2,425 feet. In fact, if is so inclined, they can hike to the top of Yosemite Falls. This trail however, is not difficult and not nearly as long. The views are still quite a reward and definitely awe inspiring. The Lower Yosemite Falls Trail takes visitors right up to the base of the bottom portion of the falls which is 320 feet. The trail leading up to the base offers people an incredible view of both upper and lower Yosemite Falls along the way to the viewing footbridge.

Do you have any updates to the hiking trail or want to share your hike/pictures? Please leave a comment below.

  • Overall Views: 100% 100%
  • Overall Difficulty: 15% 15%
Lower Yosemite Falls Trail Quick Facts:
  • Elevation: 3,971 feet.
  • Elevation Gain: 157 feet.
  • Estimated Distance: 1 miles.
  • My Actual Distance: 0.9 miles.
  • Estimated Time: 1 hour.
  • My Time: 21 minutes. 
Lower Yosemite Falls Trail Directions:
Open in maps. Cost is admission to Yosemite National Park. An America The Beautiful pass will also work. Access to the trailhead is very easy and at shuttle stop six. This is also near Yosemite Valley Lodge. The Lodge is my preferred place to park but it does get very busy. This is a very crowded area throughout the year. Spring and summer are the most crowded when the tourism and water flow is the highest. If you’re taking the shuttle, do know that there can be long wait times for boarding.
Lower Yosemite Falls Trail Pictures:
Who Lower Yosemite Falls Trail Is For:
Novice Hikers: I would personally consider this more of a stroll down a sidewalk more than a hike. The trail is completely paved with very little elevation gain. The ease of the hike has incredible views. During the months with lower flow of water, people can head down off the paved trail up to the base of the falls. For complete detials, see the trail conditions in the last tab. 

Advanced Hikers: It’s crowded and its easy but the views are something to check off a bucket list eventually. 

Expert Hikers: Put this on your bucketlist one day and include it with other activities. 

It’s always a good idea to be aware of what type of hiking level you’re at.


Best Time Of Year To Hike Lower Yosemite Falls Trail:
The peak waterflow for Yosemite Falls is during the spring and early summer when the Sierra snowmelt is occuring. In years with low snowpack the falls can dry up during the later summer months and in the fall. If the winter storms start early, the falls can come back to life by mid to late fall. In the winter months, the trail can become icy and covered in snow. In rare occurances, visitors may be greeted with the sight of a frozen waterfall. 

It’s always a good idea to check the weather before heading out on a hike.

Lower Yosemite Falls Trail Conditions:
The trail for Lower Yosemite Falls is completely paved. People can do this as a loop trail or go to the view bridge and just turn around. From the shuttle stop, proceed north towards the falls. While walking up, there will be an incredible view of Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls. The paved trail then leads upto a footbridge with a complete view of the lower falls.
During the spring the waterflow will be so heavy there will be a rain and mist that showers down on the footbridge. As the floodstage of the creek subsides, people can detour past the footbridge and travers the boulders along Yosemite Creek directly up to the base of the falls.