Crashing waters falling from Lower Yosemite Waterfall, with bright blue skies in background
randy andy/Shutterstock.com

Lower Yosemite Falls Trail

Updated by Pat Dorri on December 7 2023

The Lower Yosemite Falls Trail offers a shorter, less strenuous hiking option which does not skip Yosemite's stunning waterfall and valley views. This hike provides a taste of Yosemite's natural beauty for those looking for a far less demanding trek than Upper Yosemite Falls Valley Trail.

An overview of the distance and difficulty hiking Lower Yosemite Falls Trail
πŸšΆβ€β™€οΈ Distance1 mile
⏱️ Time30 minutes
πŸ’ͺ DifficultyEasy
πŸ”οΈ Elevation Gain55 feet

Where can I find Lower Yosemite Falls Trail within Yosemite National Park?

The Lower Yosemite Falls Trail can be found in Yosemite Valley. From Arch Rock Entrance, drive on El Portal Road and merge onto Southside Drive. From here cross the Sentinel Bridge, then join Northside Drive and the trailhead is near Yosemite Creek Bridge.

There is no parking near the trailhead so use the Yosemite Village and Yosemite Falls parking lots. You can then ride the free Valleywide Visitor Shuttle to Stop #6 to access the trail.

What makes this hike so special?

The Lower Yosemite Valley Falls Trail allows you to get an up-close view of Lower Yosemite Falls, part of one of the tallest waterfalls in North America. The trail is short and paved, making it accessible and a great trail for hikers of all ages and abilities.

How we rate the different aspects of Lower Yosemite Falls Trail Hike
FeatureOur rating
Natural beauty and scenery⭐⭐⭐
Wildlife spotting⭐⭐
Peace and quiet⭐⭐
Accessibility⭐⭐⭐⭐

Waterfall creating a rainbow over the rocks, rocky trail to the viewpoint on a sunny day
Lower Yosemite Valley Trail promises amazing views.
shivamsharma92/Shutterstock.com

What are the highlights of hiking Lower Yosemite Falls Trail?

Although the hike to Lower Yosemite Falls Trail is short, it is most certainly sweet, with great views of the waterfalls and surrounding natural beauty. Here are some of the top sites you'll pass during your visit.

  1. Lower Yosemite Falls - The Lower Yosemite Falls is the final 320-foot drop of North America's tallest waterfall, offering visitors the chance to experience the waterfall's power up close, especially during the peak flow months when it is most vigorous.
  2. Lower Yosemite Falls Bridge - A popular viewpoint and crossing over Yosemite Creek, with amazing views of both the Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls and a chance to feel the spray of the water when the falls are at their fullest.

When is the best time of year to visit Lower Yosemite Falls Trail?

Hiking the Lower Yosemite Falls Trail offers an easy and family-friendly opportunity to see Yosemite's famous waterfall up close, with minimal effort and maximum reward, particularly during spring when the falls are at their fullest.

When is the best time to visit Lower Yosemite Falls Trail
SeasonConsiderations
Spring🌷 Spring is considered the best time to visit Lower Yosemite Falls Trail, when the falls are in full flow.
Summerβ˜€οΈIn summer, because of the dry conditions causing low water levels, there may only be a trickle at Yosemite Falls.
FallπŸ‚ A scenic time to visit, with the vivid colors and cooler weather making it an ideal time for photography and leisurely walks.
Winter❄️ In winter the trail can be icy so more caution is needed, however the paved walkways remain accessible year-round.

Common questions about hiking Lower Yosemite Falls Trail

Visiting the Lower Yosemite Falls Trail allows visitors of all abilities to experience an up close view of Yosemite Falls, with an easy and straightforward hike. Keep reading to see what else to look out for during your visit.

Is Lower Yosemite Falls Trail easily accessible for those with mobility issues?

β­• Yes, Lower Yosemite Falls Trail is easily accessible for those with mobility issues.

β­• This trail is wheelchair accessible on the eastern portion when not covered in ice or snow.

Are there restrooms along Lower Yosemite Falls Trail?

β­• There are restrooms are available at the trailhead of the Lower Yosemite Falls Trail.

Are there refreshments and water stations along Lower Yosemite Falls Trail?

❗ There are no refreshments along Lower Yosemite Falls Trail, however at Yosemite Valley, further along from the trailhead on Northside Drive, there are eateries and coffee shops.

Are dogs allowed along Lower Yosemite Falls Trail?

β­• Yes, dogs are allowed along Lower Yosemite Falls Trail on a leash. It is one of the few trails in Yosemite National Park where visitors can enjoy a hike with their dogs.

Are vehicles allowed along Lower Yosemite Falls Trail?

❌ No, cars, electric scooters, and ATVs are not allowed on Lower Yosemite Falls Trail.

Can you camp overnight along Lower Yosemite Falls Trail (or nearby)?

❌ No, you can not camp overnight along Lower Yosemite Falls Trail. Use nearby Camp 4 Yosemite Valley or Upper Pines Campground for camping.

Is there anything else to watch out for when I hike Lower Yosemite Falls Trail?

Arrive early in the morning, or late afternoon, to avoid the crowds.

Although Lower Yosemite Valley Trail is short, make sure to stay on the paved walkway. Standing on the rocks near the base of Lower Yosemite Falls might seem like a great photo opportunity, however the rocks are slippery and dangerous.

Wooden walking pathway along Lower Yosemite Falls Trail, with surrounding woodland
Weave your way along Lower Yosemite Falls Trail to explore this beautiful area.
Nafisa Lohawala/Shutterstock.com