Wapama Falls at Hetch Hetchy, Yosemite National Park

4.5
#10 of 15 in Trails in Yosemite National Park
Wapama Falls is the larger of two waterfalls located on the northern wall of Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park. It flows almost year-round and during peak flow has been known to inundate the trail bridge crossing its base, making the falls impossible to pass. The falls consist of two primary drops angled roughly 60 degrees to each other, and a broad cascade at its base. Wapama Falls is fed by Lake Vernon, a few miles to the north.Wapama Falls descends just under 1,100 feet. Like Yosemite Falls, it has three distinct parts. The topmost is a free drop of perhaps 300 feet, followed by a steeply-cascading stream which descends 600 feet in a steep-sided gorge, much like the stream between Upper and Lower Yosemite Fall. These cascades cannot be seen in their entirety from the trail: such a view is seen from across the Valley high on Kolana Rock. Finally, the bottom drop, seen from the dam and intimately from the trail, is one of about 200 feet down an escarpment that is not vertical, but in high water the water shoots outward to clear this descent.Visitors can reach Wapama Falls by hiking 2.5mi up Hetch Hetchy Reservoir Trail from O'Shaughnessy Dam.
To visit Wapama Falls at Hetch Hetchy on your trip to Yosemite National Park, use our Yosemite National Park online sightseeing planner .
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Wapama Falls at Hetch Hetchy Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
53 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • This hike in the Hetch Hetchy area is great. We decided to get up early to go and beat the crowds. The drive in is also very nice unless you don’t like roads on the side of a mountain. It is not bad b...  more »
  • When the falls are full this is gorgeous. Decent bike from the parking lot. Some parts are strenuous to get to because of rocks and hills, but it is certainly worth it. I am so happy we went to the fa...  more »
  • Decent hike to Wapama Falls. You go across the dam, through a tunnel and keep walking. It was hot but there was shade and a breeze so it was nice, then when we got to the falls, we got wet! So much fu...  more »
Google
  • The waterfalls themselves aren't that impressive, compared with other waterfalls in Yosemite of course. But the views on the trail that reaches them are really captivating.
  • Absolutely stunning view of the fall against gorgeous backdrop of Hetch Hetchy.
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