What Is It?
In the middle of Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada, water tumbles down nearly a half mile at Yosemite Falls, one of North America’s tallest waterfalls.
Yosemite Falls is 2,425 feet tall and consists of three sections. The Upper Falls are 1,430 feet of straight drop. A series of cascades carries water down 675 feet, before the Lower Falls make up the final 320 feet. An easy 1-mile hike along the Lower Yosemite Fall Trail offers some scenic viewing locations.
Those who visit during a full moon may be able to see a moonbow—
a nighttime rainbow. On clear nights, the moon reflects enough light for rainbows to sprout from the mist of waterfalls. To witness this phenomenon, consider camping, or stay in one of the in-park hotels.
March To the Sky
If you’re looking for something growing up rather than falling down, the world’s largest tree is a four hour drive southwest in Sequoia National Park. In the Giant Forest, a sequoia known as General Sherman is 275 feet tall and more than 36 feet wide at its base.
When To Go
The falls are strongest in late spring, when melting snowpack provides the most water for the falls. However, the falls typically flow through the winter, and there is less of a crowd to see the ice cone forming at the bottom of the falls.
Plan Your Visit
To plan your trip and find out the latest news about the park’s safety restrictions visit nps.gov/yose, or call 209-372-0200.
Correction: This piece previously misstated the location of the Sherman Tree.