Back to index Lower Yosemite Falls Hike
Trip Date:  08/23/2019

: 4.3 Miles

Vertical Gain: 100'

Group Size: 4
Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard   Strenuous
Lower Yosemite Falls Hike
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Lower Yosemite Falls Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 37 44.670, W 119 35.063     End Coordinates:   Same as Start Coordinates

Car Shuttle Req'd:   No Parking Directions:   Enter Yosemite National Park and head to the valley parking coordinates  along South Drive.  Follow signs to the parking area near the center of the park. 
Hazards of Note:   Vehicles when crossing the roads are about it. Crowd Factor:   High.  Yosemite Valley is extremely popular and the earlier in the day you can do this hike the better.
General Notes:
From the parking lot described head north toward the Ansel Adams Museum in the center of the valley floor.   From there follow the signs to the Lower Yosemite Falls viewpoint.  You will initially walk alongside the road for a few hundred yards, and then head north until you make a hard turn to the west and reach the viewpoint.  From the falls you head south toward Yosemite Village, cross North Road and then follow the bike trail past Yosemite Lodge until you reach the open Cook's Meadow.  Continue south until you reach a large bridge over the meandering Merced River, then turn left and parallel the South Road until you reach the parking area where you started to complete a 4+ mile loop.

Starting off on the well-marked, paved trail toward the Lower Yosemite Falls. Starting off on the hike
As amazing as all of the views surrounding us, our 14 month old granddaughter was most fascinated by the rocks all around.
Discovering the rocks all around 
As you get close to the Lower Falls viewpoint, a nice look at the Upper Falls is quite a distraction high above.   Upper Falls
Lower Yosemite Falls is spectacular in itself, even on this late August day after a long, wet winter.  The viewing platform was well-populated as were the rocks near the base of the falls by some taking advantage of the cool waters on a warm day. Lower Yosemite Falls 
Heading south from the Lower Falls be sure to look back and check out the upper falls from another impressive angle. Heading south 
As mentioned previously, the little one just loved all the rocks around and couldn't get enough of exploring them fully. Loving the rocks Little one
Evidently the deer in the valley are very used to people and didn't bat an eye as we walked on by them.
Cook's Meadow was spectacular, as seen from this vantage point looking southwest toward Cathedral Rocks East. Cook's Meadow 
A nice bridge across the Merced River in the middle of the valley offers another great vantage point of the Upper Yosemite Falls to the North. Looking Northeast from the bridge 
Views to the southwest from the bridge aren't too shabby, either.
Views southwest
Close to the end of the loop trail is a vehicle bridge you cross, and a clear view of Halfdome can be spotted from almost the exact middle of the bridge. Halfdome from the valley floor 
GPS Track of the full hike, starting at the far right and then heading counter-clockwise around the valley floor. GPS Track of Hike