Tokopah Falls Hike
The Tokopah Falls Hike is unrivaled in its natural beauty. Wander along the rocky banks of the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River amongst towering granite bluffs, including the Watchtower monolith, to the 366 m waterfall that surges through the canyon.
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Route Description for Tokopah Falls Hike
The Tokopah Falls Trail is a lovely hike through Tokopah Valley that demands a modest effort. Explore the craggy granite canyon, meandering through tree stands to the falls located at the head of the valley. Note the path is uneven and rocky, so a sturdy pair of footwear is recommended to mitigate a rolled ankle. Accessible year-round, winter conditions warrant more hazardous trekking, so microspikes are suggested.
Hiking in the spring and summer is easier, though it is important to be cautious of high water. Though tempting, swimming here is at your own risk as even slow-moving water is deceiving. Be mindful of currents beneath the surface of the water and avoid the water entirely during peak run-off season. Note entrance to the park costs $35USD per vehicle or $20USD per person for pedestrians or cyclists.
Indulge yourself in unparalleled scenery along the Tokopah Falls Hike. This beautiful trek offers incredible views every step of the way, warranting countless photo opportunities. Located in the Sequoia National Park, you won’t find any sequoia trees along this route. Instead, you will notice firs, cedars, ponderosa pines, and countless wildflowers blossoming through the granite outcrops that flank the footpath.
Boasting the perfect opportunity to get outside into the fresh air, this revered route can be enjoyed by novice hikers and families alike. As you hike, keep an eye out for deer, bears, and shameless marmots that are not afraid to steal your snacks! If possible, head out in the spring and early summer to enjoy the waterfalls at their fullest. The next time you find yourself in the Sequoia National Park, be sure to take a detour to Tokopah Valley.
Embark on your adventure along the Tokopah Falls Hike from the trailhead off Lodgepole Road. Setting out from here, you will be guided northeast over the Mable Fork of Kaweah River along the Tokopah Falls Trail. This section of the path will weave between exposed meadows abundant with wildflowers in the summer months and the shaded forests of ponderosa pines interpreted with cedars and firs.
Traveling at an incline through the craggy canyon, you will pass several pools along the Kaweah River ideal for swimming in the late summer when the water is calm. Continue hiking eastwardly, appreciating the grandeur of the encompassing cliff faces. The further you progress into the wilderness sights of the Watchtower monolith looming above the valley will come into view. Admire the spire that adorns the canyon wall and keep an eye out for pikas and marmots hiding amongst the boulders.
Soon you will hear the sounds of the crashing river water, signaling you are near the waterfall! Located at the head of the valley, you will find the Tokopah Falls cascading over 1,000ft through the canyon over the cliff face. Revel in the mesmerizing scene of the billowing falls framed by lush trees and immense granite outcroppings. After marveling at the scenery, backtrack to the trailhead the way you came.
The Tokopah Valley Falls is an impressive cascade that plunges 366 m through the glaciated valley. Flowing over the craggy granite cliff, the waterfalls are formed by the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River in the Sequoia National Park. Note these falls surge in the spring and summer, and tend to dry in the autumn—so head out in the spring for the best experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the Tokopah Falls Trail?
The Tokopah Falls Trail is a 6.4 km out-and-back hike through Tokopah Valley.
Can you swim in the Kaweah River in Tokopah Valley?
Yes, swimming is permitted in the Kaweah River, though it is at your own risk. Best wait until late summer when the water is slow as drownings have occurred here due to the river’s swiftness.
Insider Hints for Tokopah Falls Hike
- Do not swim in the river when the waters during peak run-off season
- When trekking in the winter months wear microspikes to safely navigate the icy terrain
- Wear a sturdy pair of footwear as the path is rocky and uneven
- Use SPF to avoid overexposure
- Charge your camera, there are countless photo opportunities along the route
- Use caution around high water
- Bug repellent is a must
Getting to the Tokopah Falls Hike Trailhead
The Tokopah Falls Hike departs from the trailhead off Lodgepole Road.
Tokopah Falls Hike Elevation Graph
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Tokopah Falls Hike Reviews
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