Rancheria Falls Trail
The Rancheria Falls Trail is a must-add to your Yosemite hiking itinerary. Wander over the O’Shaughnessy Dam, through an eerie tunnel, and past not one, but four incredible cascades in Hetch Hetchy Valley. We love this trek, and we know you will too!
View Rancheria Falls Trail on Map
- Map Data: ©OpenStreetMap
- Tiles: ©CyclOSM
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Route Description for Rancheria Falls Trail
Hiking the Rancheria Falls Trail is an exciting adventure. Wander through the diverse landscape as you make your way along the banks of the Tuolumne River that is bounded by impressive granite bluffs. As this trek travels over various terrain types, a sturdy pair of footwear is a must! Additionally, we encourage you to wear layers, as the path weaves between exposed and shaded sections. Note: the footbridges beneath Wapama Falls are known to get inundated by surging waters in the spring. Do not proceed if this is the case, as attempting to pass through the cascades has proven extremely dangerous in the past. Yosemite National Park also charges an entrance fee, so be sure to check out the NPS website for additional information.
Setting out from the trailhead at O’Shaughnessy Dam, track north along the path and over the dam that bounds Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Revel in the views of the shimmering waters flanked by granite walls and continue north through the tunnel—watch out for puddles! The path will redirect northeast to guide you along the banks of Tuolumne River, where you will pass the Tueeulala Falls. Soon, you will reach the famous Wapama Falls, where you will need to mind your footing on the slippery footbridges, taking care only to pass if the waters are not inundating the bridges. Admire the grandeur of the fall before continuing your trek.
Passing beneath Hetch Hetchy Dome, you will be rewarded with views of Kolana Rock. Eventually, you will pass over a small metal bridge to take in the sights of Tiltill Creek Cascades above. Follow the path southeast up to the Rancheria Falls Campsite and Rancheria Falls. Appreciate the scenery and, when you are ready, head back the way you came.
Getting to the Rancheria Falls Trail Trailhead
The Rancheria Falls Hike departs from the O’Shaughnessy Dam and Trailhead off Hetch Hetchy Road.
Rancheria Falls Trail Elevation Graph
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Rancheria Falls Trail Reviews
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