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Chilnualna Falls

Hike this lesser-known trail to discover Chilnualna Falls with a wading pool and cascades waiting at the top.
Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 8.4 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  Chilnuala Falls is a well-kept secret in Yosemite, simply because the majority of visitors to Yosemite National Park don’t venture out... more »

Tips:  The initial climb is steep--make sure to bring plenty of water and start early in the day.

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead

The trail starts with an almost-immediate climb which seems to last forever. It is best to attempt this hike earlier in the day so that the Yosemite heat doesn’t take a toll. A fair amount of the climb is under tree cover, but make sure to bring plenty of water, no matter what time of day you are hiking.

2. View of Wawona Valley

Eventually the trail will flatten out and you will be presented with a beautiful view of the Wawona valley below, and you will know that your efforts have not been in vain.

3. Chilnualna Falls

You will not catch a glimpse of the Falls until around 4 miles in, and then you immediately hike the other direction back through the trees until you reach the top.

4. At the top

At the top you will have a great view of the valley below (not the lower falls unfortunately), but the pool at the top is a great place to soak your feet while you listen to the rushing water of the upper cascades and eat your lunch, which always seems to taste better after a strenuous climb.

After you have fully relaxed, head back down the way... More