Rancheria Falls Trail

MODERATE 5 reviews
#46 of 142 trails in

Rancheria Falls Trail is a 12.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Long Barn, CA that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October.

12.3 miles 3031 feet Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

no dogs

A great early-season day-hike or overnighter to some wonderful waterfalls in Yosemite Valley's twin: Hetch Hetchy. Check out towering waterfalls and soaring granite cliffs without the crowds of Yosemite Valley. This route is suitable for a moderately long day-hike or an overnight backpacking trip and is best in the spring. There are three named waterfalls (Tueeulala, Wapama, and Rancheria Falls), along the trail and a cascade at Tiltill Creek, but during snowmelt season (roughly April - June) you can expect cascades of water everywhere, all pouring onto the trail and into the reservoir below. The trailhead is located on the south side of O'Shaughnessy Dam. There is limited parking here and a backpackers-only campsite. You start by crossing the dam and going through a tunnel bored through the granite wall of the valley. The trail then follows an old service road until the first trail junction. This section is wide and flat and suitable for just about anyone, even strollers, and stays this way for a mile until the first trail junction. At the junction, your trail continues along the valley wall, or you can head up towards either Miguel Meadows or Laurel Lake. From here the trail becomes more a hiking trail and less a road. The trail undulates along the valley wall, first passing the cascade of Tueeulala Falls and then Wapama Falls. After Wapama Falls you go into the forest, continuing the moderate up-and-down until the trail crosses the cascades of Tiltill Creek. From here there is a final climb to Rancheria Falls. Above Rancheria Falls the trails climb rapidly towards Tiltill Valley and towards LeConte Point and Rancheria Mountain. From Rancheria Falls, return the way you came.

hiking
1 year ago

The pools and cliff to jump off are ah-mazing..Water temp is perfect, lots of lil pools to make it your own area..beautiful views, great waterfall..

hiking
1 year ago

hiking
2 years ago

Waterfalls awesome in the spring. There is a backpackers camp ground near Rancher falls if you obtain a wilderness permit.
Many use this as a pit stop as part of a larger adventure.
The trail begins at the dam but I noticed the marker on the map was a little off.
Uphill switch backs make this a moderate trail but the scenery is worth it.

hiking
3 years ago

Awesome but hard hike. Many switch backs up and down. Well worth the hard trip.

hiking
4 years ago

Although the elevation gain doesn't seem like much, it is up and down around 3x. So you should think about the gain being 3x. This was my first hike of the season, and it was a good work out. I ran out of water, so don't forget your water filter. Highly recommend this hike. All in all, it was enjoyable.