Chilnualna Falls Trail

MODERATE 106 reviews
#1 of 9 trails in

Chilnualna Falls Trail is a 7.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mariposa, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, birding, horses, and backpacking and is best used from March until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
7.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2303 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

hiking

walking

horseback riding

forest

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

no dogs

Hike this lesser-known trail to discover Chilnualna Falls with a wading pool and cascades waiting at the top. Chilnuala Falls is a well-kept secret in Yosemite, simply because the majority of visitors to Yosemite National Park don't venture out of the Valley. If you are staying in Wawona, or have entered Yosemite through the South Entrance, then Chilnualna Falls is on your way down to the valley. Like most waterfall hikes in Yosemite (Lower Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall excluded) you start below the waterfall and must hike up it, which means significant elevation gain. The trail starts around 4,000ft and you will hike up 2,200 feet to 6,200ft by the time you reach the top of the falls. The Falls are separated into 2 distinct sections: the shorter section is on top, and consists of several smaller waterfalls, leading into a pool before falling another 240ft final drop, a total of about 690ft. Unfortunately, you never get a clear view of the entire falls, and it is hard to even see the longer fall in its entirety except from the top (and you won't want to get too close to the edge). Luckily the pool and falls at the top are more than worth the steep 4-mile climb up.

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

Great hike! If you hike up to the top of the waterfall it'll be right at 8.5 miles round trip. The gnats are torture all along the way, but the view at the top is totally worth it.

1 month ago

Must do in spring!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike well worth the effort. Would have given it 5 Stars but the gnats were horrific! Recommend an early start to avoid those pesky critters.

camping
1 month ago

A moderately tough hike, but beyond worth it. Chilnualna falls might be the most beautiful place on earth. There's jumping rocks by the swimming hole, & the sunsets are amazing.

hiking
2 months ago

I loved this hike because it was not crowded like all the other trails on in The Valley floor. Breathtaking views when you reach the top!

2 months ago

Great Hike! If you plan on going to the top bring lots of water. An amazing hike, such beauty. Will do again..

3 months ago

Did the hike a few months ago. Really enjoyed the solitude as I saw no one on the way up. An extremely underrated hike in my opinion.

hiking
3 months ago

Scary fire right now but a nice hike. One thing...it's more than 7.2 miles, it's more like 9ish.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

walking
3 months ago

Very nice trail that leads to an amazing view

backpacking
3 months ago

Great day hike most times of the year. I went in August 2016 and the falls were pretty dry. Would love to come back when the falls are roaring! Beautiful scenery up top of the trail too

3 months ago

love this trail. the falls are awesome and if you backpack you will visit up to 3 lakes. also this trail is not over crowded.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome falls, amazing pictures, and a great little workout.