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Illilouette Falls Trail

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Yosemite National Park

Illilouette Falls Trail is a 4.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until November.

Distance: 4.9 miles Elevation Gain: 1,453 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Yosemite National Park is open to those with reservations begining on Thursday, June 11. See the park website for more info: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/covid19.htm Trail leads to a bridge and cascades on Illilouette Creek just above the falls, with a series of granite benches extending out into the creek that make choice spots to stop for a snack and hang out. Along the trail are views of Vernal and Nevada Falls, North Dome, the Royal Arches, and the back of Half Dome - the trail can be extended another half mile to Panorama Point via a sandy spur off to the left of the trail. Trail is downhill via a series of long switchbacks, but remember you have to hike back up so plan for twice as long a trip back up. If this hike isn't challenging enough for you, continue along this trail to the top of the Mist Trail and all the way to Yosemite Valley, an 8.5 mile trip one way.

hiking
1 day ago

An amazing experience! Time stops at the shady rock rest above the bridge at the falls...I could have stayed there all day! Highly recommend.

hiking
4 days ago

Beautiful hike! I went with my family and another family. Decent to the falls is easy and back up to Glacier Point was pretty difficult for most of us, even the most fit thought it was hard. Would definitely do it again.

Best single day hike I’ve ever done. Absolutely epic.

hiking
13 days ago

This trail has some amazing views. Some of the best in regards to Half-Dome, Vernal Falls, and Nevada Falls. This hike can be challenging. I would try to do this trail either very early in the morning or late evening when it isn't so hot out. There also isn't too much shade along the trail but there are a few spots where you can take a break with some shade.

This hike is amazing — the scenery is incredible and the views honestly can’t be beat. This was our very first Yosemite home and we felt like we were able to see so much of the park on this. Do keep in mind, this hike is challenging... but doable. We’re a couple in our 30’s, not avid hikers but we do a lot of walking. The uphill switchbacks at the beginning were pretty tough for my wife, we just took lots of breaks, and the downhill switchbacks were surprisingly difficult on our knees. We feel pretty beat up the day after but would definitely do it again. For us it was just under 8 hours actually hiking - we started at 9:15 and ended just after 7 pm, which included lunch and snack breaks, plus a mini trip to the river, which is just after the descent on Panorama Trail. We highly recommend taking a little break in the cold water before the next ascent! We had lots of shade in the morning, which was perfect, and by mid-afternoon, after Glacier Point, there was a good amount of direct sun, so bring your hats! Also, bug spray — there were a few points in the more forested areas where the mosquitoes were very persistent, but not so much that it took away from the trip. We enjoyed lots of solitude for most of the hike, just passing a few other groups, and everyone was quite friendly. Once you reach the split towards the end for Vernal Falls, there were a lot more people, basically the rest of the way down. Since the shuttles aren’t running during Covid-19 we walked back to our car at the 4 Mile trailhead, which is a pretty pleasant walk and is included in the hiking mileage. If you’re worried about the distance, just get started early and take a lot of break! We would have started much earlier if we were closer to the park :) Overall, we highly recommend this trail!

18 days ago

about 3 hours for most. I'm slow so took me longer. the first mile of hike is gorgeous views and dramatic landscapes. it's awesome because you can see dome and both waterfalls. the best view of the falls is actually .5 miles from the bottom of valley. don't cross bridge and go on panorma trail, last part of trail is actually on other side of stream across from panorma. you have to go on top of rock to see the top of the waterfall or walk around the rock a little. careful, it's sandy and a little steep near rock. factor in the altitude impact when hiking back up if you haven't acclimated yet. I might have done better of I did it early evening when it was cooler too. rest beautiful hike

hiking
muddy
21 days ago

The signs are all wrong... the falls are NOT 1.5M as the iron sign points out at glacier point... its more like 2.5 miles one way.. and still, to get a better view of the falls, you probably need to hike another half a mile down... the return journey is all up, up and up... but the views are ASTOUNDING.

hiking
21 days ago

Very pretty but not a huge fan of the reverse trail.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Awesome trail running. I ran this on the way up and certainly will be back to run it to the valley next season. Bring a water filter, a lunch and you could spend all day in the wilderness.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice trail with great views. I typically prefer the trails that make you work to get in with the nice decent back. But this one was still nice. I don’t recommend this trail if you live around the park and are just looking for a nice day hike. Because like most trails in Yosemite they can be a pain to get to and most of the higher Sierra tails are just as nice with less crowds. But if your already in the park and on the ridge it’s worth it.

recorded Illilouette Falls Trail

hiking
9 months ago

Shade to no-shade hike alternatively. Reaching the bottom is worth the hike. Took a dip in the water to refresh.

hiking
10 months ago

the view are great! the hike goes down and if your not conditioned this will be tough to go up. make sure u bring lots of water . there is period of time were there is no shade . My son (15 yrs old ) join us on this hike and he got dehydrated on this hike for the lack of hydrating the day before. Even though we had our son get I'll unexpectedly, we do plan to do this hike again. so I definitely would say this hike is not moderate for uncondition individuals.

hiking
11 months ago

This is a great trail, I went Aug 1, 2019 with my wife, we used it to train for a difficult hike we have coming up in August. I like that it starts off going downhill, when you get to Illouette Creek, stay left at the bridge and go all the way to the falls, a little exposed right at the end of the trail, but so beautiful and well worth the journey. Go early to avoid the crowds.

hiking
11 months ago

I was here 7/28/19 beauty view, ( picture, pictures and picturesssss) a lot cooler than I thought ( love it) It was easy to get down to the falls but backing up oh boy little touch for my legs. A lot of short cut to get down and up but don’t try, it’s not worth it, Bring a lot of water, Enjoy yourself down there a little longer, you will see how much nature gives us.

hiking
Sun Jun 30 2019

We loved this trail. It was well groomed and not too Rocky! The incline on the way back was a good consistent lace with nice switchbacks. The views were amazing and the option to add distance was a plus!

hiking
Fri Jun 28 2019

It's a great trail. There is a small offshoot from the trail with a gorgeous view of the illilouette Falls but be sure to hold on as it is full of gravel and high winds so prone to falling down.

hiking
Mon Jun 24 2019

Great hike. We thought it would be an easy 4 miles in our first day in the park. We drove in and hit the trail. We underestimated the altitude and it kicked out butts! But still worth every step! Bring water and take your time. The flowers are amazing!

hiking
Sun Jun 23 2019

Hiking with Chris

hiking
Sat Jun 22 2019

We don’t do a ton of hiking and found the hike very doable though we could feel the altitude and the uphill portion was more of a challenge. The views were incredible!

hiking
Fri Jun 21 2019

Plenty of water at Glacier point and along the trail. I found 2L bottles sufficient. We added Sentinel Dome and took a nap at the top of the falls. Mist trail between the valley floor and vernal falls is a soaker for sure. You can take the JMT trail to avoid it but what’s the fun in that?

hiking
Mon Jun 10 2019

amazing views, exposed trail, save your water for the way up.

hiking
Mon May 13 2019

Gorgeous trails with beautiful views. No snow on trail. Much warmer on trail than the other side. Some water but easy to cross. Poles are helpful. Waterfall is gushing!!

hiking
Wed Jan 23 2019

Best time to hike Illiloutte Falls is in the spring when the falls is in full volume!

Sun Nov 11 2018

We went to see the sunrise at glacier point yesterday, and then decided that we would try a hike near by. We caught this trailhead from the Glacier point parking lot. This is a great hike with fantastic views of Half Dome. I especially liked the way the view of Half Dome Changes along the way. You get a great view of. The Falls before dropping down to the river at the bridge. I imagine that in the springtime, there is much more water. I look forward to hiking it again when the water is flowing.

hiking
Sun Oct 28 2018

Such a fun hike! However, you must always remember in the hiking world, whatever goes down....must come back up! Definitely give yourself double time to crawl out of the trail. My husband and I began this hike around 2:00 pm. We made it down the trail in an hour. Sat at the creek and ate a snack and had some hiker coffee. (Starbucks packet of instant Carmel late....yum) We figured it would take us about 2.5 hours to get back to the car, and we surprised ourselves by doing it in only 2 hours (exactly). We ended the hike with a beautiful view of the sun setting over the mountain behind us giving the Panoramic view a nice pink haze covering. Simply beautiful!

Fri Sep 21 2018

Tue Jun 19 2018

Must go trail for waterfall

hiking
Thu Jun 07 2018

This trail is very very well marked. I did it coming back up during sunset, which gave a great view of halfdome and the vernal waterfall. It was also much less crowded than once I reached halfdome.

hiking
Sat Oct 14 2017

I wanted a quick day hike and this trail served that purpose well. The trail is steep and in hot weather I would suggest getting an early start because the trail is pretty exposed in some parts. The falls had little water but it was still a nice spot to have lunch. The views of Half Dome, Clouds Rest, Vernal and Nevada Falls are breathtaking to see all together. Definitely a good option if you're trying to avoid the crowded valley floor.

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