Wapama Falls Trail

MODERATE 198 reviews
#22 of 234 trails in

Wapama Falls Trail is a 4.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Long Barn, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October.

Distance: 4.6 miles Elevation Gain: 954 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bridge out

rocky

snow

historic site

no dogs

Turn North for CA 120 onto Evergreen Road This junction is located 1.1 miles west of the Yosemite entrance station at Big Oak Flat and 22. 5 miles east of Groveland. Note the Hetch Hetchy day-use hours to avoid getting locked behind closed gates 15 minutes down the the road. $30 Park Fee to Enter.

hiking
no shade
1 day ago

Really nice trail with beautiful falls. It is an hour and half drive past Yosemite Valley, so plan that ahead. During the summer, it’s really (really) hot so try to come earlier in the day and bring lots of water. Is doable for all types of hikers, but yes, it was extremely hot. Other than the heat, I enjoyed this hike very much.

hiking
29 days ago

6/14/19 Trail was populated and not difficult at all. Gorgeous views

1 month ago

Hetch Hetchy is nice but it's still a reservoir and a much farther drive than to the Yosemite Valley and just one trail! I just wanted to check it out but I probably won't go back I'll stick to the rest of Yosemite! Got there at 7 a.m. to start the trail early and make it to Rancheria falls but they opened until 10 a.m. so I had to wait and I did a small trail to Tuolumne Grove in the meantime. By the time Hetch Hetchy opened and we got to the trail it was past 11 a.m. really hot and no shade so we only went a mile past Wapama falls. The trail was really hot with no trees and mostly just a view of the reservoir. The highlight was Wapama fall it was super strong and we got completely soaked especially when we crossed the bridges to the other side. No one else crossed the bridges, everyone was scared. We kept meeting groups of people we passed along the way to the falls and everyone just made it to the falls. When we headed back we saw a couple that dared enough to cross the bridges too! It was dangerous to some extent but doable.

hiking
1 month ago

Hetch Hetchy is absolutely beautiful right now! The wildflowers are in full bloom, lots of bees and butterflies flying around. Beautiful views of Kolana rock, Hetch Hetchy dome, the dam, and very full and fast flowing falls. The falls are dangerous right now! I would give it a few weeks before attempting to go beyond Wapama Falls. A person went missing very recently (6/7-6/9-ish) after apparently being swept away at wapama bridge. Just because the bridge may be open doesn’t mean you should attempt to cross it. Use common sense. I hiked this 6/12 and we saw a sizable bear right at the beginning of the trail as you’re coming out of the dam tunnel. It wasn’t startled by the 15-20 people already on the trail; it continued to attempt to approach, so be extra cautious if you’re hiking this alone or in a small group.

hiking
bridge out
washed out
1 month ago

Unfortunately, due to the extreme snow melt, the footbridge at the base of Wapoma Falls was impassable due to high waters and there was no opportunity to move forward on to Rancheria Falls. The trail was beautiful though, and feeling a bit cheated on mileage, I decided to reroute and head up to Bee Hive where i came to a fork after 2 miles. Once at the fork, I decided to head back down to the dam and head back to camp.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Hiked on 6/7 - Trail is quite rocky with areas where you’ll have to cross through water to continue. Use caution as snow melt is creating rapid moving water streams. Lots of poison oak on the sides of the trail. Beautiful views.

hiking
bridge out
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail, fairly easy with some rocky sections. It was hot and there is not very much shade so come prepared with water. The views are spectacular, and the falls are raging right now.

1 month ago

Went in late summer and while the falls are pretty nice, the rest of the trail is quite meh.

hiking
1 month ago

If you are looking for a fun trail that is not that difficult this is a good one. Has it’s challenging spots but for most part fairly easy. We went on a cooler day, but can see how it can be a “hot” trail. 90% unshaded. Nice views throughout entire hike. 4 completely different falls (5/31) with the final being the highlight. This fall was raging and if you dare go on the bridge you will get soaked!

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

Hiked on 5/22: trail was muddy, wet, and downright flooded in some places. A lot of fun and beautiful, but very uneven terrain in places. Only got 1 bug bite, I guess we were a few days too early for them (based on other reviews). Definitely wear waterproof shoes and don’t wear cotton if you intend to go close to the falls, our jackets were very wet but luckily dried out quickly. We went during the week and probably saw 30 other people at various points on the trail. There is shade in some portions of the trail at the start and end but none in ~2/3 of the trail.

hiking
bugs
rocky
1 month ago

Very nice views from a rocky trail with quite a bit of water across it by late spring. Waterproof hiking boots recommended. And mosquito repellent. Watch for poison oak along the last part of the trail.

Water at the bridge flowing strong. looks beautiful but be careful crossing.

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of those trails where the journey is just as cool as the destination. It offers great views the whole time and a really cool waterfall.

hiking
rocky
washed out
2 months ago

I have been in Hetch Hetchy Dome before in summer time, came back again today ( May/19) It was a big surprise, I had raining, snowy, sunshine and windy, but it is pretty day hike for everyone. Love it mind come back again

hiking
bugs
no shade
2 months ago

This was a fun short day hike, ending in a nice dousing in mist from the falls. Bring bug spray and sunscreen, there's not a lot of shade for most of the trail.

2 months ago

Beautiful flowers and pretty easy trail. So fun to see numerous waterfalls on the hike and great payoff at the end.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

This was an easy/moderate 5.6 RT hike. The trail has some flat areas. You also gain and lose altitude along the way. Some of the trail is rocky so it would be good to concentrate on foot placement so as not to turn an ankle. There were some wet ares, but unless you are walking across the bridge at Wampama, you’ll stay fairly dry.

hiking
2 months ago

Love it is pretty easy!

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike. There were some steep slopes but then plenty of steady paths afterwards. Careful and don’t slip on the rocky paths. Theres a great place to take a break and the kids can get cooled off. The views were worth the hike. Went on a Thursday and it was a little busier than expected but a great place to get away from the world. The drive was a little weird though since you drive for a while on the private looking road. Careful for oncoming cars as the 16 mile road can be a little tight.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

this trail is the gateway to the back-country and that's about all it is good for. When I hiked it several years ago it was loaded with bears bluffing backpackers, trying to get them to drop their packs and run - especially when you get to "City Camp". Watch out for rattle snakes cooling off under rocks and also for cubs who are trained by mama bear to scare you and take your food.

8 months ago

Nice. Hetch betchy hike.

hiking
8 months ago

Pretty awesome trail, I would rate this trail moderate just because it’s kinda rocky ... make sure you have boots with ankle support because trail shoes won’t cut it!! The falls were dry but that’s ok because it’s beautiful either way no need to find beauty in the expectation of one thing :) awesome all around with great views!!

hiking
8 months ago

An interesting part of Yosemite NP that I never knew existed before a friend mentioned it to us. It's not as spectacular as the Yosemite valley but what it lacks in that department, it makes up in being much quieter and just unassumingly pretty. Definitely a good place to visit to get some rest from the crowds in the valley. The hike itself is short but can get tiring if it is hot - it certainly was mid-June when we visited. I guess the moderate rating is quite appropriate. The waterfalls are pretty and the views of the lake are simply beautiful.

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