Why do we enjoy traveling into the mountains? Is it for the scenery? Adventure? Solitude? There are so many reasons to visit, but we feel a major one overlaps all of them: Freedom. The ability to let go and enjoy the moment. With waterfall season upon us, it’s the perfect time to step away from the daily doldrums and truly let go of stresses by experiencing the power of water in all its glory. Here are just a few of the infinite number of High Sierra waterfall options that cascade down the rocky summits of the Sierra Nevada.
Granite Amphitheater Roar
Like Yosemite Valley, Tokopah Valley was shaped by a glacier. Here you’ll find a quintessential Sierra canyon trail. Featuring immense granite walls, alpine meadows and a thundering river, the trail culminates at the famous Tokopah Falls. The nearly 1,200 foot tall waterfall fills a granite amphitheater with a hearty roar that will leave you speechless with its beauty and sound.
Emerald Bay Backdrop
This gorgeous waterfall is set against the backdrop of iconic Emerald Bay. There are the lower or upper falls – both equally beautiful. Lower Eagle Falls is about a mile walk downhill with drops in two large cascades of 60 and 90 feet. It’s an easy to moderate hike and takes about 20-30 minutes. Pack your water bottles and lunch for a quick bite at the picnic area. From there, continue a quarter of a mile up to see the Upper Eagle Falls.
Historic Trail & America’s Tallest Waterfall
While the big rocks; Half Dome, El Capitan, Glacier Point, Sentinel Rock… get center stage in Yosemite, there is no denying the power and beauty of Yosemite Falls. Seeing them in full force or feeling their cooling mist is truly inspiring. Yosemite Falls, which drops a total of 2,425 feet, is actually made up of three segments: Upper Yosemite Fall (1,430 feet), the middle cascades (675 feet) and Lower Yosemite Fall (320 feet). For those looking for an easy relaxing hike but still want to see them in their full splendor we suggest checking out the Lower Yosemite Fall. And if you’re up to a challenge the trail to the upper falls, built between 1873 and 1877, is the oldest historic trail in the park. It packs a little bit of danger, a lot of elevation climb and America’s tallest waterfall into one spectacular hike. And don’t skimp out without seeing out the other large assortments of falls in the park. With the “liquid rush” of spring happening now there’s so many falls to see in person.
Lundy Canyon Waterfalls
Highest Concentration of Falls on a Hike
Looking to see not just one waterfall but many? Then Lundy Canyon is where it’s at. The high concentration of waterfalls and overall quality of the hike is unlike anywhere else you’ll experience. Besides a lot of waterfall “action”, you’ll be exposed to reflective ponds and an array of blooming wildflowers of all different colors. Overall, this might be the most compelling waterfalling experience you can have anywhere and well worth the travel.
From historic to iconic, the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range can arguably be considered the best place for viewing waterfalls in the world. This is just a drop in the bucket of the vast assortment of High Sierra waterfall beauty you can check out. What is your favorite on the list?
Author: Alex Silgalis
Alex Silgalis is an outdoors travel writer who enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, or having a cold one from a local mountain brewery. See more of Alex’s work at https://localfreshies.com
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