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Lower Chilnualna Fall

A short but steep hike up to the base of Chilnualna Fall in Yosemite National Park
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 0.9 miles
Duration: Less than 1 hour

Overview :  This hike will only take about 30 minutes round trip and will bring you to a beautiful waterfall with a great swimming hole at the... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Parking

You will find a small parking lot off of the right side of the road you drive in on (right before the steep bend to the left). Park your car and walk back to the main road. Walk uphill towards the bend in the road but take the fork to the right where you will see a metal sign.

2. Trailhead

Take the path to the right of the metal sign towards the base of Chilnualna Falls. The first part of the hike is the flattest, but it soon gets steep as you near the. After climbing for 5-10 minutes up improvised stairs made from stones and roots you will hear the crashing of water and see the bottom of Chilnualna Falls.

3. Waterfall

Climb down the few boulders for a closer look at the falls or even a quick dip in the pool below (but don’t get too close to the edge of the next water fall).
Once you have seen enough, continue up the trail a little further to the top of the waterfall.

4. Another Waterfall

The trail bends back to the left up some switchbacks as it climbs higher, but you can walk off of the trail to climb up a few boulders for a great view of yet another waterfall. The pool above is larger and very slow moving which makes it another great location to jump in and cool down.

5. Continuing to the top of Chilnualna Falls

If you are feeling extra-energetic, continue further up the trail to the top of Chilnualna Falls. After another 5 minutes of uphill climbing you will reach a fork in the road with a trail sign with mileage information to various landmarks (Chilnualna Falls, Glacier Point, Yosemite Valley).

From this point Chilnualna Falls is another 4.2 miles ... More

6. Restrooms

There are restrooms near the parking lot where you started, just a little ways downhill of the trailhead. Plan ahead of time, because the sound of the waterfall forces some people to head back early in search of the restrooms.