Hetch Hetchy Rancharia Falls
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Rancheria Falls

Rancheria Falls

Northern Yosemite

Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, California, USA


This trail continues past Wapama Falls to popular Rancheria Falls. This is an excellent hike to do in winter as there is usually still water in the waterfalls along the way and it is at a low enough elevation that snow is typically not a problem. The hike is approx. 8 miles from the start at the O’Shaughnessy Dam to the falls campsite, and though there’s only a small elevation change from the trail head to the falls, there’s plenty of up and down passages, most of it on the latter half of the hike between Wapama and Rancheria Falls. Watch your step to avoid wading into poison oak that is found along most of the trail.

At the end of the trail you will be rewarded with the beauty of cascading falls and various campsites in the treeline ahead. The campsites rarely fill up, most will just look for the designated fire rings to set up camps. If you can live without a campfire for the night then there is still plenty of areas around to pitch a tent and sleep. A word of warning though, do not make your own fire ring, only use existing fire rings in the area… Rangers patrol this area often and you can be heavily fined for creating non-designated fire rings.

This video shows the hike from Hetch Hetchy to Rancheria Fall

WARNING: Do not cross the bridge below Wapama Falls when the water is flowing over the bridge as you may be washed off the bridge by the force of the water.