Illilouette Falls California

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Illilouette Falls

Illilouette Falls is a beautiful 370-foot waterfall within Yosemite National Park, not visible from any road but requiring a hike to view, and well worth the effort to get there. Read More

  • See the beautiful Illilouette Falls when visiting Yosemite National Park
  • This waterfall is not accessible by car, so you’ll need to hike
  • Take the Panorama Trail and stop for a picnic on one of the granite benches
  • The North Dome hike allows you to look down on the falls

Overview

Illilouette Falls California seems to come out of nowhere, falling over towering rocks to the delight of sightseers. It might be the least viewed waterfall in Yosemite National Park, possibly because it isn’t accessible by auto. But it is well worth the steep hike to see this marvelous cascade.

Location & Information

Illilouette Falls Yosemite can be reached by taking the trailhead to the right of Glacier Point within the park. From Yosemite Valley, take Highway 41 to Glacier Point Road and drive to Glacier Point parking area.

Although Yosemite National Park is open year-round, the best time to hike to see Illilouette Falls is in the spring and early summer when the flow is at its height and wildflowers are blooming along the path. The peak flow is in late May. In winter, the hike to Illilouette is very strenuous due to snow.

Contact information:
Public Information Office for Yosemite National Park
P.O. Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389
209-372-0200

Activities

Hiking
Illilouette Falls Yosemite National Park is one waterfall you’ll have to hike to see. The Panorama Trailhead is a four-mile trek round trip with a 1,400-foot elevation change to see the falls and five miles to go on to the Panorama Point vista. On this hike you can stop on one of the granite benches to have a bite to eat. Great views of North Dome, the Royal Arches and more are just a bonus! But remember, it’s a long climb back from the falls to your car!

Another trail from which you can view the falls is the John Muir Trail close to Vernal Fall Footbridge. Just a few minutes before you reach the footbridge, you can get a wonderful sideways view of the waterfall.

If you’d like to look down on the Illilouette Falls, you can take the North Dome hike. This trailhead is off the car park close to signpost T19 on the Tioga Road. You’ll only be able to reach this in the summer when Tioga Road is open.

Fun Facts

In Yosemite, Illilouette Falls requires a hike to reach, and the climb back up to your car can be quite difficult. A great option is to plan out a route using the Hiker’s Bus. You will need to make reservations for the bus, and you’ll need to hike from Glacier Point to Happy Isles Nature Center. Be sure to check with the park on the exact routes and times that the Hiker’s Bus runs.

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