Royal Arches, Yosemite National Park

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Royal Arches

A Yosemite National Park wonder to see when visiting the park is the Royal Arches, a series of rock arches attached to the cliff face below North Dome.

  • Royal Arches is a series of rock arches attached to the cliff face below North Dome.
  • You can’t miss this sight when in Yosemite Valley
  • Located behind the Ahwahnee Hotel
  • Climbing to the top of Royal Arches offers incredible views
  • Royal Arch Cascade is waterfall just adjacent to Royal Arches


Royal Arches, in Yosemite National Park, is a sight most visitors make an extra effort to see. These natural granite arches appear like eyebrows framing a face. This cliff face is also a popular climbing destination.

Location & Information

The Royal Arches are directly behind the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Valley. When driving into the valley, simply follow the road toward Camp Curry and turn left at Stoneman Bridge. Turn right at the Village and right again toward the hotel.

Although the Royal Arches are accessible all year, the best time to visit is in the spring, avoiding weekends when it is especially crowded.

Contact information: 209-372-0200


  • Climbing
    The main activity at Royal Arches, besides just enjoying the views, is climbing. This climb is a height of 1,400 feet, and the average time it takes is about 7 to 10 hours. Once at the top, you will find the inspiring views of the entire Yosemite Valley stretching before you. This is a noteworthy climb and is even recognized in the text “Fifty Classic Climbs of North America.”

Fun Facts

Situated to the left of Royal Arches is the gorgeous Royal Arch Cascade, streaming down 1,250 feet in wondrous beauty. It is an added pleasure to see this falls while visiting Royal Arches, and early spring is the best time to come to see both. The waterfall is usually dry by the month of June.