Hetch Hetchy has Three main waterfalls but depending on the season and snow melt for each winter, just like Yosemite Valley has many temporary waterfalls each spring that please visitors who walk the trail along the lakes cliff.
One of the largest North American waterfalls is a 5 mile round trip from the dam. The Trail follows the shoreline after a short walk through a man-made tunnel in the side of he mountain just over the dam. The trail includes spectacular views of Tueeulala falls along the way and increasingly better views of Hetchy Hetchy Valley as it opens up around the cliffs.
Wapama Falls is a great location hike that features multiple bridges that take you directly over the rushing water and easily into the splash zone of the waterfall in spring and early summer. Similar to Yosemite Falls, Wapama Fall cascades high above and has two landing areas creating the second waterfall that from the dam is pretty impressive by itself. The Upper fall you can’t see until you are right on top of the waterfall, making this a very surprising waterfall feature for hikers.
Once on the Bridge, you can see the upper Wapama Fall and notice that the bottom splinters into 3-4 different runoff sections into the lake, each providing their own unique cascading water effects.
Wapama Fall Spring 2016
Tueeulala Fall – A much more whimsical waterfall than Wapama fall, Tueeulala Fall is a beautiful Tall cascade that streams over the cliff some 800 feet above. Located just before Wapama Fall this is an easy hike from the Dam and is a great waterfall stop along the way to Wapama Fall. This Waterfall reminds me of Horsetail Fall in Yosemite Valley.
Rancheria Falls – The Trail to Rancheria Falls continues on past Wapama Faa and may be done in a long 13-mile day hike or a great backpacking trip. The Hike to Rancheria is 6.5 miles with beautiful views fo the valley and waterfalls. Backpackers will have access to Tiltill or Rancheria mountains, the vast Northern wilderness of Yosemite a multiple trail options to Yosemite Lakes. Rancheria Falls isn’t a dramatic plunge like Yosemite or Wapama Fall, but rather a series of cascades that zip through a narrow canyon for more than a thousand feet of vertical drop before the ride ends in Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.