Yosemite: Wawona To Chilnualna Falls

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Trip Type:  Out and Back – 2 Days, 1 Nights or this makes a great day hike

Total Trip Mileage  10 miles round trip

Altitude Gain: 2400′ gross

Trail Difficulty: Moderately strenuous. This trail climbs 2400′ in just under 5 miles.

Season:  Go in SPRING when the falls are flowing at their fullest.

Trail Traffic: Trail traffic is moderate early in the spring but with summer comes a lot more people – again, go early.

WSH Trip Rating: 5 out of 5 stars: This is a fantastic early season overnighter. It not only helps remind your body it’s time for summer hiking but it serves as a great opportunity to double check your summer kit to ensure all is in working order. And you get the added plus of the amazing Chilnualna falls to serenade you as you hike up the mountain. What more could you ask for?


Day 1: Wawona to Upper Chilnulna Falls:  ~5.0 miles 

Find the parking at the end of Chilnualna Falls road and begin marching up the trail. It’s not long (less than a quarter mile) before you hit the first falls which welcomes you into the backcountry. In a high flow year you’ll get a nice mist to cool you down. This first portion of the trail is steep with rock stairs. While the elevation gain tapers off it’s pretty unrelenting as you hike up the hill. As mentioned, you’re greeted by views and the sound of Chilnualna creek as you rise up from 4200′ to your ultimate destination at around 6600′ where the trail crosses Chilnualna Creek. This creek may not be fordable early in the season.


Day 2 – Reverse Day 1  


Trail Notes