• Rainbow over Half Dome

    Yosemite

    National Park California

Day Hikes in Hetch Hetchy

A brief description of the Hetch Hetchy area, with natural and cultural history, and additional hiking information, is available [1.7 MB PDF].
 

Lookout Point (moderate)

2 miles (3.2 km) round-trip; 1 hour

Begin at Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station

This quick hike takes you to a viewpoint overlooking Hetch Hetchy Valley.

 

Wapama Falls (moderate)

5 mi (8 km) round-trip; 2 hours

Begin at O'Shaughnessy Dam

This trail takes you to the base of Wapama Falls, passing two smaller waterfalls (during spring) on the way. This is also a good trail for wildflowers in spring.

 

Rancheria Falls (moderate)

13.4 miles (21.4 km) round-trip; 6 to 8 hours

Begin at O'Shaughnessy Dam

This trail continues past Wapama Falls to popular Rancheria Falls.

 

Smith Peak (moderate to strenuous)

13.5 miles (21.6 km) round-trip; 6 to 8 hours

Begin at Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station

This trail takes you through forest and meadow to Smith Peak, where you get great views of the Hetch Hetchy area.

 

Poopenaut Valley (strenuous)

3 miles (4.8 km) round-trip; 2 hours

Begin four miles east of the Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station (look for small turnout on the right)

This trail provides quick access to the Tuolumne River, descending 1,229 feet (735 m) to the river below O'Shaughnessy Dam.

Did You Know?

Sierra Sweet Bay

In Wawona and downstream, the South Fork Merced River provides habitat for a rare plant, the Sierra sweet bay (Myrica hartwegii). This special status shrub is found in only five Sierra Nevada counties. In Yosemite, it occurs exclusively on sand bars and river banks along the South Fork Merced River downstream from Wawona and on Big Creek.