Chilnualna Falls Trailhead

Chilnualna Falls Trailhead sign
Chilnualna Falls Trailhead

Quick Facts

Animal-Safe Food Storage, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Parking - Auto, Restroom, Trailhead

Chilnualna Falls, pronounced "Chil-noo-al-na," flows all year, with peak flow in May. It is a strenuous hike, but well worth it for its views of the falls and Wawona Dome.

Chilnualna Falls are comprised of five large cascades sliding through and over large granite formations above the Wawona basin - water here is fullest in spring and early summer. This strenuous trail allows for you to view the Chilnualna Falls cascades in many locations along the hike and also rewards you with expansive views overlooking Wawona during your uphill climb.

8.2 miles (13 km) round trip, 5 to 6 hours
2,400 ft (730 m) elevation gain



Getting Here

Begin at Chilnualna Falls Trailhead parking area located two miles up Chilnualna Falls Road, off of Wawona Road. The trail leads from the parking area across the road and along Chilnualna Creek for a 1/2 mile (.8 km). A series of switchbacks lead away from the creek into the open forest.

Rules & Regulations

  • Stay on established trails.
  • Pets are not allowed on hiking trails.
  • Pack out what you pack in.
  • Overnight backpackers need a wilderness permit.
  • Bear canisters are required for wilderness food storage for overnight hikers.
  • Bears and other wildlife can be present on trails at any time of the day or night. Feeding and approaching wildlife is dangerous and illegal! Be sure to properly store your food.

Hazards & Warnings

  • Bring plenty of drinking water, summer temperatures can be extreme.
  • Be sure to treat river, stream, lake, or spring water.
  • Always carry a map and compass, and know how to use them.
  • Wear sturdy footwear with good traction.
  • Be prepared for sudden changes in weather and conditions.


This trail is not accessible.

Yosemite National Park

Last updated: January 11, 2024