Royal Arch Cascades, California

Royal Arch Cascades in May 2011

Royal Arch Cascades is one of those waterfalls in Yosemite National Park that you could miss VERY easily. If you show up from July to March, you might not see the falls at all. By July, I understand that the cascades have usually disappeared. Your best time to visit is May and June. I visited in mid-May, and the falls were definitely flowing.

Even when there in May or June, you may again miss the falls if you’re not looking. The major attraction is obviously Yosemite Falls, and even though you only have to look some distance to the right, it’s not as popular. I guess that could be because, while it is very tall, it is not as tall nor as powerful as Yosemite Falls. Still, you can add it to the checklist simply by turning your head.


  1. In late April and early May, the best choice of roads is likely CA-140. (I was on CA-120, and discovered after some distance that the road was closed near the park entrance, and had to take an alternative route). Call (209)-372-0200 for current road conditions.
  2. Head east along CA-140 from Merced/Mariposa to the entrance for the park.
  3. At the entrance, you will need to pay the entrance fee, which is good for 7 days.
  4. The Royal Arch Cascades can be seen in the distance from the same meadow where you can also view Yosemite Falls. You may also be able to get closer by heading down Ahwahnee Road…

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 1250′
Length of Hike: Roadside

Where in the World is Royal Arch Cascades?


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