Crowds at Yosemite miss other wonderful waterfalls

This is the time of year when everyone and their uncle flocks to Yosemite Valley to view waterfalls at their gushing best.

And for good reason. Iconic falls such as Yosemite, Bridalveil and Vernal, plus lesser-knowns such as Ribbon, Sentinel and Snow Creek, are big right now and will only get bigger once we get several consecutive days of hot weather.

But the valley doesn't own a monopoly. There are plenty of waterfalls in other areas of the park that while not as majestic offer the additional enticement of solitude. In a place as popular as Yosemite, that's a pretty fair trade-off.

Located in the Wawona area, Chilnualna Falls is a prime example of an off-the-beaten-path waterfall, even if it's really not all that far from the highway. The falls aren't exactly a secret, but they're also seldom overrun with crowds.

So lace up those hiking shoes and from the trailhead at the end of Chilnualna Falls Road climb about 200 yards to the first of many encounters with Chilnualna Creek, which houses a series of beautiful cascades.

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