Foresta Falls

Yosemite National Park / Foresta / Big Oak Flat Road, California, USA

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 2
Foresta Falls


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Foresta Falls is a bit of a pleasant surprise to us as we didn't expect to see a significant waterfall in this part of Yosemite National Park. Instead, we thought it was going to be merely a waterfall collector's attraction until we realized that the trail description for this falls in our old 2nd edition of Ann Marie Brown's book was not complete (she only saw the upper cascades).

Indeed, what we ended up seeing after venturing a bit further on the unpaved community road near Foresta was a gorgeous waterfall probably on the order of nearly 100ft though the bridge kind of bisected the full height of the falls so we were never really able to get that complete photograph where we could better appreciate its full size. The main drop of the falls before the bridge was probably on the order of 60ft or less.

In addition to the main drop photographed above, there are also tiny cascades above it. However, getting closer to them requires a bit of a scramble through some dry branches with a chance of ticks hitching a ride while looking for some fresh blood.

So in summary, the way we visited this waterfall was by walking the community road from the community of Foresta for roughly 1.5 miles round trip. When we realized how narrow and overgrown the unpaved road was, we opted to park it just outside this access road. From there, the walk on the road went down one set of switchbacks before getting to the bridge fronting this waterfall.

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I scrambled beneath the bridge for this view of Foresta FallsI scrambled beneath the bridge for this view of Foresta Falls
On the way up the Big Oak Flat Road towards the Forest community, we got this view of Bridalveil Fall backing the rugged Merced River CanyonOn the way up the Big Oak Flat Road towards the Forest community, we got this view of Bridalveil Fall backing the rugged Merced River Canyon
Cascades on the Upper Foresta FallsCascades tumbling before the big drop

Looking directly at the main Foresta Falls from the bridgeLooking directly at the falls from the bridge

Foresta Falls from beyond the bridgeThe falls from beyond the bridge

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Foresta Falls is located near the community of Foresta. You can get to there by ascending from Route 140 towards Route 120 along the Big Oak Flat Road. After passing through three small tunnels, look for a turnoff to your left, which leads through an area once devastated by the A-Rock Fire back in 1990 (I recalled there was a sign pointing to the left for "Foresta"). Continue roughly 2 miles into the private community of Foresta (signpost B5) where the road continues (probably a walking trail at this point) beyond the village.

For a bit of context, Foresta was roughly 6 hours drive from Los Angeles via our preferred route of going up the Hwy 41 from Fresno via Oakhurst and the South Entrance. From San Francisco, this was roughly a 4 hour drive along route 120 and the Big Oak Flat Entrance. From Merced, it was roughly a 2 hour drive via Mariposa and the Arch Rock Entrance.

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For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.

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Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map

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For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.

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