Lehamite Falls is literally the overshadowed next door neighbor to Yosemite Falls. Its unfortunate position means only the curious and observant waterfall fanatics even notice this tall, slender series of cascading falls deep in the recesses of Indian Canyon.
We’ve noticed that this waterfall doesn’t have longevity so the window in which it’s even worth noticing this guy when it has decent enough flow is very limited. That said, I think around late April through May (depends on the snowmelt conditions and the weather) is when to try to take a shot at spotting this waterfall. Just to give you an idea of how variable the timing can be to see this falls flow, our latest visit occurred in mid-June 2017, which was a heavy snowpack year.
In addition to the timing for this falls to make an appearance, you also have to time your visit for the early to mid afternoon. That’s because it may be the only time in the day when Indian Canyon and the surrounding trees don’t cast a shadow on the falls. Shadows weren’t our friends with this waterfall because it was already hard enough to spot the falls, but the shadows render the falls almost invisible.
When this waterfall does flow, we’ve found that the best spots of view it (albeit from a distance) was from the open terrain of the Cook Meadow area as well as the Southside Drive just west of the Yosemite Chapel (around the site of the Old Yosemite Village at signpost V20). We were even able to spot the falls from as far west as the Swinging Bridge.
Perhaps the best viewpoint of this short-lived waterfall is on the far east end of the long pullout before Cooks Meadow (signpost V19). I’ve also seen this waterfall from Swinging Bridge as well as within Cook Meadow itself, especially near the Yosemite Chapel and the site of the Old Yosemite Village (signpost V20). There may be other viewpoints within the Yosemite Village further north, but generally trees will obstruct your view.
For a bit of context, Yosemite Valley was roughly a 6 hour drive from Los Angeles via our preferred route of the I-5 then Hwy 99 to Fresno, then Hwy 41 through Coarsegold, Oakhurst, Fish Camp, Wawona, etc. all the way to Yosemite Valley.
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