Wildcat Falls

Yosemite National Park / Merced Canyon, California, USA

Rating: 1.5     Difficulty: 1
Wildcat Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Wildcat Falls was definitely one of the more obscure waterfalls we've found in the park. The funny thing was that most people driving along the El Portal Road zooming past this waterfall without even knowing it was there! Not only that, but it was practically the next door neighbor to the semi-famous Cascade Falls.

The reason why it was so easily overlooked was because it was largely concealed by vegetation and there didn't appear to be any infrastructure recognizing it. Indeed, this had the feeling more like it was one for the waterfall collectors like us. So with its understatedness, we were also able to enjoy the waterfall by ourselves (aside from the mosquitoes).

To access the base of this waterfall, we started from the car park for Cascade Falls, then we had to walk about 1/4-mile along Route 140 on the north side of the road until we reached Wildcat Creek. That was when we spotted a trail of use that led through the vegetation and right towards the attractive base of the falls. Before entering the vegetation, we were also able to see some of the upper sections of the waterfall by looking up towards the top end of the cliff looming over us.

Another way we were able to see the uppermost tiers of Wildcat Falls was from Turtleback Dome. The details about this viewpoint could be found in the Cascade Falls page.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Wildcat Falls (left) and Cascade Falls (right) from Turtleback DomeWildcat Falls (left) and Cascade Falls (right) from Turtleback Dome
While getting the alternate view of Wildcat Falls from Turtleback Dome, I managed to get this unusual look at Yosemite Valley and Bridalveil FallWhile getting the alternate view of Wildcat Falls from Turtleback Dome, I managed to get this unusual look at Yosemite Valley and Bridalveil Fall
Just a short distance down the road from Turtleback Dome was the famous Tunnel View Overlook of Yosemite ValleyJust a short distance down the road from Turtleback Dome was the famous Tunnel View Overlook of Yosemite Valley
The upper section of Wildcat Falls as seen in June 2002The upper section of the hidden roadside waterfall as seen in June 2002

The upper section of Wildcat Falls seen from Turtleback Dome in March 2004The upper section of the falls seen from Turtleback Dome in March 2004

The upper section of Wildcat Falls seen from Turtleback Dome in April 2005The upper section of the hidden roadside waterfall seen from Turtleback Dome in April 2005

The base of Wildcat Falls in June 2002Old school photo of the base of the waterfall in June 2002


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS




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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

You basically use the car park for Cascade Falls to access this waterfall. As you drive Route 140 between the Arch Rock Entrance and the Route 140/120 junction, look for signpost M1 about 1.7 miles west of the Route 140/120 junction.

As mentioned earlier, in order to get the Turtleback Dome perspective, read the Cascade Falls page.

For a little context, Wildcat Falls is about 15 minutes drive east of El Portal, which itself is about 45 minutes east of Mariposa. Mariposa is about 3 hours drive east of San Francisco.

From the south (the route we tend to prefer since we're coming from Los Angeles), we drive for about 3.5 hours to Fresno, then continue onto the South Entrance of Yosemite via Oakhurst before entering Yosemite Valley. We'd then head west out of the valley towards the Cascades Picnic Area. This drive would take us over 6 hours.




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ITINERARIES

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




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MAP OF THE FALLS



Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map





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TRIP REPORTS

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




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES





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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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RELATED PAGES



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