Wapama Falls is the larger of two waterfalls located on the northern wall of Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park. Arguably the most powerful waterfall in Yosemite National Park, it flows almost year-round and during peak flow has been known to inundate the trail bridge crossing it, making the falls impossible to pass during peak flow. The falls consist of two primary drops angled roughly 60 degrees to each other and a broad cascade at its base. Wapama Falls is fed by Lake Vernon, a few miles to the north.
Wapama Falls descends about 1,400 feet. Like Yosemite Falls, it has three distinct parts. The upper most section is a free drop of perhaps 300 feet, followed by a steep cascading stream which descends 600 feet in a steep sided gorge, much like the stream between Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls. These cascades cannot be seen in their entirety from the trail. Such a view is seen from across the valley high on Kolana Rock. Finally, the bottom drop, seen from the dam and intimately from the trail, is about 200 feet down an escarpment that is not vertical. When the water's high, it shoots outward to clear this descent. The remaining 300 feet is buried under the notorious reservoir.
The gate to the Hetch Hetchy entrance closes at 9 pm daily in the summer and earlier in the winter. If you haven't left by then, you could become an involuntary camper.
Parking: There are two lots, one just before the trailhead and one just after. The one after the trailhead has a shorter walk to the trailhead, but the one before the trailhead (which has roughly a quarter-mile hike to the trailhead) has restrooms. The road turns into a one-way loop as you approach the trail, so if you pass up the first lot and then decide you wanted to park there after all, you have about a 1.5 mile (2.4 km) drive to follow the loop back to the original lot. Nearest snacks can be found at the Evergreen Lodge in Camp Mather, 8 miles (12.8 km) back the way you came.