Yosemite Creeks & Lesser Known Waterfalls
Especially during the warming months of spring, waterways all through the park swell up and cascade down into the valley. In addition to photos of Yosemite creeks, I’ve also included some small (but scenic) creek waterfalls that few people know about.
Yosemite Creeks – Photo Index
- Tenaya Creek
- Yosemite Creek
- Tamarack Creek
- Cascade Creek
- Bridalveil Creek
- Meadow Brook
- Avalanche Creek
- Alder Creek
Yosemite Creeks – Tioga Road
Although the valley is more well known, Tioga Road has some beautiful high country water features.
Once you reach Olmsted Point on Tioga Rd, you’ll find peaceful Tenaya Creek about 5 miles later. This photo shows it cutting through a vibrant June meadow. Additionally, you’ll notice Tenaya Peak looming overhead. This location is just upstream of beautiful Tenaya Lake.
Although it’s not the most accessible, I recommend it to photographers who want to explore a bit off the beaten path.
Yosemite Creek – Feeding the Beast
Of course, the most well known is the mother of all park tributaries – Yosemite Creek. This beauty collects snowmelt in the high country and hurls it over the valley rim – a.k.a. Yosemite Falls.
Yosemite Creeks – The Valley
Even though it gets crowded at times, Yosemite Valley is where the waterfall magic happens. Here, all water converges after tumbling over the rim of the valley, thousands of feet above.
Tamarack Creek is particularly beautiful in late summer, when the green Indian Rhubarb fills the canyon. The lower water flow is also better for long shutter effects. I loved these scenic little waterfalls.
Cascade Creek + Waterfall
As I have mentioned previously, Cascade Creek joins Tamarack Creek – creating highly underrated Cascade Falls.
While it’s parent falls get the lion’s share of attention, there are some picturesque little cascades and pools along Bridalveil Creek as well.
Fern Spring Creek
Though Fern Spring was made famous by Ansel Adams many years ago, I wandered up the hill nearby and found this charming forest scene. Not sure what the name is, but I call it Fern Spring Creek.
Yosemite Creeks – Wawona Rd (Highway 41)
If you keep an eye out as you exit the park on Wawona Road, you’ll notice quite a few lush canyons and streams on the way. I did my best to compile a few below.
When hiking to Inspiration Point, you can take the short route from Tunnel View parking lot, or the longer one from the Bridalveil Fall parking lot.
The latter includes not only this beautiful creek scene above, but quite a few more as you continue on your way. Indeed, Meadow Brook is probably worth exploring more at some point in the future.
Avalanche Creek Falls
Undeniably the most beautiful of the series, sadly the Ferguson fire came through here the DAY AFTER I took these photos. Since then, these stunning, stringy waterfalls have been completely transformed.
This cool, mossy canyon is (at least for now) a dead, charred wasteland. By the way, I also have a main waterfalls page.
Alder Creek Falls
Surprisingly, I just recently learned about these falls at Alder Creek. Also visible right from the road, it was raging when I took this shot in mid May. Definitely will be returning to explore this canyon more soon.
Looking for lodging? Check out my Yosemite Hotels page.
Show the Sierra some love – Share this page:
About My Photos
The images on this website are available for licensing and/or sale as framed prints. If you’d like to purchase them for a blog, news article, or gift, feel free to contact me with the specifics. This way you’re supporting photographers such as me directly (as opposed to buying from a faceless stock photo corporation).
Pinterest users: By all means, feel free to pin!
– Nathan Allen
I’m Nathan Allen, photographer / creator of YosemiteParkPhotos.com (Yosemite Photos) and international travel site I Dreamed Of This. In truth, I lived in San Francisco, New York, & Singapore…but nothing compares to life in the mountains. I share my experiences HERE.