Carlon Falls Photos

Without a doubt, Carlon Falls was one of my favorite Yosemite discoveries. This little known gem is located right near the park entrance on Highway 120. This is the South Fork Tuolumne River’s last stop before leaving the park. Below are some of my best Carlon Falls photos.

Carlon Falls + Boulders (Long exposure along South Fork Tuolumne River)
Carlon Falls + Boulders (Long exposure)

While the trailhead is technically outside the park, the waterfall itself is inside (and the hike isn’t even that long!) I came here in late June to take long exposure shots. Boy, I wasn’t disappointed! The falls themselves are not terribly large, but somehow their character and surroundings seem to make up for it.

The Carlon Falls pool is popular for wading & swimming in summertime (long exposure)
The Carlon Falls pool is popular for wading & swimming in summertime (long exposure)

Even though this is a relatively unknown park destination, you may still encounter tourists swimming and wading here in summertime. The natural pool below the falls is just too enticing! Carlon Falls is located at a higher elevation, so summer here still feels (and looks) a bit like spring. I love it.

Long exposure of ledge waterfall below Carlon Falls

Here are more photos of the South Fork Tuolumne River below the falls. Although it is a 2.4 mile round trip hike, it’s mostly flat, and the higher elevation (and shade) tends to keep it cool.

Turquoise flowing long exposure along South Fork Tuolumne River

Carlon Falls Photos – Winter

Carlon Falls in Winter Snow - Yosemite National Park
Carlon Falls in the Snow

Unsurprisingly (and even with lower flow), this waterfall is beautiful in the winter snow as well. Even though the trail may disappear at times, all you need to do is keep near the river (and step carefully). There tend to be other hiker’s footsteps in the snow, too…that can help lead the way.

Do keep in mind that the very last stretch to the falls is a bit treacherous in winter. Certainly, hiking this time of year is better suited for adventurous teenagers and adults.

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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).

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– Nathan Allen

About Me

Photographer Nathan Allen

I’m Nathan Allen, photographer / creator of (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.