Yosemite National Park: Carlon Falls
Hike: Carlon Falls
Where: Yosemite National Park
Trailhead: Carlon Falls off Evergreen Rd.
Duration: 2 hours
Length: 3.6 miles out and back
Gear: Icebreaker Tech T Lite, Triple Aught Design Artemis Hoodie, REI Sahara pants, Outdoor Research Essence Leggings, Mountain Hardwear Plasmic Jacket, JepPaks pack, Black Diamond Ultra Distance trekking poles, and Salewa Alp Trainer Mid GTX boots
Cost of Parking: Free
If you’re looking to experience a Yosemite waterfall on a budget, Carlon Falls is for you. Situated just outside of park gates, you can hike into the Yosemite wilderness and never pay any entrance fees. This isn’t the biggest, or even the most impressive, but if you just like waterfalls of all shapes and sizes, you’ll like Carlon Falls.
The trailhead begins off of Evergreen Road with a sign that shows Carlon Falls. There’s a tiny pull out for parking. If that’s full, you can try your luck at the picnic areas where there is more parking. The trail is an easy 1.8 miles following the South Fork of the Tuolumne River out to Carlon Falls. It’s mostly flat with no more than 200 feet of elevation gain, most of it all in one tiny section. Once you reach the river and the tiny falls, our trail up to the actual falls may vary depending on water levels. There is a little use trail that will take you over to the top, avoiding any rock scrambling.
In the summer this is a popular swimming hole once the roar of snowmelt water is gone. On a rainy, fall day, I was only accompanied by one other party on the trail.