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Lehamite Falls
   Mariposa County, California, United States

This waterfall has been surveyed, mapped and measured in person by the World Waterfall Database.
Photo of Lehamite Falls Lehamite Falls is a small volume waterfall located in a tributary gully to Indian Canyon near Yosemite Village in Yosemite National Park. The falls cascade a total of 1,180 feet down a slot in the granite cliff, first starting as rugged cascades with multiple distinct steps (how many is difficult to tell) and culminating in a horsetailing fall. Because it is difficult to approach the bottom of Lehamite Falls, the specifics of its shape and character are not known beyond what can be seen from the meadows in Yosemite Valley. Lehamite Creek drains from a small area to the west of Indian Ridge, and while the drainage basin has not been scoured out by glaciers such that there is soil to retain groundwater, the volume of Lehamite Creek is consistently insignificant and the falls usually run dry by the end of July as a result.


  • Lehamite Falls is the Official name of this waterfall

According to Lafayette Bunnell, among those who discovered Yosemite Valley, Le-ham-i-te, meaning "arrow wood", was a term the Native American population in the valley used for Indian Canyon. When the name Indian Canyon was applied to its current feature, the title of Lehamite eventually drifted to the falls and creek adjacent. James Hutchings had suggested the name "Little Winkle" for the falls at one point and though it apparently appear on several maps under that title, the name never took.

Our thoughts

Lehamite Falls, were it located practically anywhere else in the United States would be viewed as a waterfall of significance if only due to its height. But situated within Yosemite Valley - and literally adjacent to spectacular Yosemite Falls at that - Lehamite is a thoroughly overlooked cascade. This isn't, however, to say that Lehamite Falls is noteworthy of attention by all, but considering the falls can be viewed from many of the same areas which Yosemite Falls is so often enjoyed, it is a waterfall capable of garnering more attention than it receives.

Location and directions

Lehamite Falls is found directly behind Yosemite Village within Yosemite National Park. The falls are best seen at a distance and can be easily seen from Leidig and Cooks Meadows, as well as from parts of Yosemite Village itself. Approaching the base of the falls would involve scrambling about three-quarters of a mile up Indian Canyon, a task which also involves gaining about 1300 feet in elevation.

Lehamite Falls is shown in the center. Additional nearby waterfalls (if any) can be found in the list below.

Additional Nearby Waterfalls

Name of Waterfall Distance
Royal Arch Cascade 0.96 mi / 1.54 km
Yosemite Falls 1.04 mi / 1.66 km
Staircase Falls 1.91 mi / 3.06 km
Columbia Cascade 1.92 mi / 3.07 km
Snow Creek Falls 2.4 mi / 3.83 km
Upper Snow Creek Falls 2.43 mi / 3.89 km
Tenaya Falls 2.77 mi / 4.44 km
Sentinel Fall 2.83 mi / 4.53 km
Eagle Creek Cascade 2.9 mi / 4.63 km
Vernal Fall 3.08 mi / 4.93 km


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Photo of Lehamite Falls Photo of Lehamite Falls

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Photography tips

Full views of Lehamite Falls can only be had from a distance, so a powerful telephoto lens is necessary. As the best perspectives are had from Cooks Meadow - over a mile away from the falls - focal lengths of 200-300mm or greater would be advantageous. The falls face southwest and as they are situated in a narrow recess will only see direct sunlight for a matter of 3-4 hours in the early afternoon.

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