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Widow's Tears
   Mariposa County, California, United States

This waterfall has been confirmed by the World Waterfall Database, has been mapped and its height has been approximated but exact measurements have not yet been confirmed.
Widow's Tears is an ephemeral waterfall located immediately east of Silver Strand Falls on the south wall of the western end of Yosemite Valley. The falls drain from a very small meadow and basin immediately west of Crocker Point, usually flowing only for six to eight consecutive weeks out of the year before running dry due to the small size of the basin. The falls appear to consist of two distinct sections of horsetail type falls, separated by a short section of talus. The total drop of the falls, based on the USGS El Capitan quadrangle appears to be in the order of 1,680 feet, with the upper of the two drops accounting for approximately 1,200 feet of that drop.

Several questions surround this waterfall regarding both its name and height. First of all, according to Mike Osborne's excellent book "Granite, Water and Light: The Waterfalls of Yosemite Valley", this waterfall has never officially held a name. Neighboring Silver Strand Falls once bore the name Widow's Tears, but the it fell out of use and, according to Osborne, was adopted by Ice Climbers for this waterfall instead. However we feel that may not be an entirely accurate depiction for two reasons. One, for many years Silver Strand Falls (again, commonly cited as Widow's Tears) had been cited as having a drop of 1,170 feet - approximately that of the upper tier of Widow's Tears (where Silver Strand Falls is only about half that height). Two, the name Widow's Tears was applied because the falls were said to only flow for a short period of time, as do the tears of a widow. While Silver Strand Falls is indeed a seasonal waterfall, it flows consistently for several months, while what is now known as Widow's Tears flows for no more than about 6 weeks. This leads up to suspect that this feature was correctly named Widow's Tears in the first place and it was accidentally applied to Silver Strand Falls at some point because it is a much more prominent waterfalls.
Seasonal Discharge
This waterfall occurs along a stream that is known to vary greatly in volume and as a result may not flow consistently year round or may dry out completely during certain periods.


  • Widow's Tears is the Official name of this waterfall

Widow's Tears is shown in the center. Additional nearby waterfalls (if any) can be found in the list below.

Additional Nearby Waterfalls

Name of Waterfall Distance
Silver Strand Falls 0.23 mi / 0.37 km
Bridalveil Fall 1.29 mi / 2.06 km
Fireplace Creek Falls 1.85 mi / 2.96 km
Ribbon Fall 2.32 mi / 3.71 km
Horsetail Falls 2.68 mi / 4.29 km
Cascades, The 3.02 mi / 4.84 km
Wildcat Falls 3.09 mi / 4.94 km
Tamarack Falls 3.21 mi / 5.14 km
Eagle Creek Cascade 3.33 mi / 5.33 km
Grouse Creek Falls 3.43 mi / 5.5 km


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