Wapama Fall is reached via a five-mile, round-trip hike that follows the shoreline of the reservoir with moderate up and downhill hiking. The trail includes spectacular views of Tueeulala and Wapama Falls. To begin the trail, cross the dam and pass through the tunnel.
Wapama Falls Directions to trail head: From California 120, a mile west of Big Oak Flat entrance station, take the Hetch Hetchy turnoff and follow Evergreen Road, then Hetch Hetchy Road 16 miles to its end at the parking lot above O'Shaughnessy Dam and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
The hike: Proceed across the dam, reading en route the interpretive plaques detailing the dimensions of the dam and reservoir. Look to the north side of the canyon to view Hetch Hetchy Dome and Wapama Falls. Travel through a 500-foot-long tunnel, emerging to join an old road that leads over gray pine-dotted slopes. A mile out, you'll reach a junction and head right (east) as the road gives way to a footpath. In another half mile, pass by seasonal Tueeulala Falls and in another half mile spot Wapama Falls, soon reached by winding trail. With the falls roaring in your ears, cross a couple branches of Fall Creek on a series of wood and steel bridges, then climb oak-covered (and poison oak--watch out) slopes. About four miles out, the trail levels, crosses a footbridge over a creek at five miles, then climbs past some inviting swimming holes and water slides located along the creek. At the six-mile mark, reach a junction with a connector trail that leads to a Ponderosa pine and incense cedar-shaded campsite located below Rancheria Falls. Stick with the main trail for another half mile to reach a bridge over Rancheria Creek that's located just above the falls. Enjoy the inspiring vista before retracing your steps back to the trail head.