Rancheria Falls Trail Satellite View

Distance:  13 miles (21 km) round trip
Elevation at trailhead:  3,728 feet (1,120 meters)
Total Elevation Gain: 800 feet (240 meters)

The trail starts, as usual, at the giant green hikers, who are a bit obscured by the parking lots at this zoom level. It crosses O'Shaughnessy Dam and then takes you through a puddle-filled tunnel before proceeding several uninterrupted miles along the north shore of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.

The blue balloon marks the location of Wapama Falls, one of the hike's leading highlights and generally regarded as more spectacular than Rancheria Falls. You'll get doused with mist when you try to pass it in the springtime.

The green balloon marks the center, more or less, of Rancheria Falls. It's actually a long series of cascades that starts just above the point where the blue trail line ends and continues in a horizontal line all the way to the reservoir (the trail outline ends at the bridge across the falls, a good turnaround point).

If you follow the Tuolumne River upstream from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, you'll pass through the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne and eventually reach Tuolumne Meadows. If you follow it downstream, you'll pass through the Central Valley and eventually reach Gavin Newsom's kitchen sink.