Yosemite Creek

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This article is about Yosemite Creek in Yosemite National Park. For Yosemite Creek in San Francisco, see Yosemite Creek (San Francisco).
Yosemite Creek above its falls, circa 1981
Yosemite Creek in flood, May 2005

Yosemite Creek is a 13.2-mile-long (21.2 km) creek in Yosemite National Park, California, USA.[1] The creek starts at Grant Lakes (37°54′04″N 119°32′27″W / 37.90103°N 119.54072°W / 37.90103; -119.54072) and flows southwest then southeast to the Merced River at Yosemite Lodge just southwest of Yosemite Village. (37°44′33″N 119°35′41″W / 37.74243°N 119.59461°W / 37.74243; -119.59461) [2]

The Yosemite Creek watershed, which feeds Yosemite Falls, contains 43 square miles (110 km2). It is largely a granite basin that was scraped clean of soil by glaciers. Because of the shallow soil base, the Yosemite Creek watershed has little capacity to hold water, so it quickly drains as the snow melts.[3]

Today, Yosemite Creek flows over the valley rim to create Upper Yosemite Fall. Before its diversion about 130,000 years ago, Yosemite Creek flowed down an older channel just to the west, from which it cascaded down through the steep ravine that is now the route of the Yosemite Falls trail.[4]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed March 11, 2011
  2. ^ "Yosemite Creek". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  3. ^ "Yosemite at a Glance: Waterfalls". Yosemite National Park. 
  4. ^ N. King Huber (1922). The Geologic Story of Yosemite Valley.