This 13 mile round trip hike is actually one of the more interesting hikes in the region. The entirety of the trail runs along the river, and ends with the enjoyable falls that, depending on what time of year you visit, can be quite the spectacle. Add in incredible scenery, a tranquil setting, and a difficult but not impossible trail, and you get something that is quite rare in this basically unknown region of the park: something that can actually hold a candle to Yosemite Valley Proper.
Because it is one of the nicer locations in Hetch Hetchy/Big Oak Flats, there are actually quite a few people who make their way here. So, even though it’s not exactly crowded, you definitely won’t be alone at most points on your hike. Nevertheless, if you are looking for privacy or even some peace and quiet, this probably won’t be the hike for you.
This is the part that makes the above crowdedness a bit strange, as it is actually one of the hardest hikes to complete in the region. At 13 miles long, hikers will have a difficult time completing this in a timely manner. Expect to take the entire day hiking (5-8 hours) and expect to experience some turbulence; there is plenty of up and downs between the trailhead and the falls, making this a bit of a difficult walk. On top of all this, you also have to watch out for the rockiness of the trail, and poison oak that lines the trail in some areas.