“I’ve always had a soft spot for waterfalls. Who doesn’t? So when I planned a family trip to Yosemite last year, I organized my itinerary around as many of the park’s cascades as possible in late spring, because as the snow melts, the waterfalls roar.

In this distinctly non-drought 2023, though, that roar is thunderous and likely to get even more so, thanks to California’s epic snowpack. Snowmelt is sending the Merced River to flood stage and beyond, with flooding in Yosemite Valley likely through early July. So all the usual warnings — check the National Park Service site for trail and road condition updates before you go, exercise extreme caution on those slippery trails and maintain a safe distance from rivers, creeks and waterfalls — apply tenfold.

But it also means that those glorious waterfalls are going to be a spectacle for months to come. (Lucky us!) So plan your trip for late summer or early fall, when the crowds thin out. Here’s where to stay and what to do, including a few tips for those traveling with rambunctious tots.”

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