EveryTrail is now a part of AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail

HARD 280 reviews
#3 of 144 trails in

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail is a 5.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite National Park, California that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and birding and is accessible year-round.

5.8 miles 3323 feet Out & Back

birding

hiking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

Enjoy the thrilling views of looking down from the top of Yosemite Fall. Yosemite Fall, dropping 2,425 feet to the bottom of the valley from the top, is one of the most visited places in Yosemite National Park. The fall consists of three sections: upper falls, middle cascade and lower falls. While most people visit lower falls only, upper falls is definitely worthy of visiting for its eye-opening views and hiker's self-satisfaction of reaching it. The trail to Upper Yosemite Fall is about 3 miles one way, gaining approximately 3,000 feet in elevation along the way. Once you get to the top of the valley, you can go to Yosemite Fall Overlook, a small platform near the mouth of Upper Yosemite Fall, to enjoy the thrilling views of looking down from above. The trailhead is located in the Sunnyside campground (Camp 4) near Yosemite Lodge. In essence, the hike can be divided into sections as the following: from the trailhead to Columbia Rock, from Columbia to the lower gate, from the lower gate to the upper gate and from the upper gate to the overlook. It generally takes 6 - 8 hours for average hikers to complete the roundtrip hike. The trail is generally open for the whole year, but can be difficult to hike in winter due to snow, especially beyond Columbia Rock.

3 days ago

backpacking
4 days ago

Backpacking with my Family

hiking
5 days ago

We hiked here on a sunny day in February, and the entire experience was amazing! We snaked our way up the switchbacks and were rewarded at the top with views of Yosemite valley, snowcapped mountains and half dome! Then around 3.5 miles we rounded a corner and BAM - there was the amazing Yosemite falls shining in the sunlight with a huge rainbow at the bottom. The first 3.5 miles of the hike were snow-less, but waterproof hiking boots are recommended due having to walk through waterfalls/creeks that have spilled across the trail. We didn't venture farther past the falls due to the amount of people who hiked the snowy trail without the proper gear, making snowshoeing over their tracks a challenge. The whole adventure, photo ops included, took around 3 hours.

hiking
5 days ago

Good day hike but the views are not extraordinary that you can see it only from this hike. The park offers too may wonderful hikes with exceptional scenery. I'd rather to the less strenuous but way too scenic vernal and Nevada falls hike via mist trail any time.

hiking
6 days ago

A quintessential Yosemite hike that is worth enduring crowds for. Perfect view of Halfdome from atop the falls, as well as an unbelievable view down the surging waters. Certainly a climb on the switchbacks, but take our time to pop off to the little overlooks over the valley. Been five years and I still have fond memories and can't wait to go back. Happy trails

hiking
11 days ago

Amazing view @the top! Even when the waterfall isn't flowing.

Trail is well maintained.

12 days ago

13 days ago

Like said before push through the switch backs but well worth the sweat and burning legs once you get to the top!!!

hiking
13 days ago

***Heavy Breathing***

hiking
19 days ago

1 month ago

Great hike. Bring tons of water. Only complaint is the top view isnt quite as good as the way up.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

CALF KILLER- but worth it! You start out with switch backs so you should know what you are getting yourself into but push yourself to the top. Once you soak in the view you'll forget your tired legs. Bring lots of water, proper shoes, and a positive attitude :)

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

This is the greatest hike I've done to date. Even with the drought and zero water in the park, the views from the top were second to none.

1 month ago

great went on November 7 2016

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

camping
1 month ago

1 month ago

switchbacks for days!!! Such a rewarding view at the top.