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Upper Yosemite Falls Trail

HARD 174 reviews
#3 of 125 trails in

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail is a 5.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite National Park, CA 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 3159 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.


1 day ago

hiking

Awesome trail. Very steep but worth every minute. The view of half Dome Is spectacular


7 days ago

hiking

The first mile up is incline switchbacks. Then you get to a railed off point with great views of Half Dome. Most people turn around after that point. But if you pass the switchbacks keep going because the hardest part is over. The next mile is easy; the trail is either flat or down incline. The rest of the trail is up incline "stairs/steps". Once you get to the top there are two viewpoints. One clearly labeled "overlook" with breath taking views of the Valley. The other point is not labeled (follow North Dome sign) it's where the water of the water falls are. If the falls are dry there'll be swimming holes which you can use to cool your feet. If the falls are blooming you can stand over the water on the bridge.

Take 2.5-3 liters of water per person, lunch and snacks.


7 days ago


7 days ago

hiking

Such a good hike. Definitely the most challenging one I've done yet. Make sure you bring enough water because it's a struggle to get to the top. So rewarding with an amazing view! We also went in the water at the top because we needed a little cool down. The waterfall didn't have a lot of water being that it's the middle of August. Still so worth it!


8 days ago


9 days ago

Absolutely beautiful. The view from here is fantastic! TIP: At the top, there's a railed off area, but go to the left before that area and you'll have a better view.


18 days ago

There are so many hikes in Yosemite that would be more worth your time. The only views we had were when we got to the top of the lower falls and when we summited the upper falls. If you run out of hikes to do in Yosemite, then this would be good!


21 days ago


23 days ago

Probably the toughest trail I have done so far, behind the mist. Great sense of accomplishment when I got it done! Try not to be on it mid-day, it gets very warm! Great views, crowded, but not as bad as the mist trail. Take you time, & bring lots of water!


24 days ago

Hard trail. Can't hide much from the sun on back half and the incline isn't for sissies. Descent is slippery due to loose gravel over stones. Bring lots of water. Lots. Views are world class. Can't miss! 2.5 hrs up. 2 hours down with party of four.


29 days ago

hiking

It was a strenuous but very rewarding hike. The views throughout the whole thing were amazing and definitely worth it. We we're able to go swimming at the top of the falls. I would recommend starting early and bringing lots of water.


1 month ago


1 month ago

hiking


1 month ago

hiking

Amazing waterfall! best views of the fall are about half way through the trail after slogging up to the top the view point gave me great views of the the valley a sliver of a view of the falls.


1 month ago

hiking

Life changing


1 month ago

hiking

Very strenuous but the views from the top make it worth it! Make sure to carry a lot of water.


1 month ago

No words


1 month ago

hiking

Lots of switchbacks. Take your time. Enjoy the views.


1 month ago

Just like it says hard, but every second was worth it. A little crowded for my liking too. Saw all kinds of wildlife including a rattle snake and squirrel. Caught glimpses of the waterfall on the trail which gave hope for reaching the top. The weather was perfect for being June. Be prepared to pay fees and bring tons of water. Once you reach the top views are impeccable. One side goes down by where the waterfall drops off and there is railing for protection. The opposite way you go up stream where theres an old bridge and a collection of mini falls where you can even put your feet in the water. Such an amazing experience summitting the highest waterfall in America, 3rd largest in North America.


1 month ago

hiking

Very strenuous. Very worth it.