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Upper Yosemite Falls Trail

HARD 186 reviews
#3 of 142 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 3348 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.

hiking
11 days ago

I did this hike in May of 2016 with my wife and 16 year old daughrer. the falls were flowing hard and was a great trip. once at the top of the falls my wife and daughter were spent so I left them to rest and eat, I then jogged another mile to the Yosemite look out across the creek on the next ridge over, well worth the energy if you have it in you. take walking sticks (rubber tips) the hike down is slippery with the fine granulars on the granite boilders. wear booted with good ankle support. Take about 3 liters of water per person or do what I did and take some life straw bottles and fill up as you go. Great views and you get close up to one of our country's greatest waterfalls. The year before I was in Yosemite and hiked Half Dome in July and Yosemite falls was just a trickle, when we hiked the falls in May it was roaring so plan your trip in spring or early summer

hiking
20 days ago

Amazing views
Lot of people
Very hard- just like it says
Bring a lot of water. We drank water off a flowing stream cuz we ran out but the water was fine.

hiking
28 days ago

My boys (10, 9 and 6) and I did this hike over the weekend. The recent rains brought water to the falls after a dry spell late this summer. Beautiful hike. Tough. Be prepared for lots of switchbacks, and various exposures to the sun - Some parts are heavily wooded, other parts are quite exposed. Also note that much of the trail gets dark early in the afternoon as it is in the shadow of the adjoining cliffs. Lots of people without adequate water and without proper clothing. Be sure to bring lots of water as there is no potable water along the way or at the top, as with other commercialized hikes in the park. Wonderful hike. Tough hike... great hike... we will do it again for sure.

I am giving this one four stars, because I personally thought the Four Mile trail to Glacier Point offered superior vistas of the park. If I had to choose between the two hikes, I'd be inclined to do four mile first.

1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

My bride and I have done this hike twice. It's tough! We are avid hikers and we are definitely sore the next day. It's a climb and not a forgiving one but its a great hike to conquer.

One of the times we got caught in a storm with rain and crazy thunder!

We even completed it with our 3 kids who are all teenagers. They too were sore. It's worth it to say... I did it!!

backpacking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

It was quite warm. Challenging hike. Such beautiful views throughout the entire hike.

2 months ago

I feel like I'm in good shape and love hiking but MAN this trail kicked my butt haha...it was so worth it in the end!

hiking
2 months ago

This hike was pretty difficult for three girls from Florida that don't hike. This was our first hike in Yosemite and it kicked our butts. It was so worth it though, the views were absolutely amazing. We ran out of water halfway up and drank from a spring that was flowing out of the mountain. It was so delicious! We only did this because we still had a long way to go and were very thirsty. I would definitely recommend this hike. I would also recommend doing some smaller hikes to warm up to this one. Our legs were extremely sore for a week! I would love to do it again though.

hiking
2 months ago

Love this trail and my experience is here in my blog..
http://from-a-girls-mind.blogspot.com/2016/09/upper-yosemite-falls-hiking.html

2 months ago

I love this hike! Did it in 100 degree weather and it kicked my butt. It was totally worth it. Got naked at the top and jumped in just before the brink. A must do in Yosemite. You must bring plenty of water. We had two people in our group turn back due to dehydration. There are some points where you can take a drink if you're not worried about getting sick.

hiking
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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.

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

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!

3 months ago

3 months 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.

3 months 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!