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This hike is definitely a challenge but is absolutely worth the effort. The views from the top are amazing and we had a beautiful day to enjoy them. I’m 56 and in pretty good shape but I needed lots of rest breaks, especially near the top. Bring water and food and a camera and be mentally prepared for climbing 3000 feet of stairs. Took us about 3:30 going up and 2:40 coming down. Felt like it was much longer than the stated 3.4 miles each way.

Did this hike on Saturday (free entrance day of National Parks week 4/21). I started at 7:30am but which I would have started earlier. It was cold in the morning but once the sun is fully up you'll be sweating like a dog if you start later. This hike is a work out. Once you get to the long stairways and the sun is facing you, you'll be glad when you find spots of shade. There was still spots of snow below the fall and this time of year the fall was full and mist all over. It was really beautiful. It starts to get packed in the afternoon with people going up so its best to start this hike as soon as you can. I'm sure a lot of people will give up. I saw parents with their toddlers practically. I saw people with nothing but a small bottle of water. SMH. The top is scary and exciting and well worth the journey. If you can, take the sign at the left afterwards and go to Yosemite Point! It's awe-inspiring! The rail at the edge is breathtaking! One a side note, I hiked to Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls the next morning and that seemed like a piece of cake! LOL

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful views the whole way up!

hiking
11 days ago

Hiked up in 2:20. Back down in 2:10. Lots of switchbacks. Different terrain. Rock, ice, snow, wet, dirt. We started before 8 and were
The first at the top. Thought it would be busier. On the way down there were a lot of people going up.

Make sure to see the outlook. It was scary but well worth it. I am a 50 year old woman in good shape but not great. I had read a review that said just to keep going one foot in front of the other and that really worked. Bring at least 3 bottles of water. Even though the temp went from 47 to 54 it was warm with the sun.

We did Tuolumne Meadows campground to Yosemite Valley over 3 days, Via JMT to Rafferty creek ( Tuolumne Pass) to Emeric Lake (day 1); to Merced Lake Via Fletcher Creek and Lewis Creek (Day 2), then to Yosemite Valley through Little Yosemite Valley following Merced River and Mist Trail. Beautiful sights, little to no traffic (until you get within day hikers of the valley, and even small fishing in the creeks between Emeric and Merced. Needless to say, I look forward to doing it again and again through all four seasons.

We did this hike on Mother’s Day and it was awesome. A little like being on a stair master for hours, and giant mosquitos on the way down, but getting to the top was such an accomplishment!

backpacking
21 days ago

I backpacked into the backcountry through this trail and it was a monster but the lookout was amazing. The glimpses of the falls midway give a lot of encouragement. It was early April but most of the snow had melted and the falls were roaring. Great hike challenging but rewarding. People thin out about halfway through.

The best hike ever did

Amazing views! Not for beginers, but totally worth the exertion :)

Great views of the valley, but this is a very rough hike! If you are inexperienced make sure you are well prepared, a bottle of water and a snack will not get you through this hike! We had no issues with snow today and the trails will probably be nearly clear of snow here soon!

Never ending staircase of doom... 4/5 stars...

Went from cotton wood canyon to Deadhorse Canyon to marble canyon. Only uphill to get out of cottonwood and cross into Deadhorse. We used this app GPS feature and hiking project GPS and where able to stay on trail the whole time. Had water in both cottonwood and Deadhorse.

backpacking
1 month ago

An super awesome trail, I can remember seeing a reflection of the Milky Way in Littel Rae lake Along side of Fin Dome!!!! In2000 Can’t wait to get back there this summer!!!

Since I went on a day that was rainy and foggy, I missed out on a lot of views but what I did see was fantastic! Hang in there through the early switchbacks—the view is worth it. I turned around about 0.5 miles below the top as the snow and ice was getting a bit tough. Most people quit at Columbia Rock, so keep going to skip the crowds.

Did it on a cloudy/snowy day so I didn't get the full valley view but the waterfall is amazing. Presented a challenge for sure and breaks were definitely appreciated but it's not too horrible. Just get ready for switchbacks.

Great view of the valley. Tons of switch backs so be ready. Since the floor is made out of stone, it can be pretty rough on your feet.

backpacking
1 month ago

The first time I did this hike, I was 10 years old and I never forgot it. It remains branded in my head. Now, I’m in my 50’s and its beauty hasn’t changed.

Awesome hike! Beautiful view of the waterfall, if my 9 year old can do it...so can you! Didn’t make the last five minutes of it due to the snow on the hill face, didn’t have the proper shoes. Still got an awesome view of the falls!

backpacking
1 month ago

I've hiked this route about 3-4 times and love it! My favorite spot to camp is at the biggest Cottonwood lake. Beautiful! Fairly easy getting into the Cottonwood Lakes basin. The trail is nice and very easy to follow. From the lakes to the top of Langley can be a challenge. Definitely prefer Old Army pass as is detailed on this map as the trail tops out in the bottom of the pass. But I've had to go around by Long lake and up New Army pass a couple of times due to snow conditions on Old Army pass. Going that way means you have to go up and over and down from a ridge, which means on your way back down from the peak, you have a substantial uphill once again. But when the Old Army pass trail is snowed over, it's better than nothing. The last bit to the top of Langley is a scramble through the scree and route finding through the boulders. Coming down the scree field can be fun, though. Some of my best backpacking memories are from this trail.

Did this hike a day after completing half dome hike (worth it for the views/my legs hated me). The switch back stair cases seemed to drag on forever and there are a few declines. Be aware that these staircases are pretty brutal for most (lots of people give up). Started early to get views of the sunrise from the top of the waterfall. I want to say it took roughly 2 hours to summit (I ended up going up to Yosemite Point after the sunrise). Great views from the top of the waterfall!

Check out and follow Instagram.com/gregszymbor for photos and other hikes!

Crampons/yak tracks are smart, snowshoes in some places are almost required. Breaking trail this morning had a few slide spots, but was clear and slick by the afternoon! 10/10 would recommend, be prepared and for the love of god don’t wear your vans skate shoes

Difficult yet rewarding. 3.5 mile uphill climb (with a couple spits of downhill) containing the most gorgeous views. Starts near Camp 4, so you get to see all the climbers before you start, and the top has a beautiful view of Yosemite valley to sit in awe at. The return 3.5 miles wasn’t terrible but encouraged me to buy trekking poles for my knees. Hiking this was my favorite day of 2018.

Most difficult hike I’ve ever done. Holy moly! To date, I’ve completed it three times- each time was different. The summit has the most amazing views on the planet, imho. The crazy little staircase right next to the falls were reminiscent of an Indiana Jones movie. As an added bonus, some crazy SOBs were slack lining over the falls.

The summer was by far the most strenuous. I thought I hydrated enough that week and took a CamelBack with water and a water bottle, but it was not enough. The second half of the hike, fully exposed to the sun, I became pretty terribly dehydrated. Took about 3.5 hours to reach the top. In hindsight, I realized that that was the reason I had terrible cramps after stopping at the top to rest. I couldn’t straighten my legs. It was pretty bad. My friends drank water from the river, but I didn’t dare because of the what I heard about the parasites that comes from animal urine that ends up in the water.

The two other times I hiked it in the fall and spring, got up to the top in 2.5 hours and felt amazing. The lack of heat and summer sun exposure were the difference.

I HIGHLY recommend trekking poles, especially for the trip back down. They were a lifesaver. I hiked with and then forgot them the second time and the difference was night and day. The gravel is brutal on your feet and knees and the poles really helped soften the impact on the way down. And they helped me when the more decomposed granite made me slip. Happened a bunch of times. If you’re a beginner the poles will come in handy because you can also use your upper body to help you hike up when your legs start to get tired. And they will!

GET GOOD HIKING SHOES AND BREAK THEM IN WELL BEFORE THIS HIKE. One of my friends wore Converses and... let’s say he was in really bad pain by the end.

If you’re doing the hike to lose weight, don’t do what I did and not eat on the way up because you wanted to keep your calories low and calorie burning high. Protein bars and trail mix make a significant difference in improving your performance. Don’t get it twisted, this hike is very physically demanding and mentally, but so worth it!

When you get to the top and want to get closer to the river by crossing the bridge- for the love of GOD, do not get close to the water! Unless you’re a lot further up river where you can find some natural pools to wade in, don’t get close! Rangers out there were telling me that at least 2 people fall into the water a year. Once you’re in, you’re going over the falls 100%. The rocks can be incredibly slippery when you’re inching closer to touch the water. Take it from me, the water feels like cold water. Slip and you pretty much die.

Lastly, lots of people posting here complained about the bugs. I had zero problems with bugs and I’ve hiked this trail Spring, Summer, and Fall.

I’m going back in late-April and can’t wait!

Hope this all helps!

Ru

Completed this last August. Stunning! Uneven stairs and switchbacks almost the entire way, but, I’ll be doing this again! A beer in the valley at the end never tasted so good!

Hiked it today, 2/25. Reviewer below who recommended crampons was not kidding. Going up was fine, the top of the trail was easily hikeable slush, but by the time we came down it had frozen again, turning into an icy slip n slide. Thank god for hiking poles! Slippery conditions aside it was such a special experience seeing the falls in the winter, snowcapped on top with a giant powdery mountain of frozen mist at the bottom. And hearing the booming thunder of huge waterfall icicles breaking away and crashing down the granite wall. It’s a crowded trail and an intense climb, and while while winter is now my favorite, any time of year is totally worth it to sit in the mouth of the tallest waterfall in North America.

One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The hike was steep and somewhat challenging. There are many switchbacks. We did it in the middle of summer and it was very hot. Lots of shade though and the mist from the waterfall felt great! Bring lots of water and some snacks. Wear some good hiking shoes with good support and tread. The waterfall and views will not disappoint. Can’t wait to go back!

Difficult trail but the view is amazing.

Challenging hike with amazing view of the half dome,Yosemite Valley and Upper Yosemite Falls.Still with lots of snow in the trail.crampons and trekking poles highly recommend .

Incredible views. Definitely a hard hike but worth it. Be cautious if hiking in the snow as the hike down can be challenging navigating the slippery trail. The hike took a total of 5 1/2 hours with photo breaks and a break at the top.

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