Explore Trails 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Trails 2017 Map

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.

Great hike! The water is very cold, so don’t plan on swimming! Worth the trek!

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!

Absolutely beautiful! As the previous reviews say, the beginning of the hike is vigorous for roughly 1.5 miles but stunning! I took my dog and she did great, there are a fair amount of stairs so going down was a little harder on her but other than that very dog friendly! We arrived at 7:30am and we're the first hikers out there but by the time we were done 4 hours later the trail/parking area was swamped so head out early and enjoy this beautiful hike by beating the crowd!

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!

Great hike, lots of climbing but its worth it. Finding a parking spot is little challenging on busy weekends but not bad!

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 tight 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 insane 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!

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

Hope this all helps!


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 .

Beautiful hike. Hard work at the beginning, but totally worth it.

Amazing trail, we hiked it a total of three times. Bring plenty of water, sandwich and snacks. Make sure to pack a light rain jacket or a wind breaker, it gets much colder up near the top than it is on the bottom. We went through all weather on the way up. From hot to cold. Wear sunblock and carry bear spray, we saw grizzly and the rams were aggressive too, even though we gave them lots of space and never approached them. Try to stick with other people. Amazing views the entire time. It is a challenging hike.

1 month ago

Amazing hike! We hiked this in September 2017, the trail is easy to follow and offers spectacular views the entire time. It passes through dense forest and open valleys, waterfalls and great views of the glaciers. We started early in the day and only saw 2 other hikers. Bring lots of water and a sandwich and snacks. Carry bear spray. The trail passes through prime grizzly habitat, so make lots of noise. The views of Iceberg Lake are amazing and there is another lake right before Iceberg Lake that is stunning as well.

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.

All I can say is, "Wow!" This was an amazing (and challenging) hike with breathtaking views. I loved it.

I would rate this hike "hard". It's about four hours of hiking with a lot of climbing but it's worth the effort.

1 month ago

Challenging hike that felt like it was straight up and straight down. The views were incredible. We had nice falls and vistas throughout the hike. This hike is hard and the elevation change is not gradual. Bring lots of water and power food. Hiking poles would have been helpful. We ate lunch at the top and felt accomplished . This hike took me 6;45 in total but I think the listed mileage is longer than they actually post. Definitely for experienced hikers or those in good physical shape.

Straight up, straight down. Great views of the falls and from the top.

Crowded but awesome trail

This trail is definitely an exciting and difficult hike. I actually do not think it is the best hike of the park but definitely is one of the most challenging. The waterfall is amazing and looking up at it is intimidating. However if you persevere and make it to the top you do get rewarded with a pretty decent view of the valley. I actually like the view from the base of the upper falls better as you can appreciate the waterfall way better. If you are looking for the best views of the park try 4 mile trail or the panoramic trail. I think both of those provide a better awe encompassing view, but for the challenge and to say you made it to the highest waterfall in North America what are you waiting for!

Loved the hike! The weather was perfect and was glad to have beat the crowd.

Great trail! Tough at the beginning, but the falls are worth it. The lake makes for a nice lunch break.

Beautiful! I clocked in at 4 miles exactly at the top so a little more than it says keep going an extra mile to get to Yosemite Point it is SO worth it! The views are incredible and totally worth all the rocky switchbacks

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