Columbia Rock Trail

MODERATE 417 reviews
#19 of 237 trails in

Columbia Rock Trail is a 1.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 1.3 miles Elevation Gain: 948 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Short steep hike to Columbia Rock with sweeping views of Yosemite Valley along the Yosemite Upper Falls Trail. Columbia Rock (same TH as Upper Yosemite Falls) trailhead is located in the Sunnyside campground (Camp 4). Get off the shuttle at the #7 stop, cross the road, and take short quarter mile walk to the trailhead. This part of the Upper Yosemite Falls trail is full of switchbacks (and can be tough on the knees coming back down). The trail is well shaded. It takes about an hour to hike to Columbia Rock. If you have no issues with getting to this point and you have the time and energy, go the rest of the way to Upper Yosemite Falls, another 2.6 miles to the top for a total 2,700 feet/823 m elevation gain. You can hike as far as you want past Columbia Rock if you don't want to go all the way to the top, with views of the upper falls, Half Dome, Glacier Point and the Awahnee Valley.

Nice, short hike with beautiful view!

hiking
5 days ago

Tough hike....be prepared.

hiking
no shade
7 days ago

Up and up almost all 3+ miles

hiking
13 days ago

This hike is a grind in the sun. The views are good - but the steepness of the hike and the sun make it a one and done for me.

hiking
rocky
26 days ago

This hike was steep and difficult. We started late and it was hot with very little shade. You definitely need to have plenty of water. We only hiked to the railing at Columbia Rock to get a view of Half Dome.

hiking
30 days ago

Awesome trail! Today we walked up to Columbia Rock via the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail. 3 miles round trip. Took us about 3 hours. My family thought this trail was a little harder than Mist Trail to the top of Vernal Falls. Amazing view of the valley. My 10 and 8 year olds did this with us. Started at 12 pm today and trail was not busy at all. Can definitely tell why it is rated as moderate!

hiking
1 month ago

Quite nice views comparable to Yosemite Point without the extra miles. It would be good to go up to the view of the upper Yosemite falls before the incline starts.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Very steep rocky switchbacks, but nice view of Upper Yosemite Falls. Great starter hike for younger ones.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

Good short hike with beautiful views at the top. We started early and got to watch the sunrise over the mountains. I’m sure that sunsets would be equally awesome. The mosquitos were quite bad for the first 30 minutes while hiking through the forest so be prepared for that. Hiking poles are also recommended since this is quite steep for most of the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Hot day 89 degrees, bring plenty of water. Took 3 kids aged 11, 8 & 6. They loved it. We only went up 1.2 to get beautiful view of half dome at the guard rail. I would recommend this as a couple of guide books mentioned to do this.

hiking
2 months ago

Great views. Goes up steep quickly. Bring water. Nice hike.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Wet sand on rocks makes for a slippery hike down. Glad we had our trekking poles. Wonderful views at Columbia Rock. Keep going for a bit more, and the Upper Fall will appear as you round a corner. Stunning!

hiking
2 months ago

Really steep switchbacks for the first 30 minutes up. First part is a bit boring because you’ve got no views. The view over the valley from Colombia Rock was amazing though. Took about an hour to get up and 40 mins to get back. Need to be reasonably fit for this hike. We didn’t go up to Yosemite Falls, but would’ve if we had time. Take lunch and eat it at the rock

hiking
3 months ago

The trailhead is at Camp 4 and there’s a parking lot right across the street. It took us about an hour to get to Columbia Rock which isn’t labeled but has an overlook with a fence, beautiful views along the switchbacks of the trail and the final overlook shows Half Dome and a ton of the valley. Very steep! Definitely go to Upper Yosemite Falls if you have the time! Just continue the trail, the waterfall is beautiful.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

Great trail with some outstanding views. Took us about 3 1/2 hours but relaxing on top for quite awhile.

hiking
rocky
snow
3 months ago

4/19/19 great hike. Took our time and stoped for lunch in small cave near one small waterfall! Rocky with switchbacks and sun in small stretches. Great small waterfalls to cool off and amazing views prior to thunderous and misty falls from the upper. Third the crowd of other falls in the valley. We went a little past lower gate before turning around to head back due to time constraints. Can’t wait to finish the hike another time!

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing views of nearly the entirety of Yosemite Valley. I kept going to the base of Upper Yosemite Falls then turned around. Early spring and Upper Yosemite Fall was in full flow so it was definitely worth it. Lots of stairs and switchbacks going up but the trail is very well maintained.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

Nice Spring climbing, some snow on the way up to Yosemite point but practicable! Worth every effort, each view is breathtaking! Enjoy :)

hiking
snow
4 months ago

Stunning. Right now there’s a lot snow towards the top so bring your crampons. Not bad getting up without them but why not make life easier? The views are impeccable the whole way. You could certainly get good views and cut the trail short if needed. Still worth it if you don’t make it to the top. It took us 6 hours with a 20 minute stop at the top to eat lunch. Made frequent stops along the way as well.

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
4 months ago

Took a group of 10 first time campers on this trail today (04/05/19) and made it with only half a mile left. Ended up turning around due to the group having improper footwear. Overall a really nice hike that was pretty intense but definitely worth it!

hiking
4 months ago

Pretty busy, the first 30 mins are boring, but incredible views after that, and you do switchbacks through a stream which is so cool. So many great views of the falls. The top gets really steep and snowy, great if you love a challenge!

hiking
muddy
snow
4 months ago

hiking
blowdown
muddy
rocky
snow
5 months ago

Steep and rocky ascent with intense switchbacks, but the view is soooo worth it! You get a beautiful view of half dome and Yosemite falls.

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