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Upper Yosemite Falls Trail is a 7.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Length 7.2 mi Elevation gain 3,175 ft Route type Out & Back
Hiking Nature trips Bird watching Running River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Muddy Rocky Snow No shade Fee No dogs
Description
Waypoints (5)
Contact
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Getting There

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. 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.

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543 Current Conditions - Yosemite National Park http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions.htm

Before hiking the trail, please be sure that your physical condition is fit as it will surely be heart-pounding to get to the top. Bring a lot of water and be careful of loose gravels on the the trail.

Directions from Arch Rock Entrance: Follow Highway 140 into the Yosemite Valley. Six and a half miles from the entrance station the road splits. Take the right fork, which becomes Southside Drive, to the Yosemite Lodge parking area. The trail begins from the western side of the lot behind the lodge.

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Reviews (1951)
Photos (2715)
Recordings (1173)
Completed (7090)
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Morgan Wang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 16, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky
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Steph Garcia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 11, 2020
Hiking

Did not heed the warnings of others noting how difficult this hike was and how hard it was on the knees/feet - yikes! Gorgeous hike, sadly no waterfall to see at this time. Pretty treacherous going down, my ankles were worried. I’ll definitely be feeling this one tomorrow.

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Behrouz N
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 10, 2020
HikingGreat!

I imagine it’s hard to find views beating these in most of the US! This is a majestic but demanding hike with a phenomenal view of the valley, and the trail is as beautiful as you’d hope (though a little slippery because of the rocks).

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Bryan Stewart
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 10, 2020
Hiking

pretty standard "hard" Yosemite hike. bring lots of water. I went through 6 liters of water and 40 oz of Gatorade. nowhere to filter water this time of year.

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Frances Pollaro
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Hiking
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Eric Bonholtzer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 4, 2020
Hiking

Absolutely amazing hike! Very challenging but rewarding. Much longer than stated in the description. Eagles Peak is a must for fantastic panoramic views. To get the best views scrambling up rocks and down inclines is needed so this is not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced. Several hikers encountered on the trail said they were going to summit El Cap but never saw them again. To enjoy with time for photos leave very early, left at nine and was hiking the switchbacks in the dark (with lamps)

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Jackson Brooks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 21, 2020
HikingRocky

Beautiful views. The waterfall was a nice touch. Unfortunately a member of our party broke her ankle at the top making the already strenuous hike almost unbearable. We had to carry her and her gear down. Still one of my favorite memories from this trip.

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Ashley Laughlin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 10, 2020
Hiking

Stunning!!!! The higher you climb the great the view of Half dome and the falls. You could actually see a rainbow from the waterfall which was incredible. Highly recommend this hike!

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Joel Macias
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 9, 2020
Rock climbingBugsRocky

Definitely for experienced hikers. Need lots of water and good hiking boots. Painful if you had plantar fasciitis lol.

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Jessica King
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2020
Hiking
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Marti Elworthy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking

Great hike, a little smokey today though

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Hailey Ellingson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!Rocky

Beautiful hike! This was my second time up to the falls... much easier than the first. The falls were super dry, but still very pretty. The pools at the top were shallow and stagnant, but nice to dip your feet in. LOTS of bugs!! Especially if you go in the morning. We started at 7am which was nice. Things you should definitely bring: at least 3 L of water per person, bug spray, sunscreen, and hiking poles. Very steep on the way up and down, but worth it. Have fun and good luck!! Bring more water than you think you need!

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Xiyu Wang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 4, 2020
Hiking
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Hugo Garcia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2020
Hiking

amazing experience....waterfall was dried up but it was still a wonderful hike.

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Kelly Klus
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 29, 2020
HikingRocky

Challenging and great views along the way but not very rewarding at the top.. still a great hike but kind of wish we would have done the mist trail instead.

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Lily H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 28, 2020
Hiking

This trail was HARD. We started pretty early in the morning, but it was insanely hot which didn’t help with the intensity of the trail. The many switchbacks at the start of the trail wiped us out and when we saw that the falls had barely any water, we decided to turn back. Still happy we made it to see the (dry) falls from the bottom and the stunning view of half dome :)

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Andy Gonzalez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2020
HikingGreat!

Well paved it has incline so beware but overall very doable and easy for anyone who hikes regularly

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Scout Thomas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2020
Hiking

Delightful, tough up to Upper Yosemite and really really felt the switchbacks on the way down. Rewarding, but be careful!

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Rid Hollands
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 26, 2020
Hiking

Seriously tough hike. We tried to go all the way to North Dome but the 3.6 miles of all uphill to the falls (which are dry) took it out of us so we stopped at Yosemite Point. No great views apart from 2 stops on the way up and tons of gnats/mozzies etc made the forested areas horrible. Not a great hike. Was one small trickle of a stream where you could reup your water - probably after about 1 hr 45 mins of uphill.

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Will Huhn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 25, 2020
HikingBugs

Extremely tough hike, took us about 3 hours up and 2 down. Great views from the top (if a bit smoky). If you go early in the morning you avoid the heat, but will encounter unbearable gnats for the first hour (unless you have netting). If you start later (~10-11am), you’ll be in the heat but will avoid gnats and the upper part of the trail will be shaded on the way down. Pick your poison!

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Michael Sullivan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2020
HikingGreat!

definitely hard since we backpacked in with overnight gear! had a wonderful evening too ourselves at the top though. bring water and some sort of filter or purification method.

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Felicity Fung
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 22, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!No shadeRocky

A very challenging hike especially in summer. Be prepared with at least 3-4L of water and hike early! The views along the way were great but nothing compared to the top overview. If you want to see the fall around now... hate to break it to you the waterfall isn't active :(

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Alice R
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 22, 2020
Hiking

We started this hike at 8:30am which meant it wasn’t too hot going up but when we got to the top the mountains of the view weren’t completely in sun yet. The view wasn’t completely clear due to the smoke around but still pretty great. I don’t know how people climb it in the heat it would be extremely unpleasant! Annoying gnats at the beginning but weren’t all the way to the top at least and seemed to have disappeared when we came down. It took us 5 hours including an hour break at the top but we were going a bit slow after half dome the day before. We knew the waterfall would be dried up but it was saddening imagining how amazing the hike would be if it was flowing!! I had read reviews saying there were pools at the top you can swim in but they are mostly dried up and stagnant at this point. We did refill our water there as we had a filter but I wish we hadn’t had to as the water is stagnant as I said. Drunk about 6L all up between the two of us. Still has great views along the way but if you can, try to do this water when the waterfall is flowing!

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