Upper Yosemite Falls Trail

HARD 726 reviews
#3 of 180 trails in

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail is a 5.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Village, California that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

5.8 miles
3159 feet
Out & Back



nature trips

trail running






wild flowers



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. 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.

14 hours ago

Difficult trail but the view is amazing.

1 day ago

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 .

5 days ago

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.

5 days ago

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

6 days 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.

7 days ago

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

12 days ago

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!

13 days ago

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

17 days ago

Amazing experience..!!

19 days ago

Underestimate how intense it is.

21 days ago


29 days ago

The switch backs are worth it.

1 month ago

Counted the switchbacks on the way down (because why not) and there are about 134 in total. Fantastic views on this trail!! Worth it.

1 month ago

Energizing switchbacks with beautiful valley views!

1 month ago

A punishing hike with incredible views to impress -- making your way up to the top is truly worth your while. Intimidating for beginners but doable if pushed through. Make sure to start early if you're heading back down the same day!

1 month ago

Great hike! Definitely start early so that you can make it the extra mile or so to Yosemite Point!

1 month ago

Great views

1 month ago

Cannot say enough about this hike. Steep grade earns a difficult rating but with perseverance this hike is mostly steps. The switchbacks are short but the steps not early as jagged as the Mist Trail to Vernal/Nevada Falls. Take a lot of rests from the many vistas; especially Columbia Rock and just below the falls. Mostly shaded 1/3 of the way up, exposure near the middle of the trail to the top. Use caution at the over look and you have yourself one spectacular day hike. Obtain permits and grab your pack for a weekend of adventure!

1 month ago

An epic trail! Trail was clear of snow and ice, which is rare for late December. Temperatures were warm and I quickly shed my jacket... Wish I had worn shorts! Took us 3 hours to get to the top and 1 hour back down. Bring lots of water, especially if you're getting a later start.

1 month ago

The top is worth the hard work!

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