Upper Yosemite Falls Trail is a 5 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.

DISTANCE
5.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,175 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

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.

1 hour ago

Amazing areas I will back soon

7 days ago

Awesome views from the top! If you plan on hiking during the summer, start as early as possible.

Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks with you but don’t overload yourself because this is a serious hike where every pound will be felt throughout the hike.

It was not that busy when we started out during a June 14th hike but on the way down we saw LOTS of people coming up during the midday sun.

Bring more water than you think you’re going to need. It was 95 by noon when I made it to the top. I had 5L on me and just about ran out at the top.

hiking
14 days ago

So pretty!! The waterfall is super small in October which is the only time I’ve done it but the fall colors in the leaves make up for it. the views from the top make it 100% worth it!

hiking
14 days ago

This one is a beast!!! It is beautiful, but challenging, so don't underestimate it. There are lots of switch backs and there is very little shade when you get to the top, so make sure you have plenty of water and sunscreen. Also, be aware that the falls dry up as early as July, so this trail is really better hiked in the Spring. There are a good number of hikers on this trail, but it is not overly packed. Make sure to bring snacks as well since this one is about six miles round trip.

hiking
16 days ago

Great hike, but don’t underestimate the challenge. In October the wind shoots up from the Valley and is cold. Short jump up so keep a light pack as every pound counts on the relentless switchbacks. This is a essential hike to add the your Yosemite inventory. Have fun.

Very pretty trail with mixed terrain (lots of rock stairs and some dirt trail). Gorgeous views!

29 days ago

Lots of switchbacks for only a moderately better view of the valley past Columbia rock. Lots of flies that fly into your face. Waterfall is dry late September.

29 days ago

A shame there is no waterfall in September.

1 month ago

Excellent hike but it is not 5 miles round trip! As is stated at the trail head it is 3.4 miles one way and based off my log I found this to be true. Definitely worth the hike, even tho the falls were dry when I went. While you’re up there you might as well do the extra mile to Yosemite Point to get the best views of the valley as well.

1 month ago

Great hike even if it’s dried up. Did it with my son on our father son getaway. We left at 7:15 and glad we did. It does get hot towards the top but there are a couple great water holes on top to get in. Slippery when coming down wear the right boots. Believe it or not we saw someone doing it bare foot. 3-4 bottles of water are good. We saw a mountain lion and bear so watch for them. It’s a GREAT hike. Enjoy

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of the most beautiful and epic hikes that I have ever completed. My daughter and I completed this hike on June 19, 2018. The waterfall was gorgeous and still flowing this time of year. This hike is definitely a challenge but is totally worth it. We didn’t have trekking poles and that was a mistake. Poles will definitely make the descent a little easier on the feet and knees. My Fitbit showed the round trip mileage for this trail at 12 miles.

1 month ago

beautiful hike

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Epic views
Dried up falls in September
Slippery rocks so wear good hiking shoes/boots
Hiking/trekking pole highly recommended
No bathrooms
From camp 4 to overlook FitBit clocked in 6 miles (12 miles round trip)
Use bug spray!
This hike will make you the stairMASTER!
Worth every step.

1 month ago

Spectacular views from the top - not much to see on the way up except enjoying the serene walk and the waterfall midway. The top views make the hike worth it. A must do hike to see the whole valley and get a top down view of half dome.

1 month ago

Absolutely worth every muscle ache and every screaming moment. The views are absolutely incredible and worth the time and energy investment.

Bring lots of water and food. A hiking stick will significantly help on the way down. I’m a moderate hiker and my butt ate dirt a few times.

hiking
1 month ago

I’ve done this trail several times. Every time I think “I’m good, I never need to do that again” just because it’s brutal. But then time goes by and I forget the pain and remember the views and the payoff and I end up doing it again. It’s switchbacks in the sun, up, up, up. But then it’s like you’re in heaven looking down on one the most sweeping breathtaking views ever. There’s not really anywhere to filter water until you get to the top, so take plenty. Buckle down and go for it, it’s worth it.

1 month ago

very difficult!

2 months ago

Extremely difficult for beginners but beautiful and breathtaking views of the Fall

2 months ago

The best hiking experiences ever! Took 5 hours total (2.5 to get to the top, .5 hours exploring the top and having a snack and 2 hours for the return). Included 10 minutes when trail was blocked to remove a falling boulder.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice but exausting

2 months ago

Stair master 8000! This trail is very difficult and left me exhausted when completed. With that being said, it was one of the most rewarding hikes. Great views and amazing lookout areas. We even swam in the upper Falls river although it is not recommended and can be dangerous. Pack lots of water and be prepared for constant inclines, switchbacks and steps. The footing can be tough so be safe and conquer this difficult hike.

- the boosk

hiking
3 months ago

Unrelenting and rigorous uphill switchbacks but well worth the glorious views up top. Take a break at Columbia Rock and brace yourself for a rocky path for at least a couple more hours (moderate pace). Recommend hiking poles and plenty of water, 3L minimum per person. Start early and take bug spray if you descend around sunset. Hard climb but well worth it, you’ll see!

hiking
3 months ago

ENDLESS. SWITCHBACKS. I really enjoyed this hike because I don't really have any beef with switchbacks. But once you start scaling the granite face, there's no shade or cloud cover, so if you're hiking in the dead of summer (like we were) you need to make sure you have a lot of water (2-3 L/person). The view from the top was great and it was really cool to be able to get close to the fall (though, that was a bit scary to me).

3 months ago

Rigorous uphill climb no reprieve but the views are beautiful.. do not forget to climb down from top to view the falls. This trail is very rocky with lots of rocks ... so adding to the degree of difficulty to the steep gradient throughout . start the hike early as the heat in summer and even late spring gets you..Parking is an issue so get dropped off or take the early park bus and get dropped off.. It is hard hike up... Round trip back s close to 7.8 Miles not 5

backpacking
3 months ago

Up up and away. Phenomenal views of the valley throughout most of the vertical hike. With a pack it was pretty grueling, but everyone made it with 3 liters of water each. Everyone was quick to refill at the top and chug once it was ready. The dip in the river was extremely rewarding. Well worth the effort for the views. A very busy trail with a lot of day hikers, but that’s the valley so nothing out of the ordinary there.

backpacking
3 months ago

Did this trail as part of a backpacking overnight to Eagle Peak. This is a rough trail to do with packs because there is so much elevation gain in a relatively short time period, but the views are beautiful!! We started on the trail at 4pm (8pm sunset in July) and it was really nice to be in the shade for most of the way. Definitely would recommend this as an afternoon hike to avoid sun on the trail.

Parking was very difficult, as can be expected for Yosemite Valley in the summer.

3 months ago

very difficult hike, rocks very brutal on feet, ankles, and knees! recommend hiking poles, ankles hiking boots. views are great! bring at least 2 liters of water, and snacks!

3 months ago

Holy incline! But holy views! Love it! Went in May and not very crowded so I enjoyed myself.

hiking
3 months ago

Honestly...the view of the falls is best at the "halfway" point. The "pool" or streams at the top were refreshing but holy moley the elevation gain destroyed me at the end. I guess I had a different experience because I am 5' 11" and over 250 lbs. Coming down one of my knees started to give out so I'd recommend braces for whatever joints you have issues with (i.e knees, ankles, etc). PLEASE TRAIN FOR THIS HIKE IF YOU ARE OUT OF SHAPE, YOU WILL REGRET IT IF YOU DON'T. Also be sure to have hiking shoes if you need the extra grip (I definitely did).

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