Upper Yosemite Falls Trail

HARD 303 reviews
#3 of 144 trails in

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail is a 5.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite National Park, California that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and birding and is accessible year-round.

5.8 miles 3323 feet Out & Back

birding

hiking

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. In essence, the hike can be divided into sections as the following: from the trailhead to Columbia Rock, from Columbia to the lower gate, from the lower gate to the upper gate and from the upper gate to the overlook. 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 minute ago

hiking
3 hours ago

This hike is comprised mainly of switch-backs to preserve the integrity of the hillside. There did not seem to be many areas that had good Vista Points, especially in the first mile. It's one of the least enjoyable hikes I've ever been on. Partly because of the difficulty with small returns in the way of fabulous views, partly because of the poor company I hiked with. After reaching the halfway point which was more level the hike was much more rewarding, however that section doesn't last very long before changing back to boring switchbacks.

The hike itself was at times dangerous due to how slippery the large granite rocks are that make up the footing in several areas. I actually slipped in the dust on top of one of those large rocks and broke my tailbone(fortunately on the return). I only made it up to the halfway point and it should definitely be considered an all day hike.

backpacking
2 days ago

Fairly strenuous hike, but definitely worth it for the view! We camped up top and it was a great sleep being able to hear the Falls so close.

hiking
5 days ago

6 days ago

7 days ago

7 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

Bring water...

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

As many have said before: not for the faint of heart! That said, my girlfriend and I (both "average" hikers), did this hike in less than 4 hours. We both found the 6 - 8 hour estimate to be overkill. The way up is heart pumping, with lots of lookouts offering breathtaking views of the Yosemite Valley, and of Half Dome!! Highly recommend.

10 days ago

10 days ago

the views were amazing. and hiking in the snow for the last bit was an adventure.

hiking
11 days ago

Hard! Not for the faint of heart. Lots of spots with beautiful running water after the snow/rain. Great views of the valley and Yosemite Falls all the way up!

hiking
11 days ago

One of the hardest hikes in Yosemite Valley, if you feel like quitting don't you can do more than you think. If you can push through the pain then you'll be rewarded with some of the best views in Yosemite, while being able to say you didn't take a car there.

14 days ago

Well worth the hike. Amazing sights.

15 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

Great Hike with Views of Half Dome, El Captain, Yosemite Falls, and the Valley. Plenty of twists and turns in the early stages of the hike.

17 days ago

Got hit with a snow storm on this trail in march. Made it to Columbia rock. Deep snow and ice made it strenuous

hiking
20 days ago