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Upper Yosemite Falls Trail

HARD 441 reviews
#3 of 150 trails in

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

DISTANCE
5.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3323 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

trail running

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.

6 hours ago

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hiking
1 day ago

Hard hike, but gorgeous. The first third is sandy switchbacks, followed by a brief flat section that hugs the side, and ends with challenging, rocky switchbacks. I didn't bring poles, but since the downhill is slippery from wear and fairy steep, I would next time.

Especially in the summer, be sure to bring more water than you think you'll need + a backup purification system to refill if necessary.

1 day ago

Great hike but don't let it scare you if you really want to do it. I've done it multiple times however the last couple years haven't been good to me. I'm older and about 75 lbs overweight so this time was not as easy as before but I did it. The views are incredible but make sure to cross the bridge when you get to the top and head to Yosemite Point. The overlook is nice but the point has views of the entire valley, including Half Dome. Just make sure to bring at least 2 gallons of water on those hot days.

hiking
1 day ago

Make no mistake, this trail is challenging. I only wish there was a view of half dome from the overlook.

Be sure to bring plenty of water if you're hiking mid-day.

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9 days ago

This trail is one amazing trail, however, it is not for the faint of heart. This trail is SUPER steep and most of the time it is along cliffsides. But the view from the top is worth it 100%. If you have an entire day with nothing to do, do this hike.

hiking
9 days ago

Surprised by the view of waterfall.