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Upper Yosemite Falls Trail

HARD 688 reviews
#3 of 175 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.

DISTANCE
5.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3159 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.

hiking
1 day 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.

hiking
8 days ago

Energizing switchbacks with beautiful valley views!

hiking
12 days 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!

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

19 days ago

Great views

backpacking
23 days 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!

23 days 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.

24 days ago

The top is worth the hard work!

hiking
27 days ago

Very steep, but beautiful views of the valley. Bring plenty of water!

hiking
1 month ago

Difficult but very rewarding hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Lots of rocks on trail going up is lengthy but the thing that kills your legs is going down especially on the rocky trails

hiking
1 month ago

Very steep, but totally worth it. Extending the trail to the Yosemite Point is a must, gorgeous views.
Trail conditions are perfect even in early December. Just a bit of ice after the bridge that crosses the Yosemite Falls when heading to Yosemite Point.

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful view from the top. 10/10 would do again.

hiking
1 month ago

incredible hike, very hard. Very rewarding. bring water. even in December I drank almost 3 liters.

hiking
1 month ago

Quick Stats: About 6ish miles RT. Depending where you start your hike. 4-6hrs depending on how frequently you stop and break.

We started our hike from Camp 4 and encountered switch backs right away, then to come downhill and another set of switch backs where you will see Upper Yosemite Falls and realize you still have a long way to each the very top of the waterfall. The view is definitely rewarding and you can actually climb down to the apex of the waterfall's edge to chill. There are plenty of photo opt opportunities at the top and plenty of areas to snap, lunch or snack!

hiking
1 month ago

Probably the most difficult hike I’ve done to date. I love the terrain would switch from what you’d expect from California to something that would look like it was leading up to a medieval castle. Reaching to the top was strenuous, but manageable. The round trip had taken me about 5hrs, so definitely prepare for this one. Tons of switch backs, and there’s a portion of the trail where you go from uphill to down hill, just to go back uphill, so don’t be alarmed when you get to that portion.

1 month ago

Long arduous hike but worth the views

1 month ago

So, for the average 40 y/o Dad who’s not entirely out of shape but not entirely in shape this hike was tough——but doable. The last 1/2 mile is the toughest but very much worth it to see the falls from lookout point. You young people —Take water. Caught several on the trail without it and had to hand out a liter to a couple of kids who didn’t take enough. Ok enough Dad’ing. Happy trails!!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views. Pretty difficult -I definitely needed to stop to catch my breath quite a few times. When I went at the end of March, there was still a lot of snow at the top.

hiking
2 months ago

Incredible views and strenuous! Definitely worth it!

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