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Upper Yosemite Falls Trail

HARD 647 reviews
#3 of 167 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
3159 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.

hiking
58 seconds 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
12 hours 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
3 days ago

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

hiking
5 days ago

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

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
10 days 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
11 days 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.

13 days ago

Long arduous hike but worth the views

16 days 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
17 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

hiking
20 days 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
20 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

Incredible views and strenuous! Definitely worth it!

hiking
24 days ago