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Upper Yosemite Fall Hike

Enjoy the thrilling views of looking down from the top of Yosemite Fall.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 6.1 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview : 

Yosemite Fall, dropping 2,425 feet to the bottom of the valley from the top, is one of the most visited places in Yosmite 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 definely worthy of visiting for its eye-opening views and hiker's self-satisfaction of reaching it.

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Bring a lot of water and be careful of loose gravels on the the trail.

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead at Camp 4 (4,000 ft.)

The trailhead is located in the Sunnyside campground (Camp 4). You can get off the shuttle at the #7 stop, cross the road, and walk a short 5-minute distance to the traihead. This section of trail begins with a lot of switchbacks. Though steepy, it is actually well shaded. On the way up, you will have great views on Half Dome and Awahnee... More

2. Columbia Rock (5,036 ft.)

After departing from Columbia Rock, you immediately hike up into the landslide area above. Use cautions here as the sand on the trail is quiet slippery. After another 10 minutes of ascending, reaching the elevatoin of 5,200 feet, the trail begins to descend for about 200 feet in elevaton before you meet the lower gate of Upper Yosemite Fall Trail.

3. Lower Gate (5,000 ft.)

After passing the lower gate, the trail becomes flat for about 500 feet before it ascends again. Here is also the best place to take shots of Upper Yosemite Fall and enjoy the moisture from it. After leaving the comfort of soothing moisture, you continue hiking up with more switchbacks, steepier and totally ... More

4. Upper Gate (6,625 ft.)

After passing the upper gate, cross a small stream on the right and then  follow signs for Yosemite Fall Overlook. In about 10 minutes, you can see the sign pole for the overlook near the edge of the rim.

5. Upper Yosetemite Fall Overlook (6,640 ft.)

Make a left turn at the sign pole and you descend on the stairway to a small plateform near the mouth of Yosemite Fall. It would be sort of scary here as only the guardrail keep you from falling all the way to the bottom of the valley. At the overlook, you can enjoy the view of the mouth of Yosemite Fall. Quiet an impressive experience. When ... More