Upper Yosemite Falls Trail, Yosemite National Park Hiking

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Upper Yosemite Falls Trail

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail is one of Yosemite's oldest trails, dating from 1873. It leads to the top of Yosemite Fall, one of the tallest in North America, and it's a challenging hike with many switchbacks. Read More

  • Challenging hike 
  • Breathtaking views from top of falls 
  • Views of Half Dome and Yosemite Falls along the way


The best time to see Yosemite Falls is in spring or early summer, as the falls usually dry up by September. This is a popular trail with the hiking crowd, but the view from the overlook at the top of the falls, at an elevation of 6526 feet, is spectacular. You can hear the roar of the falls before you actually see them and the waterfall spray can be drenching. Many people stop at the base of the falls, not completing the additional 1300 feet to the top, where there are still excellent views.


Sunnyside Campground near Yosemite Lodge, shuttle stop #7.


  • Distance: 7.2 miles, round-trip 
  • Time: 6-8 hours 
  • Elevation gain: 2700 feet 
  • Difficulty: strenuous, difficult in winter 
  • Trail type: round-trip 
  • Trailhead: Yosemite Falls Trailhead, shuttle stop #7

Plan & Prepare

Stay on the designated path, as there are steep drop-offs along the trail. At the top, stay away from the river and rushing water. Bring water and be wary of loose rock and mosquitoes.