Upper Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Point Hike
ElevationAscent: 3,374' 1,028 m
Descent: -3,374' -1,028 m
High: 6,939' 2,115 m
Low: 4,035' 1,230 m
GradeAvg Grade: 16% (9°)
Max Grade: 51% (27°)
Popular runs nearby
North Dome Out and Back
15.5 mi 24.9 km • Out and Back • 4,760 ft Ascent 1450.88 m Ascent
Eagle Peak and Yosemite Falls Extravaganza
11.0 mi 17.8 km • Out and Back • 3,840 ft Ascent 1170.31 m Ascent
Yosemite Valley Traverse
13.1 mi 21.0 km • Point to Point • 3,990 ft Ascent 1216.16 m Ascent
14.5 mi 23.4 km • Out and Back • 4,457 ft Ascent 1358.42 m Ascent
Happy Isles to Clouds Rest
18.3 mi 29.5 km • Loop • 5,782 ft Ascent 1762.48 m Ascent
Mono Meadow Sampler
3.6 mi 5.9 km • Loop • 449 ft Ascent 136.93 m Ascent
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“Run to the top of Yosemite Falls, and then to Yosemite Point for amazing views of the valley and surrounding mountains.”— David Hitchcock
There is a lot of traffic on this trail, especially in the spring time, so starting earlier in the day is recommended for those trying to get some solitude.
There are railings at several points (Oh My Gosh Rock, the Overlook, and Yosemite Point) that are there for your protection. Don't go around them and if you are hiking with children, keep an eye on them as you enjoy the views.
Continuing uphill, the trail climbs and actually descends a little bit until you get to roughly 1.4 miles, where a small trail breaks off to the right and leads down to Oh My Gosh Rock, where you can see the entire Yosemite Creek system as it makes its way over Upper Yosemite Falls, through the Middle Cascades, and finally over Lower Yosemite Falls and into Yosemite Valley. Returning to the trail and continuing for another .1 miles, you come around a bend and a spectacular view of Upper Yosemite Falls spreads out before you. In the winter, you may hear ice breaking off the face and plunging to the rocks below making a loud boom or in the spring, you may feel the mist from the falls. If you call it a day here, you'll return to the valley with great memories and amazing photos. While the trail descends slightly here along the side of the mountain, the next 1.5 miles is a series of stairs and switchbacks that don't stop until you reach the top. You'll climb out of the trees into an exposed area, so make sure you have sunscreen, water, and a hat for protection from the sun. At the top of the climb, the trail to the top of Upper Yosemite Falls breaks off to the right and levels out as you make your way to the overlook. Descending a narrow stairway to an overlook provides you an opportunity to watch the water plunge over the edge. It's an amazing experience and is not to be missed. You can eat lunch here and enjoy the views.
After taking a break, most people head back to the valley, but if you are willing to hike another mile, some of the best views in the park await you. Heading back to the main trail, the trail to North Dome breaks off to the right and descends some stair to cross a bridge over Yosemite Creek. From here, the trail begins to climb up the hill toward Yosemite Point. Sweeping views of granite domes and pine trees spread out before you. You may encounter deer or grouse along this portion of the trail. The trail reaches the ridge line and follows that until you come to Yosemite Point. Here, a railing separates you and a long drop to the valley. You can see so much of the park from here. To your right, you can see the Lost Arrow Spire and if you're lucky, climbers enjoying the challenge fo climbing or slackening here. In front of you, the South Rim of Yosemite Valley spreads out before you. Glacier Point, Sentinel Dome, and Cathedral Rock rise above Yosemite Valley far below you. To the left, Mount Star King, Half Dome, Clouds Rest, the Cathedral Range, and the Clark Range are all in view. If you didn't eat lunch at the top of Yosemite Falls, this is a great place to spread out as there are plenty of rocks to spread out on and enjoy the view. From here, return to your car following the path that you traveled to get here. Enjoy the views on the way back down, because you earned it!
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Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite