CA, United States
NileGuide Expert tip:
At the top, look for the almost hidden stone stairs that'll bring you down to a dramatic overlook of the falls - and be careful!
This trail begins from the Camp Four Campground or the Yosemite Lodge parking area via the north side Valley Floor Trail. It is steep with more than 125 switchbacks to reach the Upper Yosemite Falls overlook. The falls flow best during the spring and early summer months. You'll find signs that direct you toward the trailhead, which is a half-mile west of the much busier Lower Yosemite Falls area. The trail ascends immediately with dozens of short switchbacks leading up the northern valley wall. The first mile ends at Columbia Rock, which provides sweeping views of the Yosemite Valley, that include Half Dome and Sentinel Rock. There's a short traverse along a cliff bench, then you continue up. The view of the falls improves as the trail climbs and transits an exposed gully prone to rock falls. A trail junction at the rim separates the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail from the Eagle Peak Trail. Follow the signs, going right to reach the hairy falls overlook. Whew! Save some gas for the long trek back down the trail.
Some people do the round-trip in 3 hours; others will want to make a day of it. Bring plenty of water, food, sun protection and sturdy shoes for this rocky, bony, stony trail.