If you are looking give yourself a challenge, while at the same time experience amazing views of Yosemite - this hike is for you.
Yosemite falls has three tiers. Upper Falls at 1430 feet, middle falls at 675 feet and the lower falls at 320 feet. If you count the falls together, then Yosemite Falls is the largest in North America.
Round trip the trail is 7 miles. That is not a lot of miles for a day hike, but you need to consider that the trail is uphill almost all the way. At the top, there is a level area and then coming back it is of course, all downhill.
There are 60 switchbacks going up the trail. The trip took us right at 8 hours going up and back.
The best way to do the hike is to park in the parking lot that is across from Camp 4 campground. We started at 9:00 a.m. and were able to find good parking.
Your will see trailhead signs right at camp 4 to begin your hike.
But the best part of the hike is the amazing views. All the way up you have different views of the valley and even Half Dome.
At times on the hike you will be in the sun, so be sure to bring lots of water. (hat and sunscreen also) We brought 3 liters of water and that was just enough for the day.
I do wish I would have brought hiking poles as the trial can be slippery due to the granite dust and small rocks.
We hiked in June, and so the trail was busy with very friendly hikers.
Also, if the wind is blowing just right you will get a cooling mist of water from the falls which in June was very welcome. I would say that we were in the sun about 60% of the time.
Be sure to look for a rainbow in the waterfall - it is breath-taking.
When you get to the top there is a viewing area with a railing. You can see down the falls and it is very dramatic.
The best time of the year to hike would be May, June, and July to really enjoy all the water coming down the waterfall. Of course, the volume of water in the falls depends on the amount of snowpack in the upper mountains.
Will you be sore for a day or two after the hike? YES.
Is it worth it...and would I do it again...YES!
I hope you get to enjoy your journey on the Upper Yosemite Falls trail hike!