A rewarding hike that gives excellent views of Yosemite’s valley meadows is Upper Yosemite Falls Trail, located near Yosemite, California. It’s a 7.2 miles out and back trail with an elevation gain of 3,175 feet. If you are looking for a heavy workout then this hike is perfect for you. This hike is also called as mother of all Stairmaster workouts. You get the workout that you get in the gym but you enjoy beautiful views and get panoramic views of the valley.
It’s the only spot outside Sentinel Dome where you can view all of Yosemite falls. The best time to visit this trail is in the spring or early summer. It’s one of Yosemite’s oldest trails. It was built from 1873 to 1877. The trail would lead you on top of North America’s tallest waterfall, around 2,425 feet above the valley floor.
For some part of the hike, you are close enough to the fall that you can hear the waterfall and feel the spray. Even though the hike is not the one you want to miss, you need to keep in mind that it is pretty challenging. Getting to the top of the Yosemite Falls would test your strength as the trail is a continuous climb with many switchbacks.
The trail begins from the trailhead located near Camp 4. It’s just a short walk away from Yosemite Valley Lodge, you need to get off on stop number seven and from there you can follow the signs. Don’t follow the trail to Lower Yosemite Falls, as both trails are not connected, not even remotely. If you are in a car you can park it along the road on camp 4 you can also park it anywhere near the Yosemite Valley Lodge. You will be faced with a series of switchbacks and steep trails on your hike from the Valley floor to the viewpoint. It’s a continuous climb which is also sandy and rocky at places.
The trail is hot even though you hike under the shade of trees for most of the trail. You must start as early as possible if you want to prevent extreme sweating. Once you get to the top, enjoy the view, eat snacks, and take photos.