Yosemite Falls – 6.7mi / 10.8km
Climb to the breathtaking brink of this iconic waterfall pouring to the valley floor thousands of feet below. Tight switchbacks take you through the oak understory to open vistas. The railing and wonderful sweeping views of Yosemite Valley, including Half Dome, let you know you’ve arrived at Columbia Rock.
The Upper Yosemite Fall doesn’t come into view until you traverse around the wooded ridge into the canyon. The brink of the fall comes into view first, then the entire waterfall is visible as you approach its base. You’ll switchback up out of the canyon and pass the junction for Eagle Peak, then cross over a seasonal stream to another junction.
Follow the signs to work your way out on the smooth granite to breathtaking views. For those with a fear of heights, this will be as far as you go; for others, continue along the path down precarious steps with railing that take you out to the brink. Here you can look down as the falls crash 1,430ft/436m to the Middle Cascades below. Turn around and head back to the North Dome/Yosemite Point junction. Following the signs to Yosemite Point adds an additional total 1.9mi/3km to your trip, but is worth the minimal effort. (The side trip up Eagle Peak offers extraordinary views of the valley, but adds 5.8mi/9.3km and 1,350ft/405m to your day.)
Trailhead: Take the free bus shuttle to the Camp 4/Yosemite Falls stop #7 or park at the Yosemite Falls parking area near Camp 4.
Elevation Gain: 3,300ft / 990m – Elevation Loss: 3,300ft / 990m