Upper Yosemite Falls Hike Photos

I made this trek at the absolute best time of year – during the last week of April. This meant less crowds, perfect weather and beautiful, flowing falls. Of course, the climb to the top…up the steep, relentless switchbacks did not make this an easy jaunt. Here are photos from my Upper Yosemite Falls hike that day.

Trail Scene - Upper Yosemite Falls hike
Mountainside Trail and Flowing Falls

This really is a gorgeous trail. There are many rugged and rocky sections with boulders and stonework. Really makes you appreciate the scope of creating park infrastructure like this. Must have taken quite some time to build this.

Rocky stonework and trail boulders along the switchbacks
Beautiful, naturally landscaped trail

Views – Upper Yosemite Falls Hike

After getting up the countless switchbacks along the side of the mountain, I finally made it to the view at the top. Below you’ll see some picturesque stone trail steps overlooking the valley below. Also note Mt. Starr King in the distance. It still had winter snow on the peak, even this late in the season.

Rock stairs & valley view (portrait) - Upper Yosemite Falls hike
Rock stairs & valley view

There is a safety handrail to hold onto for hikers who might have vertigo or a fear of heights. I suppose it could also be for the simple fact that the trail is quite narrow here. 12-16 inches, perhaps.

Narrow cliffside trail and safety rail
There are actually 2 ledges in this photo

Once over the top, I hiked down to a scenic wooden bridge over Yosemite Creek. Straight ahead in this photo is the very top of the falls.

Trail over the Creek bridge in spring - Upper Yosemite Falls hike
Yosemite Creek in spring, from bridge

While it’s enough of a climb to even get to this point, I opted to continue up the mountain for even better views.

Hiking Further to Yosemite Point

Snow on the forest trail
Leftover Snow in April

As mentioned earlier, the leftover snow started to appear as I ascended higher and higher. Although it’s quite scenic, it can pose a problem when it hides and covers sections of the trail. You can use other hikers’ footsteps at this point, hoping that they knew where they were going. Haha.

Dirt trail in the forest near the top
Picture Perfect Scenery

To be honest, you can’t get that lost. Simply keep in mind that you are hiking to the highest point. There are many ways to get there – you really can’t get lost.

I had read something about how one should reserve 10.5 hours for this roundtrip hike. For this reason, I was worried that it was already late afternoon when I reached Upper Yosemite Falls. However, I think the long hiking time factors in young kids or older folks.

By the time I made it back down to the trailhead, I believe it was about 6 hours total for me. That includes resting and sightseeing here and there. Be sure to check my Yosemite Point Photos, and also my main Yosemite trails page.

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About My Photos

The images on this website are available for licensing and/or sale as framed prints. If you’d like to purchase them for a blog, news article, or gift, feel free to contact me with the specifics. This way you’re supporting photographers such as me directly (as opposed to buying from a faceless stock photo corporation).

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– Nathan Allen

About Me

Photographer Nathan Allen

I’m Nathan Allen, photographer / creator of YosemiteParkPhotos.com (Yosemite Photos) and international travel site I Dreamed Of This. In truth, I lived in San Francisco, New York, & Singapore…but nothing compares to life in the mountains. I share my experiences HERE.