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Upper Yosemite Falls Trail Map & Directions

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Distance:  7.6 miles (12 km) round trip from the Lower Yosemite Falls trailhead; 9.4 miles (15 km) including Yosemite Point
Elevation at trailhead:  3,967 feet (1,347 meters)
Elevation at top of Yosemite Falls:  6,526 feet (1,989 meters)
Elevation at Yosemite Point:  6,936 feet (2,114 meters)
Elevation gain:  2,600 feet (790 meters) to the top of Yosemite Falls; 2,969 feet (890 meters) to Yosemite Point

Map Notes: The red line is the main trail to Upper Yosemite Falls, the yellow line is the bonus hike to Yosemite Point, and the orange line is the trail you'll probably take to get from the lower falls trailhead to the upper falls trailhead (it's included in the calculation of the hike distance).

See that stretch at the beginning of the trail where the red squiggles are so thick that they almost look like just one really thick red line? These are a relentless series of switchbacks. Anywhere you see squiggles on the trail, you know it's steep, but this is a particularly grinding section.

The straight stretch about halfway up the trail that goes parallel to the falls itself has fabulous views of the upper falls. If you're hiking in May - possibly even in June if it's been a wet winter - you're likely to feel mist from the falls all the way along this section.

For the last section of switchbacks at the top of the trail, the falls are out of sight, and Google's nifty terrain view clearly shows the ridge that's blocking them from you. Due, most likely, to the way the sound bounces off the rocks, it'll sound like the falls are off to the west, opposite of where they actually are.

Parking: You can park several places in Yosemite Valley and catch a free shuttle to the Yosemite Falls trailhead; the biggest lots are at Curry Village and the day-use area at Yosemite Village. Parking in the vicinity of the Yosemite Lodge or Yosemite Village will put you in easy walking distance of the trailhead.