Yosemite Falls hike was one of the hikes that I had in mind when visiting Yosemite National Park. As my second day began, although there were so many other places to check out in terms of photography, I packed up my camera gear, water and food and drove straight to the trailhead located behind Camp 4.
When I got there, it was quite busier than I expected. The whole place was. A lot of tourists walking around the area of the waterfalls, and the campground was actually full. Especially, so much for the walk-in campground. I saw a long line of young backpackers and campers who want to get permit. At a quick glance I would guess there were more than 50 people in line waiting for their turn, and the line wasn’t getting any shorter.
I headed up Lower Yosemite Falls trail first. The Lower trail is easy. Not strenuous at all. However, the Upper one was, I must say. But I took my time while catching my breath or taking photos, so I didn’t cramp, which was great.
The total elevation was 3,700 plus feet and the distance from the trailhead to Yosemite Point was 5 plus miles, according to the track recorded with Gaia GPS.
You can download the GPX file of the track recorded with Gaia GPS here.
If you haven’t checked out the Tunnel View post, take a look. It offers such a cool photography opportunity.
YOSEMITE FALLS AND HALF DOME
So many spectacular views of both Lower and Upper Yosemite Falls there were, but also the view of the valley was just stunning. I literally stopped at every switchback there was and turned around and just stood there in awe.
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The only thing any hiker who plans to hike this trail must keep in mind is that it is a very rocky trail. On your way down, your legs (knees and calves) and feet would appreciate it more if you have more comfortable shoes (cushions, insoles and socks and whatnot).
Yosemite Creek was flowing very nicely at the top of Yosemite Falls. From there hikers just can either enjoy the view of Yosemite Valley laid in front of them as long as they want, or continue for another mile up to Yosemite Point, which offers another spectacular view of the valley, including Half Dome and Tenaya Canyon.
Half Dome looks real close from Yosemite Point. I bet it looks much closer if you look at it from North Dome.
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Since there’s an abundant amount of water flowing, a hiker doesn’t necessarily have to carry a whole lot of water (especially, for me, I was carrying my camera gear). I personally carried an extra bottle and a MicroFilter to drink the water right there and then. It was refreshing, and I was quite glad that I did.
HALF DOME AND YOSEMITE VALLEY
On my way down, I knew I would want to have a sunset view of Half Dome, so about a mile and a half before reaching the trailhead, I found a great vantage point to take it all in – Half Dome and the valley, and patiently waited.
Oh, and while waiting, I had to fight off an insane amount of mosquitos. The repellent didn’t work when more than 20 mosquitoes tried to bite you all at once!
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It was definitely a strenuous hike, not because of the elevation gain alone but mostly because of the extra weight (about 10 lb.) that I was carrying, but it also was an amazing one. The magnificent views were just worth of every sore part of my legs (and shoulders).
On my way up I met and spoke a few words with a group of four female backpackers who spent a night at Yosemite Point and were heading down, and I thought to myself that it would be fun to do a couple of nights of backpacking via Yosemite Point, North Dome and Indian Rock and then exit via Mirror Lake. Maybe next time.
Have you hiked to the top of Yosemite Falls? What was your experience like? Did you find it strenuous or difficult? What is your favorite hike in Yosemite National Park?
Thanks for reading.