Upper Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park, California, is one of the most spectacular sights in all of the United States. In the summer, the water flow dwindles to almost nothing, but in the spring during snow melt, the waterfall is overwhelming. Upper Yosemite Falls can be seen along the roadside at a number of viewpoints along Southside Drive. The best ones are at Cooks Meadow and Swinging Bridge, and it also can be seen along the trail to Lower Yosemite Falls.
For those with a lot of energy, it is a grueling 3 hour hike to the top of Upper Yosemite Falls. It is well worth the effort, however. The best views of the upper falls you will find a little ways past Columbia Rock, about 1.5 miles from the bottom. Also just past Columbia Rock, there is a little side trail on the right, just before you get your first view. Take it. It is a very short walk that leads to a single viewpoint of the upper, middle, and lower falls (it is the only viewpoint for the middle falls). If you continue up the trail, you will get some closer views of Upper Yosemite Falls. Then the trail continues to the top (another 2 hours of hiking). There is not really a good view of the upper falls at the top, though you can get to a scary ledge beside the waterfall, looking down to the bottom. There are awesome views of the valley from the top, and if you are there in the summer months, you can actually swim in Yosemite Creek at the top. Now that is refreshing after a grueling 3 hour hike! But in the spring, the creek is flowing far too fast.Together with Lower Yosemite Falls (320 ft.) and the middle cascades (675 ft.), the total height of the waterfalls is 2425 ft., making this the one of the highest waterfalls in the world. It is often said to be the 5th highest, though actually there are quite a few others that are higher (unofficially). At any rate, it is easily the single best thing in a national park that has plenty of incredible sights to see.
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Sierra Nevada, Ca
||This hike should actually be classified as \\\\\\\"strenous\\\\\\\". but well worth the effort. It is accessed from Camp 4, just west of the base of the falls. |