In April, Borys and I decided to take our yearly trip to Yosemite. This time we wanted to tackle Upper Yosemite Falls/Yosemite Point. It was still winter time, so many of the trails we close, but this particular one is open year round. It's a fairly difficult one, so we decided why not.
After the challenge of half dome last year, I thought doing upper Yosemite Point was going to be much easier. In a sense it is, but it also has it's hard parts.
Upper Yosemite falls is just a gigantic stair stepper that never ends. For 4-5 miles, you are constantly climbing with no areas of flat land, at least till you get to the top. People say you are climbing the height of two empire state buildings. The pay off is an amazing view of half dome and a creepy look down at the falls.
The hike in total was 9.4 miles. It took up half the day to complete it. We started fairly early in the day, around 8 AM. The first part of the hike was pretty flat, we had to walk about half a mile to the trail head, once we got to the trail head we instantly started climbing up hill. This uphill climb doesn't really end on this hike. Our calves were definitely feeling it instantly.
|The beginning before the climb|
|Half way up, you are greeted with this amazing view of the the falls and half dome|
|Looking out at the valley floor|
Once you finish up your stair stepper, you reach a point where you get to the top, and are greeted with the top of the falls. Most people take the opportunity to take a rest, eat some lunch, and enjoy the view of Yosemite Valley.
|From the top of the falls, looking down|
|This portion is pretty scary, as the path gets really narrow|
If you go 1.5 miles more, you'll reach Yosemite Point. It's completely worth the extra mile. Once you reach the top, you get a full frontal view of half dome. It's one of the best views of half dome that I've seen. Well, besides being on it, but this was just as good.
|The view from Yosemite Point|
My tips: bring lots of water (a camel back is always a good bet with long hikes), plan for at least 5-6 hours of hiking time, bring good hiking shoes with grip, and bring lunch and enjoy it while taking in the beautiful Yosemite valley. On a hot day, bring sunscreen. I got sunburned pretty bad.
Be careful going down, parts of the hike are slippery because of the mist from the trail. Take your time, there were a couple of times I thought I would eat it and fall down. Trekking poles would make it easier on the knees. I didn't have any and I felt really sore the day after.