Upper Yosemite Falls Trail
Started off at about 10 am and mistakenly parked in front of the falls. For future reference the parking area is further west. The hike gets serious right off with a series of swithbacks that work there way up and up and up to the mid-point or Columbia Point. The kids and I spent time here recouping and talking about the geology of Yosemite. If you could only make it to this point I would consider the hike a success as the view was amazing.
From this point we climbed up a couple of switchbacks and the trail leveled out and then declined slightly for about .5 miles. It is at this point you get your first view of upper Yosemite Falls. What a site, it was right in our face and the trail left us thinking we would meet Frodo Baggins at any moment. After the brief reprieve we started our ascent up again. This trail was very demanding and if you like switchbacks, this is the trail for you. They seemed to never stop. However, the views are amazing and when you reach the top the sence of accomplishment was high. One note, when you get to the trail junction at the top, the view point is back to the right and behind you. The trail is not marked well and we ended up in a campsite in a rock cove.
The view is amazing although if you have vertigo this is where your therapist has been warning you about. After a short descent and a VERY narrow walk way, we were looking straight down the falls. The views of the valley are absolutly amazing and left us not wanting to leave. However hunger set in and after a short break and lunch we explored the area, including the beautiful bridge over Yosemite River. With our spitits high and energy back we started our descent. Funny, it seemed that they must of added a few switchbacks between our ascent and descent although we never passed that trail crew. Anyway we made it back down about 6pm tired happy and ready for ice cream. It was a fantastic but challenging hike that is very doable as my 10 year old daughter and 16 year old son cruised right up without much effort.
The hike was one of the better hikes I've been on in the valley and a must for anyone who is up for the hike. On the way up there were several places to refill our cantine and while the canyon (last 1.5 - 2 miles) was warm once we topped out the wind really puts a chill in the air. If you go enjoy, as Yosemite never disappoints.
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