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    • There are plenty of hikes to choose from when visiting Yosemite. We've done a few of them such as the Four Mile Trail and the Mist Trail. They are all exceptionally beautiful and offer spectacular views of Yosemite Valley and its many waterfalls.

      For this trip we decided to pick another challenging trail: Upper Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Point. It is hard to describe in words how beautiful it was, so I'll post a few of my favorite pictures from the hike instead. The scale of the Yosemite Falls is simply incredible:

    • The trail starts with rocky switchbacks that wind their way up. That sections is over a mile long and steep (25% grade). There are usually many hikers going up and down, but the trail is wide enough to step off safely. With lots of shade at the bottom it was enjoyable on a hot day like we had.

    • Even though the trees were covering the views of the valley below, they added to the exciting anticipation of what was "just around the corner".

    • One of the first overlooks of the Yosemite Valley didn't disappoint. There were many more to come, but already it justified the effort.

    • The first official "Point of Interest" was this amazing view of the Half Dome at about 1.2 miles up from the trailhead.

    • After enjoying a few moments and taking in the amazing views, we proceeded up to the second set of switchbacks. They were longer and just as steep as the first set, so we had to take many breaks to catch our breath and drink some water.

    • Finally we made it to the top of Yosemite Creek which feeds the waterfall. Here you can see the edge of the waterfall as it plummets down to the valley. There were many hiker on the banks of the creek who were enjoying the fresh cold water after such a strenuous hike:

    • Some backpackers were definitely thrill seekers and set up their hammock so close to the edge of the cliff 😱

      I'm sure the views were worth it:

    • There was a short section of rock stairs that got us closer to the edge of the fall to see the view of the valley.

    • We had to take a moment to think and collect ourselves to attempt this next section of stairs that was very narrow and only the rails separating you from the cliff which was bolted on the opposite side just around the corner. Definitely an unnerving experience 😬

    • After backtracking to the trail we crossed the bridge over the Yosemite Creek and continued our hike to the Yosemite Point.

    • Just under a mile up from the bridge was our final destination. The trail was flatter with scenic looks all around.

    • The Yosemite Point was truly breathtaking! There were two different viewing areas: one with the railings (not pictured) offered a great view of the valley, but wasn't as nice as the second one just a few hundred yards away.

    • As we turned back and started our descend, I took a final shot to capture this beautiful view of the Half Dome and the wildflowers.

    • Man, Yosemite never fails to disappoint.

      It is usually really crowded on the Mist Trail, looks like this one was pretty quiet. Will need to try that one some time :D.

    • Absolutely true:

      Yosemite never fails to disappoint.

      I would say that the Upper Yosemite Falls isn't as crowded as the Mist Trail, but don't trust the pictures I've posted. There were quite a few people on the trail and I just had to wait for them to pass by to take the shot 😳

    • Stunning. Thanks for this series. I have hiked up half way and shot a number of time-lapses from there, but never made it all the way. Definitely on my list of things to accomplish soon.

    • From your photos, it looks like the trail isn't too busy. How do the crowds compare to other hikes around the Valley?

      I've been avoiding Yosemite Valley in the summer recently because there are just so many people, both in terms of car and foot traffic. For example, the hike to Half Dome is often single file line until Nevada Falls... and then again on the cables (even now with permits). I'd love to find some less busy hikes.