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Saturday, August 01, 2009


Back to Yosemite, Jewel of the Sierras


A Hike to the Top of Upper Yosemite Falls

This one is not for those with knee problem. Most of the 2.7 miles trail is built of rocks of different shapes and sizes, hard on the knees both while climbing and descending. Ankles,too, are subject to risk. A twisted ankle halfway up could mean a lot of problems and turn out to be expensive.

Is it worth going up? Yes, especially if you like a challenging hike and great views. If you go, be sure to carry enough drinking water and some food. None available at the top.

A friend invited me to join him on a trip to Yosemite and follow the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail all the way to the top. We did it on Saturday, July 25th.

It took us 4 hours to go up and 3 hours to come down to the valley. Many hikers do it in less time. We started later than we had planned. Earlier start would have allowed us to avoid the mid-day heat. The trail is up and back, not a loop. But for backpackers there are options to continue on to El Capitan and other points from the top of Upper Yosemite Falls.

Great trip except for the crowd. The valley was full of people and cars. The shuttle service is excellent but many visitors drive around and cause traffic congestion looking for parking space at popular sites. It happens every summer. A total restriction on driving inside the valley would be the only solution to this.

Half Dome at sunset from Lower Pines Campground

View of the top of the falls from the starting point

A deer wondering about dumb two-legged creatures

The rocky switchback trail
©Sarbajit Ghosal

Looking down on the lush, green meadow
©Sarbajit Ghosal

Tree line - Nearing the top
©Sarbajit Ghosal

End of the trail -We made it

SG cooling off at a rock pool about 150 yards from the edge

Ready to begin descending

View of Clouds Rest from the trail

Nature's garden alogside the trail near treeline
©Sarbajit Ghosal

Water from the upper falls at the point where the lower part begins
©Sarbajit Ghosal


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