Yosemite Falls Trail

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Quality: 

4
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Scenery: 

5
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Crowds: 

5
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Difficulty: 

Tough for the distance
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Distance Comments: 

Round trip distance. Don't be fooled by the distance, though. It's a tough 6.8 miles.
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Distance in Miles: 

6.80 miles
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Trip Type: 

Out and back
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Trailhead: 

Camp 4
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Trailhead Elevation: 

4000
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Elevation Gain/Loss: 

2800/2800
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Elevation Min/Max: 

4000/6700
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Running: 

Rough and steep (4 out of 5)
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Highlights: 

Stunning views of Upper Yosemite Fall and Yosemite Valley with a handful of excellent viewpoints and lunch spots. The price of admission? Crowds, steep switchbacks and for the upper part, sundrenched and hot switchbacks. Keep in mind that from late August until the first rains (possibly as late as November), there is no water at all in the falls. None. Zip. They are dry enough to rock climb on.

This trail is also a favorite fitness test, with the current record is still 43:04 by Hari Mix. Times are for the part from the T intersection with the Valley Loop Trail at the bottom up to the last winter closure gate at the top, but does not include the last 0.2 miles to the lookout itself. Typical hikers should count on taking several times as long as Hari does. I've often polled people near the top and find that most people take 2-4 hours to hike up and rather less to hike down. Fit runners should still count on about an hour.

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Details: 

Welcome to Disneyland. The Yosemite Falls Trail vies with the Mist Trail for being the most crowded trail in Yosemite National Park, which surely makes it one of the most crowded trails in America. If you want some solitude on this trail, you'll have to go very early, very late or during the winter when the trail is closed (and you could get fined for hiking it, but that didn't stop Benjamin Burner who has some great pictures of the Falls Trail in winter). That said, you will have the best views of Yosemite Falls and excellent views of Yosemite Valley. You can also extend the hike up to the summit of El Capitan or Yosemite Point, where crowds will diminish dramatically. Plus, everyone has to hike it once (and I hike it many times every year just because it's convenient and an excellent workout).

Begin at the Camp 4 parking lot and walk straight back to the Valley Loop Trail and the Falls Trail intersection. The trail begins in oak forest with a long set of switchbacks of the old style - short and relatively steep. If you're not fairly fit, you will likely suffer here, but it is not *that* long. This is the least pleasant part of the trail. After a bit, you'll start to cross some washes (dry after about mid-June) and you'll know that the worst of the switchbacks is over and soon you'll start to reach relatively frequent viewpoints across the Valley. When the trail starts to get sandy, you'll know that you're getting close to Columbia Point, which is an excellent place to stop and take in the view and have some lunch. Columbia Point is almost exactly one third of the way to the top by time (somewhat less by distance). Take however long it has taken you to get here and, if you continue at a similar pace, that will give you a pretty good idea of how long it will take you to the summit.

After Columbia Point you have just a couple more sandy switchbacks and then the trail will flatten out for nearly a mile with a bit of up and down until you get into the valley cut by Yosemite Creek. Here you get your first views of Upper Yosemite Fall. At this point, pay attention and look for a spur that goes off to the right where the trail turns left. This is the so-called "Oh My Gosh Point", a lookout with the best views on the entire trail and a rail protecting the vertiginous view (but hold onto your children!). From Oh My Gosh Point you will look straight down on Lower Yosemite Fall and straight across at the Upper Fall and see almost all of the middle cascade. Once back on the trail, you'll soon pass the middle winter closure gate. At that point you are almost exactly half way to the top by time. You also have a nice flat section with views of Upper Yosemite Fall.

From here you go back to switchbacks, but now through open chapparal. On the bottom it can range from hot and dry to pouring down mist, but usually it's just a pleasant cooling mist. As you hit the first switchbacks after the flat section, another spur goes straight where the trail turns left. A short little walk will get you out of the trees and give you an excellent close-up view of the Upper Fall.

Once you hit the manzanita scrub, you'll have no shade and this can be oppressively hot in the summer. Again, it doesn't last that long and what you see is what you get: there's no false summit and you can judge by the top of the falls how high you have to go.

The winter closure gate marks the end of the climbing. From there it's just a relatively easy quarter mile to the lookout. Those who are afraid of heights should be forewarned: the steps down to the lookout are narrow and exposed. Also, stay away from the water. In the summer of 2005 an Irish tourist wanted to get a picture of himself close to the edge. He slipped and went over the falls to his death. This is a safe place, but use some common sense.

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Runner's Notes: 

I've already given some notes on running the trail. The times may seem quite slow: the record is about 43 minutes (by Hari Mix) for 3.2 miles with 2600' elevation gain, but the trail is often rocky and uneven and it is hard to keep pace. The key is to keep the pace reasonable (i.e. not to fast) on the early switchbacks. Once you get to Columbia Point you can let it go a little and speed up. For a one-hour time, my splits would be something like this:

  • 17-18 mins to Columbia Point
  • 25 mins to the winter closure gate
  • 40 mins to the second time the trail touches the wall opposite the falls (uh, yeah, everyone knows where that is)
  • 47 mins to the first big Jeffrey Pine.
  • 60 mins to the top winter closure gate.

I find the Mist Trail, with similar distance and elevation, to be somewhat easier, though not a lot.

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33 Comments

Boo! Hiss! Boo!

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*ptui!*

Eh, f'nabla, this trail, she no good. Too rocky, too many switchbacks, too many mosquitoes, too many young, healthy people passing me by, making it look easy. Hey, I'm old, I have a bad knee, I smoke too much, do you really wonder why I HATE this trail?

Tom is right. Oh-My-Gosh Point ALMOST makes it worth it. Oh, all right, add carmudgeonly to the above list.

In all seriousness, I have an intense dislike of this trail. Perhaps it's because it was one of my first hikes in this valley, I was 35 lbs heavier, smoked way more than I do now, and did it late when it was hot and dusty on the trail, without enough water. I was so damn tired when I got to the top, all I could do was look down--and the only thing I could make out was the swimming pool at Yosemite Lodge.

Yeah, yeah, I should do it again now that I'm in shape, give it another chance. Naw. I'd rather spend my time on the Snow Creek trail. *noddle*

Edie

There's some truth in that

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I sort of agree with Edie's assessment, but people seem to love this hike and when the waterfall is flowing in the spring, it is just amazing. But it can be hot and it is rocky. That said, when I want a good quick workout, I almost always end up there. It takes me two hours round trip and I feel nice and worked. My friend Donovan has done multiple laps back to back in about 4.5 hours... I haven't been that masochistic [update: actually, I have].

Snow Creek, however, has always involved great suffering. The first time I went up Snow Creek I had started at the Wawona Tunnel and done Sentinel Dome and Half Dome on my way to North Dome and El Cap and out to Foresta (53 miles total). I hit Snow Creek at 1:00pm and it climbs relentlessly with almost no shade. It's been hard for me to enjoy Snow Creek Ever since... but I have the pictures and will eventually do a page on it and I'll have to solicit Edie to sing it's praises, since I can't.

Snow Creek VS Yosemite Falls

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I can appreciate your dislike of Snow Creek. You're right, it is pretty exposed, and that does make it pretty unpleasant going. However, the trail itself is in pretty good shape, and the switchbacks aren't too close together. Oddly, I've done this trail three times, and only once did I make to the top, that lovely grove of pines/firs. I honestly didn't know it was the top of the trail, it was getting late in the day and I turned around, rather dejected that once again I hadn't made it. The third time I did it was in June of this year, and a sudden snow squal made me turn around and go back at the 50th switchback. Yeah, I'm a wimp. But the temps had dropped at least 20 degrees, and it was SNOWING.

I think I love this trail because, like the 4 Mile Trail, it has spectacular views of a Yosemite icon; Half Dome in this case.

I'd rate it in the middle between the Falls trail and the 4 Mile trail. I think the views are better than 4 Mile. And I know now to start early in the day in order to avoid the heat.

Tough trail for even the fit athlete

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I hiked this trail 1 year ago on Memorial Day weekend. I saw some of the fittest looking people having trouble with the last section of switchbacks. Don't let the distance fool you. This is a tough trail.

Upper Yosemite Falls--Great hike, but intense

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I was fortunate enough to do this hike on my own last year. I was not in the best shape, but going by myself allowed me to pace myself and push as hard or as easily as I wanted. If you want a good, temperate time to complete this hike, try early June. This was when I did it last year, and I left at about 8:30 in the morning, making it to the top at about 10:30 or so. The only major crowds I ran into were as I was coming down, and a lot of them were students from the Yosemite Institute. The flow of people was actually quite nice--there were many parts of the trail where I was in solitude, only to be met by very friendly people. Be careful coming down the trail if you are on a high-water year--near the area where the mist reaches the trail (heavily shaded with some granite steps), I slipped a couple of times and fell. Otherwise, I found the worst part of the trail to be after the oak switchbacks on the sandy incline. I had a difficult time obtaining a good footing, and the sun really zapped me for that few minutes on that climb.

The views, the flowers, and the overall scenery were well worth the difficulty in the climb.

We almost died!

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My party barely made it backpacking up the trail with 30-40 lb. packs and down again after camping above the falls. Difficult footing over rocks makes it very hard on the muscles when you carry that much weight. Seeing all those day-hikers skipping by, especially the young ones, was plenty embarrassing too. But we did find that the upper stretch is shaded by the valley wall after about 3pm. This makes it far easier than it would have been in the sun. Coming up the sandy switchbacks just before Columbia Point with the sun beating down was far worse. I would not want to stop for lunch there -- not near enough shade! The level stretch between Columbia and "Oh My Gosh" has far better places for stopping.

In all, probably not bad for a day hike, especially if you're in shape. But it proved to be far more than we bargained for.

Thanks for that reminder.

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I've also hiked that trail at midday with a climbing pack (so not a full overnight pack, but heavier than the usual daypack by a lot). Indeed, it is draining.

The power of the sun on that trail is not to be underestimated. Start early or start late. I've done it plenty of times at midday and each time I think "You idiot, didn't you learn from last time." Answer: no, I guess not!

I thought it would be an easy hike

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The trail itself isn't bad, what's horrible are all the slippery rocks and the trail isn't wide enough
because as I was hiking up people were hiking down and I was passing people (usually young couples)
going up. Bring water. The sun was HOT and the views were spectacular but there really needs to
be a waterslide down becuase once I reached the top I just wanted to parachute down.
Going down is harder then going up because you have to worry about falling. I fell several times
against my will. Don't drink the mountain stream water - you'll get sick.

Slippery Rock Season Lasts about a Month

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Blake, that's true. The slippery rock season is only about a month when the falls are in full roar and the mist hits the trail. I've come down the trail in the dark and thought it had started raining hard, but it turned out to be the heaviest mist I'd ever experienced.

The Falls Trail is also quite rocky with a fair number of step downs, so it's tough on the knees for coming down.

Here's one perspective: Hari Mix who can run *fast* (one of the fastest 10,000m runners in the country) clocked roughly 13 minute miles on the Falls trail. That should give an indication of the relative difficulty of this trail.

SLIPPING ON SNOW CREEK TRAIL

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Is the slipping dangerous or just annoying? I am contemplating solo backpacking the loop up Yosemite and down Snow Creek in early November.
Thanks!

Just annoying. Actually, to

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Just annoying. Actually, to be honest, I don't even find it annoying. In any case, it's more a matter of slipping and falling *on* the trail, not like the Mist Trail, where you can fall *off* the trail and to your death because of slippery rocks, as happened to a poor German woman this spring.

So, no, it's not especially dangerous. Of course, anything can be dangerous (for all I know, you have a heart condition and hiking up anything that steep is dangerous). But these are well-travelled trails too (though less so in November of course).

What I find annoying on the Yosemite Falls Trail is the steps. I've hiked that trail dozens of times, and twice in one day once, so I'm not saying I don't like it. Just saying it can get annoying, especially if you're tired already.

can't wait

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I plan on trying this trail for my first time this October, and I can't wait! Hopefully my friends will love it as much as I know I will.

Just remember that if we

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Just remember that if we don't get some early season rains, there may be no water in the falls in October. This doesn't mean diminished, this means NO water. There are literally established rock climbs that go straight up that cliff

I've done this trail twice,

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I've done this trail twice, once in unexpected snow/rain and yesterday in full sun. I've done Half Dome, Panorama, 4 Mile, Chilnualna...this was is the most intense for the distance, but like all of the others the view is spectacular. Dangerous "steps" are really more like uneven cobbles with loose gravelly sand all over them, many of the stones are worn smooth, and all of this is exaggerated by any moisture. When wet they were slippery, when dry, the sand makes them slippery. Gotta be careful on this one either way, but I felt safer going up than coming down.

How much farther ...

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I did this hike last year by myself (late May) as i was tormented by _Day Hikes In Yosemite National Park, 3rd_ by Robert Stone.

Whenever my family goes I want to go a bit further than my wife and kids. Mirror Meadow and Vernal Bridge are about their limits, although I have gotten each (except wife) to the top of Vernal on separate occasions. So I planned a 'guys' trip. Just me and some adult friends. Turns out I ended up being solo for the first two days and I didn't know how ambitious they would be. I'd heard it (Upper Y Falls) was a good hike and wanted to 'summit' it. Figured first day in valley would be the best shot. It took me under 4 hrs up including stops at Columbia Rock and other 'rest/snack' stops.

Next day I did Nevada via MT - JMT and marveled at how much easier that hike seemed.

This year (late June) I'd like to consider going above Upper to the top of El Cap (hiking) and would like know if anyone has a distance.

Aside from my Garmin 305 what device would you recommend for mapping/tracking distances.

Hi Tim,I just get my

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Hi Tim,

I just get my distances off maps. I don't have a GPS of any sort. I want to say the top of El Cap is about 6-7 miles. It's much easier walking than the Falls Trail, though, so not really like doubling it.

If you can arrange a car shuttle, it's nice to hike El Cap as a one-way, starting at the Foresta turnoff and hiking to the Valley (or the other way if that works better for transport).

Thanks for the distance

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Thanks for the distance. I wasn't sure how much farther/strenuous it would be. When I summited UY last year it was a pretty emotional time, partly being alone and partly spiritual.

You've given me a bug to start cataloging my hikes and a brief description for myself. I prefer out and back hikes as I try to avoid driving once in the valley.

I guess I could try to hitchhike to Foresta for the one way hike.

Thx again.

better than I thought....

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april 14, 2011: first time hiking the upper fall trail. The weather was cool with light periods of rain when I started at about 9:20 am. Upon viewing the upper falls past Columbia Point, the mist coupled by rainfall was refreshing. Its a good thing I brought a lightweight and WATERPROOF hooded jacket.

The last quarter of the trail was covered by snow. It was fairly easy to going up since I could walk in the steps of the few ahead of me. Coming back was another story.

Anyway, the view was worth the effort. I didn't hike to Yosemite Point (another 1.5 miles) because the trail was not defined and the snow appeared a bit deep. I did see a few hikers with snowshoes decending from the point.

On the way down, hordes of hikers were making their way up and tamping the snow trail into one long slippery incline with no footholds for traction. Imagine two parallel "ski" tracks to walk on.....well actually sliding. After passing Columbia, I could really feel the burn in my legs.

Overall, a great experience. Next time I'll bring the snowshoes to hike to Yosemite Point.

Thanks Wes! If you wait a few

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Thanks Wes! If you wait a few weeks, the snow will be gone!

May 21

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We have a hike planned for this trail (not our first time) for May 21. Is there anyone who went up this weekend and can tell us what the snow level was like? Just wondering if the trail will be clear of snow. I went up on this same weekend last year. When I started it was a warmish spring day and by the time I finished it had both rained and snowed. It was one of my more interesting hikes and taught me about skillful layering.

May 11, 2011

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Elizabeth - I hiked the YoFalls trail yesterday, May 11th; my 4th trip. The weather was clear and moderate, the falls were huge and there was snow only at the very top between the creek crossing and the overlook. The rest of the trail was free of snow.

Being 35 pounds too heavy and 56 years old, the hike was grueling as it was in 2010, 2009 and 2008, but a little less so. It could be my age and not remembering things as well, or my legs might be getting stronger. In any case, the worn-smooth sand-covered cobblestones are unchanged, the wet rocks are still wet and the final climb up 'Death Valley Draw' is still hot and nearly unending.

But then there's the top. Oh, how beautiful it is this time of year with everything on the valley floor bright green and every conceivable fall flowing at full volume!

As it was each time before - magnificent. Very tough, but another one of Yosemite's magic gifts.

By the way, is YoFalls about the same difficulty as summiting Half Top (distance not concidered) - on a scale of 1 - 10?

luken to yosemite falls (august)

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we have a permit for Luken Lake up the backside valley to Yosemite Falls. - which i know will be dry....and then hoping to catch the YART or hitchhike to base camp at Hogden Meadow. We'll take it leisurely - 2 nights with our 8 yo in tow. She's a buff nature buff - and Dad is 6 foot 8 205 lbs sopping wet, so i think we'll make it ... we have to be there in august b/c of the birthday you see....DD is happy on a 5 hour 1400 foot elevation gain up....and over. so i really thought she could make it down the falls trail....

but you guys are making me nervous. should we opt for a loop instead? say white wolf? yosemite creek?

luken to yosemite falls (august)

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maybe we should just out and back; pitch enroute to rim; day hike to rim, enjoy view; and then back to field camp and hike out next day.

Hard to say. I've never hiked

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Hard to say. I've never hiked with an 8 yo to be honest (though I've taught tons of them to ski). You'll be going down and presumably dad will be carrying most of the stuff. It's not *that* bad.

On the other hand, that trail can be brutally hot on an August afternoon, so depending on your timing...

yosemite falls trail

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Thx Tom
after much wringing of hands....(and visiting the annual REI Sale)

We're going to switch to porcupine to yosemite creek loop.
the vista from north dome seems pretty compelling and with this snow year
we're hoping for some falls still in the falls.
this way we can make our own timing instead of coordinating with YART
..and stay a little higher...
total elevation change is not too extreme and
we should manage easy 4-5 mile days.

key to have a good inaugural backpack (if you want more outings....)

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail

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I nearly fainted when I read that someone RAN this in 43 minutes and that those figures might seem SLOW. It takes us an hour just to get to Columbia Rock! The stretch to the Oh My Gosh view is very relaxing and we used it as a time to stroll relaxingly. Then my knees gave out. But that view alone is enough to make even a half trip worthwhile...several times in our lifetime so far.

After 22 years of desire . . .

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When my oldest was about 8, and my middle son around 6, we did Olmstead point, car camped at Devil's Postpile, then attempted Yosemite Falls the next day. We only made it to Columbia Point before turning back, and I've always wanted to experience the full length of the trail. So for 22 years, when ever I've visited the valley I've been fixated on looking at the granite wall and tried figuring out exactly where that somewhat level section was between Columbia Point and the bottom of the Upper Fall. Two weeks ago, my oldest (now 30) and I did the trip from the Porcupine Creek trail head to Yosemite Point and then down the trail to Camp 4. I've got some issues with my lungs, so I have to pause a lot while hiking. We started in the cool morning air at 8 am, and reached the Camp 4 Parking lot around 5 pm. Going down from the top of Upper Yosemite Falls is very hard on the knees. In most places the switch backs are like rocky cobblestones and concern over putting a foot wrong and spraining an ankle or messing up a knee slowed me way, way down. I'm sure that going up is easier, but if you go up, you still have to come down, so I'd take Tom's advice . . . If you are not in the best shape and concerned about your joints, then know when to decide to turn back. That said, the experience of coming down the upper part and seeing the trail descend along the gully between the cliff on the west side and the mountain on the east side of the switch backs was spectacular. Not having the experience of going up, I was dumbfounded by the way the switchbacks wrap around to the east and descend to the bottom of the Upper Falls. Coming down I kept using the view below me of a switchback crossing to the bottom of the sheer cliff as a measure of how far we still had to descend. Then the trail wraps around and . . . the 'false bottom' was an amazing experience. It's an incredible trail and I'm very happy to have experienced it, even if I wondered whether I could actually make it to the bottom. The further down we got, the more breaks I had to take, and the more I thought of the 'rescue problem'.

There were a lot of people who looked to be in terrible shape working their way up. This lead us to wonder what happens to day hikers who run into trouble and run out of sunlight? How often are rescues performed on that trail? How do the rescuer's get people down who've injured an ankle or knee or leg late in the day?

We were exhausted from the total mileage and we've started to plan a pair of backpacking trips on back to back weekends, so that the daily mileage would be relatively light, and one weekend would help prepare us for the next, which would involve either a Yosemite Falls descent, or a Snow Creek descent to the valley.

Awesome John! Continued good

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Awesome John! Continued good luck with the tree adventures too!

I only mean slow in the sense

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I only mean slow in the sense that it is slow compared to what you would see if he were on the flats, given that Hari could probably run sub-5s on the flats, so his speed on this trail indicates how darn hard it is!

Yosemite Falls Trail

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I've done my fair share of hiking in Yosemite (I've hiked Half Dome five times!!) And I did this hike three years ago in May. I repeated it again this last Sat, 6/9/13, with my son and grandson, age 15. I had forgotten how really hard this hike is. It was very warm, I think in the 80's, and I am three years older (72), and not as fit as I was three years ago. Boy, did I feel it. We started about 7:30 a.m., got to the top close to noon. I lagged behind considerably, but I did make it. I really wanted my son and GS to see the "Oh my Gosh Point" but when we got to the place where there appeared to be a a spur off the trail to the right, we went down a bit but then the trail seemed to peter out and we were up against a large boulder. It was very overgrown and looked like no one had been there for awhile. The first time I went, I was able to find my way with no problem. I was VERY disappointed that my family was not able to see that view. I think I would go up that far again just to pursue that spur a bit more. But not all the way to the top again. There are many more places to hike in Yosemite that wouldn't tax this "old lady" quite a much!!! It was a great time with family and I'm not sorry that I went just sorry that this "old age" thing has caught up with me!!!

Like my mom says, "Getting

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Like my mom says, "Getting old is not for sissies".

But yes, this hike is brutal on a hot day. The walls catch first light in the morning and reflect it back and forth, quickly raising the temperature making it one of the hottest places in the park.

And also, good call on turning back. Oh My Gosh Point is a clear and obvious spur trail, never difficult to follow and less than 100 feet long. Within 50 feet you should see the railing or not proceed any further. People have disappeared off the Falls Trail never to be seen again.

¡Yosemite Falls Full Day Hike!!! w/Husband & daughter 7yrs old

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My husband has really been excited about going to explore Yosemite Nat'l Park. This week of June 22-25th we had a chance to drive up. It was great! We caught the Super Moon our first night there. My Husband searched out the info about Yosemite falls and on 24th we hiked the trail. We were determined to make it all the way to the top. We parked at the lower Falls area and started our walk from there to the trail head at Camp 4. We caught wet and cold (rain and drizzle throughout the day) weather conditions which made the climb slick but better than climbing in the heat. We were super proud of our 7 yr old who made the climb with us. It was a VERY long hike. Making the full climb bottom to top was a workout. It took us 8:48 Hr/min for round trip. We delayed 35 min before getting to trailhead to boulder climb side wall plates just before camp 4. We got to the trial head about 1:30pm. We reached the top a bit after 5:30 pm 6' ish our stops included: food & rest & water breaks, pictures, admiration and Aww for nature, and plenty of encouragement for our daughter. (Who said we were so mean for making her climb the trail- you wouldn't know it by the way she fought to be the trail leader running and climbing ahead of us and the big grin on her face) We ate our lunch next to the bridge of upper Falls small pools that looked bluish- green- yellow like gem lined pools. The look out point was amazing and scary since it was very wet. I held tight to the Kid the whole time keeping her safe, we took our pics and moved onto dryer ground. Not sure if muscles were tight from climb or anxiety about being with our 7 yr old on this overlook (maybe both) . Very intense! We ate quick because it was so late. We really didn't think it was going to take us so long to climb. We descended and got to the ecological overlook, that looks over Yosemite Lodge, at twilight. We thought for sure we were the only ones left on the trail - till we met a young couple there over looking the Valley too. We hiked down with some light reflection that was left and from the rising moon (to many clouds and drizzle to really shine through). As it grew later and later our youngtser was worn out. Couldn't blame her she hiked the whole thing. She complained of aching feet and legs. So we took 10 sec breaks every so often. And continued down in the dark with our flash light. My legs were tired and sore too, so I knew her tears was legit I held her hand the rest of the way as she kept asking if we were at the end of the trail yet? At one of our rest stops we dosed her with kid- Advil and kept going. Trying to stick to the trail and keep safe. In the canopy area it was dark. My Husband was lead with a thick 5 ft nature-given- longstick in hand and we stayed close together. Growing respect for nature really takes hold when your in the dark! Flashlight in hand, lighting our way we made it through; losing the trail 3 times just a few steps off to turn around and find it again we made it to the mossy glen. We were happy to see it to know we were almost out. We saw bats and millipedes and big black ants.. We did startle a medium size animal as we made it into the glen- it rustled quick back away from our direction ( couldn't see what it was).- we huddled close and kept going out at a faster rate. Seem to take forever to make it out. We had a good pace considering our daughter was tired. She was a trooper. What a relief to finally get to the Trail head and to see the tents and lights in Camp 4. The walk back to our starting point was such a relief. We made it back to our original starting point a little after 10 pm. We had promised our daughter a "real Resturant " meal after our hike but being after 10 - what was open... and being a Monday it was a ghost town as we walked back to our van. The only other vehicle on the road was a park Ranger (gave some relief) the lighst to the bus stop weren't even on. We hopped into our van and drove toward Yosemite Village (no luck - like I said ghost town) We drove to the Ahwahnee Hotel thinking since its a grand style hotel they must have something open late- right?! Luck served us up real well- their bar cafe closes at 11pm . We had 20 min left to order up our " real Resturant " meal. We all enjoyed it. My daughter ordered A hot dogitty - hot dog with chips, with hot coco, myself and my husband ordered the soup of the day: spinach and shrimp with a pastrami sandwich with chips & pork sandwich with chips, a Pepsi & root beer and blackberry cheesecake ( it was so late - it was a last call meal - everything on the table at once). ( We gave up on our organic veggies and natural food diet somewhere back on the dark trail ) this was a matter of principle we made the journey and we had promised our kid a real Resturant meal! Hahaha. We ate every last bite...well almost. We were exhausted and when we made it back to our campsite in Curry Village we were stoked! Showered and in bed after 2 am relieved and ecstatic at our accomplishments of the day! We have a new appreciation and respect for nature and all of its awesomeness. (Next time we start earlier!!! I wonder if our 21 yr old daughter [attending summer school at CSF and finals couldn't make this trip] will prove herself as good a show as our 7 year old daughter? Weather permitting. I think she will! To be continued.....

Sorry Kathryn, this was in

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Sorry Kathryn, this was in the spam catcher. That's quite a walk for a seven year old. Good for her!

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