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Upper Yosemite Falls to North Dome

Intermediate

Trail

4.2 mile 6.8 kilometer point to point
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,337' 407 m
Descent: -433' -132 m
High: 7,596' 2,315 m
Low: 6,639' 2,024 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 28% (16°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by David Hitchcock

A North Rim hike with breathtaking views of the valley and surrounding peaks.

David Hitchcock

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall

Closed only if you can't get to the North Rim in the snow. Otherwise, the trail is yours all year round, although you may need snowshoes in the winter or early spring.

Need to Know

Great views exist along the North Rim. Most of the hiking along the North Rim necessitates backpacking for at least one night, so make sure you have enough supplies. Some of the creeks along the North Rim dry up in the summer, so make sure you have enough water for your hike.

Description

The trail starts at the top of Yosemite Falls and makes it way to North Dome with views of Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Valley, and major peaks like Clouds Rest, Half Dome, Sentinel Dome, and Glacier Point.

You have a couple of options to get to the starting point. You can hike up from the Valley via the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail or hike in from Tioga Road via the Yosemite Creek Trail. Another alternative is to hike in from Big Oak Flat Road on the North Rim trail, a trail that takes you to the top of El Capitan and Eagle Peak before reaching Yosemite Falls.

Your trail begins at the top of Yosemite Falls, so make sure you take in Yosemite Creek as it plunges over the edge of the North Rim. If it's spring, the roar of the water as it plunges over the edge is breathtaking. Once you've taken in the view from the precipice, cross the footbridge over Yosemite Falls Creek. This is a good place to fill your water bottles, but make sure you don't slip and fall in as it's a short trip to a long drop. Follow a series of switchbacks until you reach the metal railing at Yosemite Point. Off to your right, you'll see Lost Arrow, where you may catch climbers slack-lining from the rim to the top of the rock. Directly below you is Yosemite Village and off to your left is Half Dome, Glacier Point, and Clouds Rest.

You start up a crest and encounter boulders that are worth climbing around on. The trail descends into a forest of white furs and Jeffrey pines before it bottoms out in a red-fir gully. Indian Canyon Creek provides a chance to get water before you start climbing out of the canyon. Other creeks on the rim routinely dry up, especially in late July and August.

Once you pass Indian Canyon Creek, the trail begins climbing until you encounter the Lehamite Creek Trail, a trail that leads to Tioga Road. The trail continues straight ahead as it climbs, steeply at times, over a ridge and then descends to Royal Arch Creek, another seasonal creek. A series of switchbacks carries the trail to the top of Indian Ridge. At this point, Half Dome looms large in front of you and North Dome is down the hill from this junction with Porcupine Creek - North Dome Trail.

You should make the side trip to the top of North Dome to take in the views. Your other choices require you going to the left and follow the Porcupine Creek - North Dome Trail. You can follow this all the way back to Tioga Road, or you can follow the trail until the Snow Creek breaks off to the right.

Flora & Fauna

Jeffrey pine, red-fir, and white fir trees are found throughout the trail.

Deer, bear, ground squirrels, and mountain quail have been seen in the area.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible

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Contacts

Land Manager: NPS - Yosemite

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Check-Ins

Sep 1, 2019
Lisa Roach
Day 2, Part 2 with Colleen, Nichole, and Christine
Jun 30, 2019
Ryan Russell
Aug 27, 2018
Marc Daniel
Long day after half Dome and Yosemite falls hike
Aug 27, 2015
Randy Bertoli
5mi

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 4 votes

#16215

Overall
  3.8 from 4 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
25%
3 Star
50%
2 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#1,708

in California

#16,215

Overall
85 Views Last Month
4,495 Since Feb 2, 2016
Intermediate

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Photos

Looking toward Half Dome, North Dome, and Clouds Rest, as well as Mount Starr King and the high country in the background.
Feb 3, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Looking toward the Merced and Tenaya Caynon drainages, with Yosemite Valley stretching below.
Feb 3, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Glacier Point and Sentinel Dome from Yosemite Point.
Feb 3, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Yosemite Creek right before it turns into Upper Yosemite Falls.
Mar 19, 2019 near Yosemit…, CA
Yosemite Creek as it makes it way to Rim where it plunges over the edge.
Feb 3, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA
Boulders with outstanding views!
Feb 3, 2016 near Yosemit…, CA

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