The highest waterfall in North America, Yosemite Falls: The way up.

One of Yosemite’s oldest historic trails (built 1873 to 1877), the Upper Yosemite Fall trail leads to the top of North America’s tallest waterfall 2,425 feet (739 m) above the valley floor. Do not stray off the marked path, as you will find steep drops adjacent to the trail. Enjoy spectacular views…

7.2 miles/ 11.6 km round-trip; 6 to 8 hours; 2,700 ft/823 m elevation gain.

So read the pamphlet, which we read after our seven hour hike. When we started, we were expecting a short, leisurely ascent to some near destination to get warmed up for a larger hike the next day, but the trail continued, so we followed it, switchback, after switchback, after switchback, after switchback, after an endless number of switchbacks. Some areas were rocky, some were rooted, some dried earth. Smaller falls trickled across the trail at points, and the closer we got to the summit, which sometimes seemed to get further away, the more snow showed up on the sides of the trail. It was a long way up.

On the way, I shot mostly with an old (borrowed) Leica mini-zoom point-and-shoot loaded with the cheapest Fuji color film I could find, and sparingly with the medium-format Bronica I used the rest of the trip loaded with Fuji Pro 400H, mostly as documents. I’ll start with an overview shot of the Yosemite Valley, (it’s an iconic landscape, so you may recognize it), and then get into the falls, and the hike.

On the valley floor.

Rocky trail.
Rooted trail.
One of those “almost at the top” moments. We were about half way.

Me taking a breather. I’ve let myself go a little bit in the last couple of years.
Sandy trail.

The next post, which you can see by clicking here, contains the summit, and some images from the roll of b/w film I shot there.

7 thoughts on “The highest waterfall in North America, Yosemite Falls: The way up.

  1. Beautiful photos, James…and I’ve made some seven and eight mile hikes…always a joy to reach the summit or destination. Thank you for sharing the rewards of your efforts.

  2. Ah, these are great, man. And I’m completely taken with the ‘nostalgic’ quality of the film you got here…Seriously, this is exactly why I love film so much, and thanks for reminding me as one sometimes can forget, well, you know what I mean.

    1. It was a lot of fun. Thanks a lot Helen. Also, I think I remember you mentioning that you were getting a zenfolio page? If I’m not mistaking you for someone else, how has it been treating you so far – and have you seen how their print orders look?

      1. Hello, Yes I have a new Zenfolio website, which I am still very pleased with, it is so easy to maintain and only takes a few minutes to upload and drop in some new images. No sales, but I like having a place to showcase my best work. I think with Zenfolio they have lots of printing studios depending where you are. Here in the UK, I selected One Vision imaging as my preferred printers and I have seen their products at an international exhibition recently and the standard was very good. Hope that helps…:)

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