Columbia Rock Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
1.5-2h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
3.1 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
297 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

Climb up the sheer cliffside of Yosemite Valley on the Columbia Rock Trail. This epic excursion ascents the vertigo-inducing terrain to Columbia Rock, which exhibits breathtaking panoramas of Half Dome and Yosemite Valley below. If you are not afraid of heights, then this trek is a must!

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Route Description for Columbia Rock Trail

The Columbia Rock Trail is a strenuous climb up the granite walls of Yosemite Canyon. Hike up the steep terrain to the epic overlook which boasts awe-inspiring vistas. Hike the granite path through the shade of mixed pines, all while ogling in the dramatic landscape. Be sure to stay on the marked path, as sections of the rocky trail are steep and dangerous. A pair of sturdy footwear is a must, and trekking poles may prove useful on the climb down. If you take the park’s shuttle, hop off at stop #7. Note: the National Park charges an entrance fee; refer to the NPS website for additional information.

Embark on your adventure along the Columbia Rock Trail from the Upper Yosemite Falls Trailhead off Northside Drive. Setting out from the trailhead, track the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail northwest and up a set of intense switchbacks. After navigating the winding route, the path will redirect you east. Mind your footing as you maneuver the single-track path to Columbia Rock.

From Columbia Rock, you will be rewarded with sweeping views of Yosemite Valley and granite peaks of the Sierra Nevada Range. Revel in the views of Glacier Point, Half Dome, and North Dome. Admire the knee-buckling views and, if you have any gas left in the tank, continue hiking a bit further to the Yosemite Falls Overlook. If not, retrace your footing down the path back to the trailhead.

Getting to the Columbia Rock Trail Trailhead

The Columbia Rock Trail departs from the Upper Yosemite Falls Trailhead in Camp 4 off Northside Drive.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    Year-round

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Extreme

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Columbia Rock Trail Elevation Graph

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