Departing from the north edge of Yosemite Valley, the hike up to Columbia Rock ends at the ideal location to sit, catch your breath, unwind from the day, and take in the impressive views of the valley at sunset.
Short and steep, the hike up to Columbia Rock offers a less time consuming and less strenuous option than to climb the entire route to the top of Upper Yosemite Falls (with 2,600 feet of elevation gain), and you can get high enough above the valley floor to get an extensive view of Yosemite National Park's incredible geography. However, this short hike shouldn't be taken too casually. The trail has over three dozen switchbacks along the 1,000-foot ascent, and it's significantly steeper than Glacier Point's Four Mile Trail.
Once you've reached Columbia Rock, with sufficient time and ambition it's an additional 2.3 miles to the top of 1,430-foot Upper Yosemite Falls, and in our view going the full distance is worth the effort.