Yosemite Hiking

To experience some of the greatest outdoor activities, come to Yosemite. Hiking trails through this beautiful area are endless and vary from easy to difficult. Those who have visited Yosemite already know that hiking is its crowned gem. There truly is no other hiking like it in the country. Experience for yourself all that Yosemite has to offer and take advantage of the available Yosemite hiking.

Check out the trail charts below for more information on Yosemite hiking.

Yosemite Valley Hikes - View Hiking Map

Trail Difficulty Distance Time Description Starting Point
Bridalveil Fall Easy .5 miles 20 min Hike/walk on a paved trail to this 600 foot waterfall. Expect to get lighted sprayed by the mist of the waterfall. Bridal Falls Parking Area
Lower Yosemite Falls Easy 1 mile 30 min Provides views of both lower and upper Yosemite Falls - the falls are often dry from Aug-Oct. Yosemite Falls Shuttle Stop #7
Cook's Meadow Loop Easy 1 mile 30 min Provides views of Half Dome, Glacier Point, and Royal Arches  
Mirror Lake/Meadow Easy 2 miles 1 hour This paved trail leads to Mirror Lake. This is a good location to spot wildlife. Mirror Lake Shuttle Stop # 17
Valley Floor Loop - 1/2 Loop Moderate 6.5 miles 2.5 - 3.5 hours This loop crosses the Merced River on El Capitan Bridge. Yosemite Falls Shuttle Stop #7
Valley Floor Loop - Full Loop Difficult 13 miles 5-7 hours Hike through meadows, forests, and along the Merced River. Enjoy views of Sentinel Rock, Cathedral Rocks, El Capitan, Three Brothers, Bridalveil Fall, and Yosemite Falls. Yosemite Falls Shuttle Stop #7
Vernal Fall - Footbridge 1/2 Hike Moderate to Difficult 1.6 miles 1.5 hours Hike to the footbridge of Vernal Falls Waterfall for a beautiful view of the 317 ft waterfall. Trail is most uphill with 400 ft elevation gain. Continue on to hike the entire trail. Happy Isle Shuttle Stop #16
Vernal Falls - Full Hike Difficult 3 miles 3 hours Continue on from the Vernal Fall Footbridge until you climb all the way to the top of the waterfall up a steep granite trail way with a 1,000 ft elevation gain. Spectacular views. Happy Isle Shuttle Stop #16
Half Dome Very Difficult 14-16 miles 10-14 hours Climb straight up a 4,700 ft granite dome. The last 400 ft is so steep that you need to climb up cable ropes provided. There are not words to describe to view of Yosemite Valley from the top. Hike is often very crowded on weekends and holidays. East end of Yosemite Valley - Follow signs to Curry Village and then to the trailhead

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Sequoia Groves Hikes

Trail Difficulty Distance Time Description Starting Point
Mariposa Grove - Grizzly Giant Easy 1.6 miles 1 hour Hike throughout the largest and most popular grove of sequoias in the park with two of its tree among the 25 largest sequoias in the whole world. Mariposa Grove parking area; main entrance
Mariposa Grove - Wawona Point Moderate 6 miles 3 hours Hike beyond the Grizzly Giant and California Tunnel Tree toward the Galen Clark to Wawona Point Far end of Mariposa Grove parking area
Tuolumne Grove Moderate 2.5 miles 1.5-2.5 hours Hike past giant sequoia trees in a more secluded atmosphere South end of park near Crane Flat
Merced Grove Moderate 3 miles 2-4 hours   Take 120 north of Yosemite Valley 13.5 miles to the well-marked trailhead
Nelder Grove Easy 1 mile .5-1 hours Most secluded grove 20 min outside of the park. Have the park all to yourself. Off of Road 632 south of the park

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Hetchy Hetchy Hikes - View Information and Map

Trail Difficulty Distance Time Description Starting Point
Lookout Point Moderate 12 miles 1 hour Hike up to a beautiful viewpoint overlooking Hetch Hetchy Valley Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station
Wapama Falls Easy 5 miles 2-4 hours Hike right to the bottom of Wapama Falls O'Shaugnessy Dam
Rancheria Falls Moderate 13.4 miles 6-8 hours This trail continues past Wapama Falls to Rancheria Falls. O'Shaugnessy Dam
Smith Peak Difficult 13.5 miles 6-8 hours Hike through forests and meadows to Smith Peak for great views of Hetchy Hetchy. Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station
Poopenaut Valley Difficult 3 miles 2 hours Descend 1,229 feet down to the Tuolumne River below O'Shaughnessy Dam. 4 miles east of the Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station -small turnout on the right

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Tuolumne Meadows Hikes - View Hiking Information

Trail Difficulty Distance Time Description Starting Point
Soda Springs and Parsons Lodge Easy 1.5 miles 1 hour Walk past Soda Springs where water bubbles out of the ground and on to Parsons Memorial Lodge and the Tuolumne Meadows Visitors Center. Lembert Dome parking / Shuttle Stop #4
Lyell Canyon via the John Muir Trail Easy/Moderate 8 miles 4 hours Walk along to Tuolumne River and through Lyell Canyon. Pass by several creeks. 200 ft elevation gain. Dog Lake parking area / Shuttle Stop #2
Elizabeth Lake Moderate 4.8 miles 4-5 hours Climb steadily to a glacier-carved lake at the base of Unicorn Peak - 1000 ft elevation gain. Tuolumne Meadows Campground - group camp area
Gaylor Lakes Moderate 2 miles 2 hours This hike offers some of the most spectacular high-country views off of Tioga Road. Enjoy views of the mountains and then drop down past Middle Gaylor Lake. 500 ft elevation gain. Tioga Pass Entrance Station
Cathedral Lakes Moderate 7 miles 4-6 hours This is one of the busiest trails in the area. Hike up to Upper and Lower Cathedral Lakes. 1000 ft elevation gain. Cathedral Lakes trailhead - 1/2 mile west of Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center / Shuttle Stop #7
Mono Pass Moderate 8 miles 4-6 hours With a 1,000 ft elevation gain climb up to an elevation of 10,600 ft through meadows and creeks for a spectacular view of Mono Lake and Bloody Canyon. Mono Pass trailhead - on Tioga Road six miles east of Tuolumne Meadows
Dog Lake Moderate 2.8 miles 3 hours Hike up and around Dog Lake. You can hike both Dog Lake and Lembert Dome in 4 hours. 600 ft elevation gain. Dog Lake parking area / Shuttle Stop #2 - just west of Tuolumne Meadows Lodge
Lembert Dome Moderate 2.8 miles 3 hours Hike up to Lembert Dome for a spectacular view of the Tuolumne Meadows – 850 ft elevation gain. Dog Lake parking area / Shuttle Stop #2 - just west of Tuolumne Meadows Lodge

Glacier Point Road

Trail Difficulty Distance Time Description Starting Point
Bridalveil Creek Moderate 4 miles 2-3 hours Hike past the old cabin that belonged to John McGurk. This path usually has beautiful wildflowers. McGurk Meadow trailhead .2 miles west of Bridalveil Creek Campground turnoff
Dewey Point Moderate 7 miles 3-4 hours Just past John McGurk’s cabin go west. McGurk Meadow trailhead
Sentinal Dome or Taft Point Moderate 2.2 miles 2-3 hours Enjoy walking through meadows of wildflower, forests, and trails with magnificent views of Yosemite Valley. Take the Sentinal trail to climb dome for a panoramic view. Sentinel Dome/Taft Point trailhead - 6 miles east of Bridalveil Creek Campground turnoff
Mono Meadow and Mount Starr King Difficult 3 miles 2-3 hours Hike steeply to Mono Meadow for great views of Clark Range, Mount Starr King, and Half Dome. The hike is very wet and muddy and crosses logs over many creeks. Mono Meadow parking area - 2.5 miles east of Bridalveil Creek Campground turnoff
Ostrander Lake Difficult 12.7 miles 8-10 hours Hike up a steep 1,500 foot elevation gain to beautiful views of Yosemite Valley domes, Mount Starr King, and the Clark Range. Continue on to Ostrander Lake. Ostrander Lake trailhead - 1.3 miles east of Bridalveil Creek Campground turnoff
Glacier Point – 4 Mile Trail Difficult 4.8 miles 4 hours This hike switchbacks down to Yosemite Valley, providing wonderful views of the Valley. Glacier Point – recommended to take hikers bus there
Glacier Point – Panorama Trail Difficult 8.5 miles 6-8 hours Provides a close-up view of Illilouette Fall and panoramic views of eastern Yosemite Valley and then goes on past Vernal and Nevada Falls Glacier Point – recommended to take hikers bus there