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Yosemite Mariposa County, home of Yosemite National Park, welcomes visitors to experience majestic Yosemite in all four seasons. Experience the best hikes in Yosemite as you explore awe-inspiring vistas, granite icons, breathtaking waterfalls, and fascinating history while staying in Mariposa County.
There is no better way to get up close and experience Yosemite Mariposa County and the Sierra wilderness than by setting out on foot and discovering what some of the best Yosemite hikes have to offer, and maybe explore some great trails outside of the park too. When you slow down and commune with nature, you see things you might otherwise miss. Whether you are looking for a one of our day hikes or a backpacking trail through Mariposa, nothing feels quite like the satisfaction you experience when you ascend your final switchback and reach the wide-open vantage points that overlook the Yosemite Valley like Glacier Point, Upper Yosemite Fall and Artist Point.
Photo credit from Top Left: @alphawanderlust, @jared_mcdonald_, @jdcrispphotography, @yosemite_shelton
With more than 1,000 square miles to explore in Yosemite National Park, chances are you are only a stone’s throw away from a great Yosemite hike.
While the most popular hikes in Yosemite are well known such as the Half Dome Cable Hike (where you can combine two iconic hikes by taking the Mist Trail to see Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls before hitting Yosemite’s most iconic rock face), there are many lesser-known Yosemite hikes that boast some of the best views, vistas, fascinating history and granite icons that can only be experienced by lacing up those hiking boots and taking on the stunning Yosemite Valley and wild Yosemite wilderness.
You never know what you’ll find when you venture off the beaten path. No matter the season, there’s always something else to discover at Yosemite National Park.
Visitors to Yosemite National Park will find the right trail no matter what kind of hiker they may be. From mild treks to tough terrain, there is a trail for every level of hiker.
A good pair of walking shoes paired with a map of Yosemite and Mariposa County will put you ahead of the game when it comes to visiting this iconic national treasure and the surrounding areas. The county includes not only Yosemite, but many other places worthy of exploration like the Sierra National Forest, the Merced River Recreation Management Area, Coulterville, Mariposa, Fish Camp and Wawona to name a few.
Hike the trails less traveled or knock off some of the most popular hikes in Yosemite from your bucket list. Let Yosemite Mariposa County help you plan your visit to the Yosemite Valley so you can get the most out of your experience.
Ready to get started? Check out the best time to visit Yosemite.
Photo credit: @t0nypham
Yosemite Mariposa offers what could be the widest variety of hikes in California. Whether it’s a slow amble through the wildflowers while the kids chase butterflies or a solo climb up the granite switchbacks as clouds pass beneath you, there’s a trail for everyone regardless of age or ability.
Looking for a challenge? Check out these five Yosemite day hikes that are more than worth the miles. Pack up and go for it!
Interesting and scenic trails continue beyond the Yosemite National Park border. If you’re looking for quiet trails and the path less traveled, be sure to explore some of these hiking trails just outside Yosemite.
Fall is one of the best times for hiking in Yosemite Mariposa County. Read our blog to find the best Yosemite hikes for fall.
Just because its winter doesn’t mean you can’t explore the breath-taking scenery at Yosemite National Park and Mariposa County.
Get excited about spring in Yosemite Mariposa County! With all there is to see and do, start planning your trip with these ideas for 5 days of spring fun.
It’s just a short walk to the base of Lower Yosemite Fall with marvelous views along the way.
When Yosemite Falls is flowing, no trip to Yosemite is complete without a quick loop around the Lower Yosemite Falls Trail to stand on the bridge at the base of the waterfall. At just 1 mile (1.6 km) long, this short day-hike is stroller friendly, open to leashed pets, and accessible year-round.
You don’t have to make it to the top of the Yosemite Falls Trail to enjoy incredible waterfall views. This view of Upper Yosemite Fall is less than halfway to the top.
The trail to the top of Upper Yosemite Falls is a steep, and sun-drenched Yosemite classic, one of the most popular Yosemite day hikes when the waterfalls are flowing. It’s about 7.6 miles round trip (12 km) and filled with scenic views looking down into Yosemite Valley.
The 360 view from the summit of Sentinel Dome includes Half Dome and the high sierra. Photo: Nancy Robbins
By visiting both Sentinel Dome and Taft Point in a single loop, you combine the sights from two shorter out-and-back trips with an incredibly scenic connector trail that runs along the rim of Yosemite Valley. From the summit of Sentinel Dome with its views of Half Dome, and a 360 panorama of the Sierra Nevada, to the scenic fissures and dizzying drops at Taft Point, there is lot to see on this loop.
The loop is roughly 5.5 miles (8.9 km) with just over 1000 ft (305 m) of elevation gain/loss. You can also break this into two trips – each about 2.2 miles (3.5 km) round-trip from the trailhead to each destination separately.
Note: The Glacier Point Road is closed for the 2022 season, and these trails are only accessible with a much longer hike from the Valley Floor.
You’ll come across many scenic vantage points on the way to Glacier Point when you hike the Four Mile Trail. This view has the flat face of Sentinel Rock on the left and El Capitan in the distance on the right.
You might think, given the trail’s name, that you’d be in for a 4 mile long hike, and you’d be almost right. The Four Mile Trail is 4.8 miles (7.7 km) long one way, and climbs from the valley floor near the base of Sentinel Rock to Glacier Point Road – an elevation gain of 3,200 ft (975 m).
This scene tempts many Yosemite hikers. May Lake with Mount Hoffmann towering above.
Follow the May Lake Trail through Yosemite’s high-country scenery to a clear alpine lake set at the base of Mount Hoffmann. At only 2.4 miles (3.9 km) round-trip to May Lake this is a relatively gentle introduction to Yosemite’s high country.
For those looking for a bigger challenge, an unofficial trail leads to the summit of Mount Hoffmann with views that look out from roughly the geological center of Yosemite National Park. If you want to climb Mount Hoffmann as well, prepare for a total of 6 miles (9.6 km) round trip and 2000 feet (600 m) of elevation gain.
The Bridalveil Fall Trail is one of the most popular easy hikes in Yosemite Valley. It’s just a short walk to stand beneath a Yosemite waterfall that runs year-round. When the water flows are at their highest in spring, prepared to be drenched by the spray from Bridalveil Fall – some people bring rain gear.
Note: The parking area and trail are currently being rehabilitated, and are expected to re-open to the public in 2023 with improved restrooms and overall visitor experience.