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Guide to Hiking in Yosemite

Discover hiking tips, preseason lottery information and more

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More than 800 miles of trails

The Best Hikes In Yosemite and Mariposa County

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.

More of the Best Hikes In Yosemite

Lower Yosemite Falls Trail

Lower Yosemite Fall

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.

Upper Yosemite Falls Trail

Upper Yosemite Falls trail

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.

Sentinel Dome Trail And Taft Point Loop

HIkers at the top of Sentinel Dome

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.

Four Mile Trail

View from the Four Mile Trail in Yosemite

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).

May Lake Trail and Mount Hoffmann

May Lake and Mount Hoffmann

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.

Bridalveil Fall Trail

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.

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