Hikes in Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park protects nearly 1,200 square miles of stunning Sierra Nevada wilderness and draws approximately four million visitors each year. Tourists congregate in Yosemite Valley, a seven square mile sector that is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular places on the planet.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite Valley is hydrated by some of the tallest waterfalls in the world, including Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America at 2,425 feet, and Ribbon Fall, the longest single-drop waterfall in North America with an epic 1,612-foot plunge.
It is difficult to describe Yosemite’s magnificence without firing up the hyperbole generator. The waterfalls and granite domes are striking. Even seemingly average forests and meadows know to be a bit extra beautiful. John Muir, who fought for the park’s creation described Yosemite Valley this way:
It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter.
Yosemite Valley is a special place.
Yosemite National Park is very accessible. Even without hiking, the breathtaking views from drive-to overlooks like Tunnel View and Glacier Point, and easy footpaths like Bridalveil Fall Trail and Lower Yosemite Fall Trail create a memorable visit. The easiest way to get around Yosemite Valley is the free park shuttle. Leave your vehicle at Curry Village or the visitor center and use the shuttle loop to access trails and points of interest. It is very important to practice good bear safety at all times inside the park.
The park offers numerous campgrounds and unforgettable hikes, including the bucket-list worthy ascent on Half Dome. Beyond Yosemite Valley, a vast backcountry provides endless hiking away from the crowds.
Yosemite National Park Hiking
This collection of trails and viewpoints in Yosemite National Park lists these outings from north to south. The table may also be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you select your next trek. Each trail or viewpoint links to its own report complete with photos, maps, directions, and all the other information needed to locate and enjoy these destinations. Below the table is an interactive map, showing the location of each trail and attraction.
|150||Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and Wapama Falls|
This level hike tours a flooded valley to a thundering waterfall in the northwest corner of the park.
| 5 miles|
This short east hike visits a peaceful alpine lake in the high elevation region of Yosemite north of Yosemite Valley.
| 2.4 miles|
This easy hike visits a relaxing reflective pool on the east end of Yosemite Valley.
| 2 to 2.8 miles|
This epic hike climbs from Yosemite Valley to the top of the most iconic crest in the Yosemite landscape.
|190||The Mist Trail to Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall|
This exciting trail climbs the Merced River past two of Yosemite's prize waterfalls.
| 1.8 to 6.5 miles|
400 to 1,900 feet
This hike travels from Glacier Point down to Yosemite Valley in the most scenic way possible, ending with the Mist Trail.
|10 miles (one-way)|
This 7,214-foot overlook towers above Yosemite Valley and provides incredible drive-up views.
| 0.25 miles|
|210||Lower Yosemite Fall|
This electrifying loop delivers visitors to the base of the tallest waterfall in North America.
| 1.2 miles|
This out and back hike visits an overlook on the south wall of Yosemite Valley with fascinating rock fissures carved into the exposed granite.
| 4 miles|
This easy paved trail visits the base of a 620-foot single-drop waterfall on the south side of Yosemite Valley.
| 0.5 miles|
Pull the car over at this extraordinary must see viewpoint looking up Yosemite Valley.
This out and back hike begins near raucous cascades and ends atop a waterfall.
| 8 miles|
|250||Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias|
This hike explores the biggest trees in Yosemite, which can be seen on foot or by tram.
| 1.6 - 8 miles|
400 to 1,200 feet