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.

Highlights of Yosemite National Park

  • This nearly 10-mile long hike travels from Glacier Point down to Yosemite Valley in the most scenic way possible, ending with the Mist Trail.
  • This epic 16-mile hike climbs from Yosemite Valley to the top of the most iconic crest in Yosemite National Park.
  • This impressive hike of 3.5 to 7.1 miles round trip passes Columbia Rock to attain unforgettable views of Upper Yosemite Fall.
  • Pull the car over at this extraordinary must see viewpoint looking up Yosemite Valley.
  • This 1.2-mile loop takes visitors to the base of the tallest waterfall in North America, an electrifying Yosemite National Park feature.
  • This paved 0.5-mile hike visits the base of a 620-foot single-drop waterfall on the south side of Yosemite Valley.
  • This 2 to 2.8-mile hike visits a relaxing reflective pool on the east end of Yosemite Valley.
  • This 1.8 to 6.1-mile hike follows an exciting trail up the Merced River to Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall, two of Yosemite National Park's prize waterfalls.
  • This 0.25-mile walk reaches a 7,214-foot overlook that provides incredible views across Yosemite Valley.
  • This 1.8 to 8-mile hike explores a giant sequoia grove in Yosemite National Park, which can be seen on foot or by tram.
  • This 5-mile hike tours a flooded valley to a thundering waterfall in the northwest corner of Yosemite National Park.

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.

Yosemite Valley is home to unforgettable hikes, including the bucket-list worthy ascent of Half Dome. Beyond Yosemite Valley, a vast backcountry provides endless hiking away from the crowds.

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 real hiking, the breathtaking views from drive-to overlooks like Tunnel View, Glacier Point, and Washburn Point, along with easy (you can wear sneakers) trails like Happy Isles, Bridalveil Fall Trail, and Lower Yosemite Fall Trail are enough to create a memorable trip itinerary.

The easiest way to get around Yosemite Valley is the free park shuttle. Leave your vehicle at Yosemite Village and use the shuttle loop to move around to different trails and points of interest. It is very important to practice good bear safety at all times inside the park.

Where to stay

Yosemite National Park has numerous campgrounds as well as hotels and other lodging like Housekeeping Camp.

Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Falls from Yosemite Valley

Yosemite National Park Hiking

This collection of trails and viewpoints in Yosemite National Park lists 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 a full report 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.

Trail
Description
Distance
Location
Hetch Hetchy Wapama Falls150Hetch 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
200 feet
37.946905,
-119.787376
Yosemite May Lake160May Lake
This short east hike visits a peaceful alpine lake in the high elevation region of Yosemite north of Yosemite Valley.
2.4 miles
475 feet
37.832633,
-119.49118
Yosemite Mirror Lake170Mirror Lake
This easy hike visits a relaxing reflective pool on the east end of Yosemite Valley.
2 to 2.8 miles
100 feet
37.739208,
-119.56015
Happy Isles Yosemite177Happy Isles
This short, easy hike explores a pair of islands in the Merced River at the east end of Yosemite Valley.
0.75 miles
50 feet
37.7324,
-119.5598
Yosemite Half Dome180Half Dome
This epic hike climbs from Yosemite Valley to the top of the most iconic crest in the Yosemite landscape.
16 miles
4,800 feet
37.732567,
-119.558282
Yosemite Mist Trail190The 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 6.1 miles
400 to 1,925 feet
37.732567,
-119.558282
Panorama Trail Yosemite200Panorama Trail
This hike travels from Glacier Point down to Yosemite Valley in the most scenic way possible, ending with the Mist Trail.
9.4 miles (one-way)
3,200 feet
37.727942,
-119.573476
Glacier Point205Glacier Point
This 7,214-foot overlook towers above Yosemite Valley and provides incredible drive-up views.
0.5 miles
50 feet
37.727103,
-119.574456
Washburn Point206Washburn Point
This Glacier Point adjacent overlook offers views of Half Dome, Vernal and Nevada Falls, and mountains in the Clark Range.
0 miles37.7204,
-119.5730
Columbia Rock207Columbia Rock
This hike up the start of Yosemite Falls Trail reaches a perch with a sweeping perspective across Yosemite Valley that.
2.2 miles
985 feet
37.7423,
-119.6021
Yosemite Falls Trail208Yosemite Falls Trail
This hike rises above Columbia Rock to attain unforgettable views of Upper Yosemite Fall.
3.5 to 7.1 miles
1,210 to 2,715 feet
37.7423,
-119.6021
Lower Yosemite Fall210Lower Yosemite Fall
This electrifying loop delivers visitors to the base of the tallest waterfall in North America.
1.2 miles
100 feet
37.745347,
-119.594777
Yosemite Taft Point220Taft Point
This out and back hike visits an overlook on the south wall of Yosemite Valley with fascinating rock fissures carved into the exposed granite.
2 miles
250 feet
37.7126,
-119.586318
Bridalveil Fall230Bridalveil Fall
This easy paved trail visits the base of a 620-foot single-drop waterfall on the south side of Yosemite Valley.
0.5 miles
50 feet
37.7168,
-119.651
Wildcat Falls233Wildcat Falls
This short path finds a secluded cascade along El Portal Road near the Arch Rock Entrance of Yosemite National Park.
0.15 miles
15 feet
37.7215,
-119.7151
Tunnel View235Tunnel View
Pull the car over at this extraordinary must see viewpoint looking up Yosemite Valley.
0 miles37.715476,
-119.67678
Chilnualna Falls240Chilnualna Falls
This out and back hike begins near raucous cascades and ends atop a waterfall.
8 miles
2,200 feet
37.54839,
-119.63369
Wawona Swinging Bridge Trail243Wawona Swinging Bridge
This hike leads to a suspension bridge spanning a charming stretch of the South Fork Merced River in the Wawona Area of Yosemite National Park.
0.8 to 1.4 miles
40 to 70 feet
37.54637,
-119.63015
Wawona Meadow Loop Trail245Wawona Meadow Loop Trail
This gentle hike passes through forest encircling a verdant, mostly-natural meadow near Wawona Hotel at the south end of Yosemite National Park.
3.9 miles
250 feet
37.53441,
-119.6499
Mariposa Grove250Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
This hike explores the biggest trees in Yosemite, which can be seen on foot or by tram.
1.6 to 8 miles
400 to 1,200 feet
37.501462,
-119.610862
View Sierra Nevada trails and campground in a larger map
Or explore hikes around Yosemite National Park on the Hike Finder Map
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Columbia Rock Yosemite National Park Columbia Rock Viewpoint Yosemite Falls Trail Hike Yosemite Valley California
Yosemite Valley looks great from the bottom up, the top down, and even the middle out. For this neither-up-nor-down view over Yosemite Valley, visit Columbia Rock, a viewpoint on Yosemite Falls Trail perched about thousand feet up the north wall of Yosemite Valley. The hike from Camp 4 up to Columbia Rock is 2.2 miles round trip with 985 feet of elevation change. Of course, continuing up... Read more.
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Tagged with · National Parks · Yosemite Valley
Distance: 2.2 miles · Elevation change: 985 feet
By: Published: Last updated: January 31, 2018
Washburn Point Overlook Glacier Point Road Viewpoint Yosemite National Park California
Glacier Point is probably the most incredibly viewpoint in Yosemite National Park (rivaled closely by Tunnel View), but it isn't the only viewpoint along Glacier Point Road. Washburn Point is located 3/4 of a miles from the end of Glacier Point Road, south of Glacier Point. Its vistas are similar to Glacier Point, and since you have to pass Washburn Point to get out to Glacier Point, it's... Read more.
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By: Published: Last updated: January 30, 2018
Wildcat Falls Trail Yosemite National Park Wildcat Creek Falls Path Waterfall Hike California
Is it possible to have a Yosemite National Park waterfall all to yourself? Yes! The odds of waterfall solitude are pretty low when you go to Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Fall, or Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall along the Mist Trail, but unheralded Wildcat Falls is different. Although this multi-tier waterfall is about 650 feet tall, only the bottom 50-foot tall cascade at the base of Wildcat Falls... Read more.
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Tagged with · National Parks · Waterfalls
Distance: 0.15 miles · Elevation change: 15 feet
By: Published: Last updated: January 30, 2018
Yosemite Falls Trail Yosemite National Park Upper Yosemite Fall Hike Yosemite Valley California
Yosemite Falls is incredibly beautiful and incredibly big. It is the tallest waterfall in North America, the 5th tallest waterfall in the world, and a star along the north wall of Yosemite Valley. Hiking to Yosemite Falls is one of the greatest things visitors can do in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Falls drops a total of 2,425 feet, beginning with the cliff-leaping 1,430-foot Upper... Read more.
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Tagged with · National Parks · Waterfalls · Yosemite Valley
Distance: 7 miles · Elevation change: 2715 feet
By: Published: Last updated: January 31, 2018
Housekeeping Camp Yosemite National Park Lodging Accommodations Yosemite Valley California
Yosemite National Park receives four million visitors per year, filling the park's campgrounds and hotels. When all the campsites are reserved and the hotels have no vacancies (or list prices that are uncomfortably high), consider a middle option provided at Housekeeping Camp in the middle of Yosemite Valley. Housekeeping Camp offers 3-walled units with canvas roofs and flaps – imagine... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: April 20, 2018