Yosemite National Park is home to some of the best hiking trails on the West Coast, with vistas that stretch across valleys and over mountains. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, these hiking trails will take you on the experience of a lifetime. Let’s get started!
Lower Yosemite Falls
The Lower Yosemite Falls trail is the perfect introduction to hiking in Yosemite National Park. The 2-mile round trip hike is mostly flat with a few small hills. And the best part is that you get to see the stunning Lower Yosemite Falls up close! The trailhead is located near Camp 4, so it’s easily accessible. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water. You’ll also want to bring sunscreen or an umbrella as well as insect repellent because mosquitos can be abundant during summer months.
The views are arguably better at Glacier Point, which can be completed in 20 minutes by hiking. And they will blow you away. It only gets better if you time your hike to be there at sunset.
Yosemite’s Glacier Point provides views of the valley, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and the high country, and is accessible by car from mid-May through late October or November. During the winter months of December through March, cross-country skiers can have this view after skiing 10.5 miles.
The paved, wheelchair-accessible trail leading to Glacier Point, 3,214 feet above Curry Village, on the floor of Yosemite Valley, begins at the Glacier Point parking and tour unloading area.
Tuolumne Meadows, one of the most well-known high-elevation meadows in the Sierra Nevada and at 8,600 feet above sea level, has been seen and observed by past, present, and future travelers, scientists, and people.
Due to the park roadway that runs along the south end of the meadow, from this point all the way to the south of Mt. Whitney, no other roads cross the High Sierra. As a result, this stretch of road marks the northern boundary of the continental United States’ largest continuous roadless wilderness.
The Tuolumne River gently wanders through Tuolumne Meadows, tumbling over granite riverbeds against a stunning mountain-top backdrop. Congress has since declared the river wild and scenic in 1984. It starts at the high country of the east side of the park.
The Mariposa Grove is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Yosemite National Park. The grove contains over 500 giant sequoias, some of which are over 2,000 years old. The grove is also home to many smaller trees and plants, as well as wildlife. The best time to hike the Mariposa Grove is in the spring or fall, when the crowds are smaller and the weather is cooler. There are several trails that wind through the grove, and each offers a different perspective of these magnificent trees. You can take a self-guided walk or explore on your own by taking a map from the ranger station.