– Carry water!!!
– Wear non-skid hiking shoes or boots.
– Stay on the trails!
– Bring a small lightweight backpack to carry your water and snacks or a lunch.
– Dogs & other pets are allowed on trails only on the floor of Yosemite Valley and they must be on a leash at all times.
– Bicycles are not allowed on the hiking trails and must stay on the roads and bike trails.
– Smoking on the trails is prohibited.
– Carry out all your trash.
– A wilderness permit is required for any overnight stay in Yosemite’s backcountry. Wilderness permits can be obtained at the Wilderness Center next to the Valley Visitor Center.
Visit our partner, Yosemite Family Adventures and make sure to maximize your Yosemite hiking experience with a custom hiking tour. With over 800 miles of trails in the park, there are many wonderful hikes to enjoy during your stay at Yosemite’s Enchanted Forest. Your Yosemite hiking guide will customize the perfect hiking experience for your experience level and personal requests.
Distance: ¾ from the Valley Visitor Center to the base of Lower Yosemite Fall; ¼ from Yosemite Fall Shuttle Bus Stop to the base of fall.
Average Hiking Time: 1 hour round trip from the Valley Visitor Center; 20 minute round trip from the Yosemite Valley shuttle bus stop.
Description: Walkers should follow the bike path from the Valley Visitor Center to the Yosemite Fall parking area and shuttlebus stop.
Distance: 3.6 miles from Sunnyside Campground to the top of Yosemite Fall.
Average Hiking Time: 6 to 8 hour roundtrip.
Difficulty: Strenuous, very steep with lots of switchbacks. 2700 foot elevation gain.
Description: One of Yosemite’s trails, built in the 1870’s. This trail leads to the top of world’s third highest waterfalls. This hike is absolutely beautiful! It has the most incredible view of the valley and the falls, but don’t attempt it unless you’re in decent shape. Start the hike early in the morning, like 7am (if you plan on going all the way to the top). Bring your lunch! This is an all day hike. Carry Water!
Distance: 1.5 miles to the top of Vernal Falls; 3.4 miles to the top of Nevada Falls.
Average Hiking Time: 2 to 4 hours roundtrip to Vernal Fall; 6 to 8 hours roundtrip to Nevada Fall.
Difficulty: Moderate the first mile or to the bridge at the base of the fall. It gets strenuous toward the top of each fall.
Starting Point: Happy Isles Bridge. Walk or take the shuttle bus to Happy Isles. Walk upstream to the bridge.
Description: The trail is the start of the famous 211 mile John Muir Trail to Mt. Whitney in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. From the Happy Isles Bridge the trail ascends 400 feet in .8 miles to the Vernal Fall Bridge, where there is a fantastic view of Vernal Fall. From the bridge to the top of Vernal Fall you follow the Mist Trail. It is somewhat strenuous, a .7 mile hike up a rock stairway of over 500 steps. The trail can get very wet and slippery in spring and summer. Some people wear plastic ponchos. Use the guard rails where they are provided and don’t get to close to the water! (This current will take you away) To reach the top of Nevada Fall, go up the switchbacks to the top of the fall. This is absolutely breathtaking! You’ll want to relax for a while and enjoy the beauty. Bring a picnic.
(Half Dome cables are down approximately October – May
Distance: 16.8 miles roundtrip.
Average Hiking Time: 10 to 12 hours roundtrip.
Difficulty: Steep and long.
Starting Point: Happy Isles Bridge
Description: Take the Mist Trail or the horse trail to the top of Nevada Fall. At the top of Nevada Fall, take the trail along the Merced River toward Little Yosemite and Half Dome. (4.5 miles of climbing to the top from the top of Nevada Fall) The last 900 ft. to the top of Half Dome is very steep. Climb up the east side of the granite dome. A cable trailway consisting of 2 steel ropes about 3 feet apart set in the rock rises 400 feet vertically. Do not start this climb if the cables are down or if there is a chance of rain, which will make the granite very slippery and unsafe. The top of Half Dome is a very large open surface.
(closed in winter)
Distance: 8.5 miles one way.
Average Hiking Time: 4 to 6 hours one way to the Valley floor.
Difficulty: Moderate, with some steep downhill.
Starting Point: Glacier Point (at the east end of the parking area) or Happy Isles (at the Happy Isles Bridge).
Description: From Glacier Point the trail descends 3200 ft. with some short uphill sections. The trail crosses Illilouette Fall 1.5 miles from Glacier Point and continues along the Panorama Cliffs. This 2 mile portion of the trail can be hot and dry during late summer, but offers many scenic views. At the top of Nevada Fall the trail joins the Vernal-Nevada Falls Trail and continues down to Happy Isles.
Distance: 4.8 miles one way.
Average Hiking Time: 3 to 4 hours from Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point or half the time if you take it from Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley.
Difficulty: Strenuous if you take it from the Valley up to Glacier Point (all switchbacks); easy if you take it from the top of Glacier Point down to the Valley.
Starting Point: In Yosemite Valley, 1 ¼ from Yosemite Village on Southside Drive at Post V 18 (4 Mile Trail parking area). Hikers can take the shuttlebus to Yosemite Lodge, then walk behind the Lodge and over the Swinging Bridge to Southside Drive. The trailhead is ¼ mile west. At Glacier Point the trail leaves from the east end of the parking lot.
Description: The trail ascends 3200 ft, offering wonderful views of the Yosemite Valley. Carry water. The hike can be extended by connecting with Panorama Trail to the Valley, making a total trip of 13 miles.
Distance: 3.5 miles round trip
Starting Point: Walk across the Wawona Golf Course on the paved road. Once you’re across the golf course, take the first left. The trail is an unpaved fire road which loops around the meadow and returns to the Wawona Road.
Distance: 6 miles from the Grizzly Giant in Mariposa Grove
Average Hiking Time: 3 hours
Starting Point: The trail begins behind the last uphill building of the Wawona Hotel – Moore Cottage. Look for the trailhead 50 yards uphill marked by the sign, “Two Hour Trail Ride.” If it’s running, ride the free shuttle from the Mariposa Grove to the Wawona Store.
Distance: 6.9 miles – complete Outer Loop Trail.
Average Hiking Time: 4 to 5 hours
Starting Point: Begin at Mariposa Grove parking area
Description: There are quite a few trails. To reach the Grizzly Giant, follow the trail from the parking area. (1.6 miles, 1 hour) To reach Wawona Point, follow the road to the Galen Clark tree in the Upper Grove. (6 miles, 3 hours) To take the Outer Loop Trail, begin on the uphill side of the parking area.
CLOSED FOR RESTORATION – MAY, 2015 – 2017
Distance: 8.2 miles round trip
Average Hiking Time: 5 hours with 2,400 elevation gain
Starting Point: The trail leads from the bottom of the parking area across the road and along Chilnualna Creek for ½ mile.
Description: A series of switchbacks lead away from the creek into open forest. Carry lots of water in the summer when temperatures can be extreme.