Visited by over 3 million travelers each year, Yosemite National Park
in California is one of the true gems of biological and ecological diversity. With a range of natural habitats that include mountain ranges, Giant Sequoia forests, lakes, waterfalls, and meadows, over 90% of the National Park is wilderness. With the spring upon us, it is the perfect time to plan your vacation and experience the natural wonder of this World Heritage Site.
The park is famous for its over 800 miles of hiking trails. There is something for everyone- flat, easy trails for families and even backpacking overnighters for veterans. All of the trails show off the beauty of the park and many offer incredible vies of the Sierra Nevada Range. Check out our list of some great Yosemite hikes to find the perfect path for your next trip to Yosemite.
Only a 1-mile round trip from the terminus of Glacier Point Road, this hike rewards travelers with some of the best views in the park. Pack your camera and snap shot after shop of Half Dome, Clouds Rest, the Mist Trail waterfalls - not to mention dozens of Sierra peaks and much of the Yosemite Valley.
Only a 2.5 mile hike, a trip to placid Tenaya Lake is picture perfect, and surrounded by scenic granite peaks and domes. The lake was created by the Tenaya Glacier which also created the Half Dome. Parts of the trail around this area have recently been rerouted due to the conservation of part of the lake’s ecosystem. If you feel like dipping your toes (or more) in the water, you can enjoy beaches at the eastern and western shores of the lake.
Lower Mariposa Grove
This 2.2 mile hike hits all the Mariposa Grove must-sees: the Grizzly Giant, the world’s oldest living sequoia at 2700 years young, and one of the world’s largest living things. Along with the famed California Tunnel Tree, the Bachelor and Three Graces and the other behemoths that have made the grove so famous, Mariposa is the largest collection of Sequoias in the park.
Lower Yosemite Falls
This short jaunt is a must-do in Yosemite - an easy hike to the base of the tallest waterfall in North America. It’s best to visit in spring and early summer, when the water flow is strong, and you’re guaranteed to get soaked with spray. The actual waterfall is split into three sections, but the lower trail provides the beast and most accessible views of the drop.
This 1.2 mile hike takes you to the base of the 620 foot Bridalveil Falls, one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. When the wind is blowing, the water from the falls seems to jump sideways and creates a veil of mist. Pack your camera, you won’t want to miss this vista.
An easy half-mile hike to Olmstead Point provides incredible views of Half Dome and Clouds Rest in the west, and Tanaya Lake in the east. Even the parking lot here boasts amazing vistas. The hike is relatively short and easy, making this a very popular trail for novices and first-timers in the park.
One of the most popular - and strenuous - hikes in the park, a trip up Half Dome isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll start at the Happy Isle Shuttle Stop Number 16, but save your energy for the last stretch - a 200 yard strip up the steep back of the dome, with the assistance of steel cable handrails. The famous granite cliff is one of the most well-known rocks not only in Yosemite, but in popular culture; it serves as the inspiration for the logos of both the Sierra Club and The North Face. Over 600 people a day attempt the hike, which rewards the successful with incredible Yosemite views.
An IgoUgo members’ favorite, the Mist Trail attracts those looking for a short but difficult hike. The trail jumps thousands of feet in a short time, making the hike more treacherous than others. The scenery surrounding you, however, is spectacular. Boulders, streams, and the famous Vernal Falls encompass the trail, and can envelop it in mist on breezier days. Hikers can also view the Emerald Pool on this trail, named after its green waters.
And the adventure doesn't stop with these eight trails. Forge your own journey with our traveling tools and write some reviews
of the trails you've conquered at Yosemite
! And remember, for the more advanced, grueling hikes it is important to register your plan with the Park Rangers for your safety!
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Posted by jhartmann13 (JJ Hartmann)