A 600-step granite staircase ascends alongside 318-foot Vernal Falls as a cool mist swirls. Here’s a collection of favorite local hikes, from sneaker-ready to double-knots required. There is one road that loops through the Valley, linking car parks and villages to the hiking trails and viewpoints. Historically significant to both native peoples and European-Americans, the Hite Cove area was used by the Ahwahneechee people in winter and spring to avoid the harsh high-elevation snow, before returning to Yosemite Valley in summer. This trail is also used for horseback riding, and hikers sometimes report that much if it smells like horse droppings. longer, more strenuous hike that continues all the way to Half Dome. Make sure you have acclimated to the altitude, are in good shape, have all the proper food/gear and not afraid of heights! Dogs are welcome (on leash, paved sections only) and for those hikers who don’t like to venture far from a bathroom there are several along the way. ©2020 Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau, Yosemite Itineraries: What to Do in Yosemite, visit the nearby Northern Mariposa County History Center, explore the charming Gold Rush town of Mariposa, Corlieu Falls & Red Rock Falls (Lewis Creek Trail), The flume was operated by the Sugar Pine Lumber Company, Vernal and Nevada Falls Loop (via the Mist Trail), Clouds Rest Trail (via Sunrise Lakes Trailhead), plenty of water (avoid single-use water bottles if possible), map (some hikes have no cell service so print/download if possible), layers/waterproof shell (for summer thunderstorms and the Mist Trail! When the temperatures drop suddenly, the waterfalls' mist turns into a slushy flow called frazil ice. Visitors to Yosemite can’t help but be awestruck when looking up at the prominent knife of granite known as Clouds Rest. No dogs are allowed on the trail. The route begins along Tioga Road at the Sunrise Lakes Trailhead (8,150 feet) next to “Jewel of the High Country” Tenaya Lake. The hike to the lake is about two miles, while the loop trail around Mirror Lake is about five miles. Elevation Gain: 980 feet. It's a busy trail where you'll encounter a lot of other hikers. Not only is this one-mile hike easy to access, but it’s also conveniently located near the entrance to Yosemite Valley with a … The trail closes during periods of “High Fire Danger” and doesn’t provide much cover, so bring a hat and plenty of water. Last updated: August 7, 2019. The short hike to Bridalveil Fall is one of Yosemite Valley's easiest - and most scenic. Standing behind Half Dome like a big brother, its narrow ridge at the summit and lengthy approach make this hike truly challenging yet wholly gratifying. Starting near the BLM-operated McCabe Flat Campground, the Merced River Trail follows the old Yosemite Valley Railroad line  above and along the Wild & Scenic Merced River. Betsy has been writing about California for nearly more than two decades as TripSavvy's expert on the state. Park Ranger Shelton Johnson provides an overview of easy day hikes in Yosemite Valley. We recommend planning your hikes by grouping them together by location and considering your accommodation options accordingly. Best Easy Day Hikes Yosemite National Park, Fifth Edition Worauf Sie zuhause bei der Wahl Ihres Yosemite hikes Aufmerksamkeit richten sollten! With its shady tree cover and fern grotto feel, the Lewis Creek Trail transports hikers to a mythical paradise. … Enjoy river views along the Merced River Trail. Difficulty: Easy; Hike through Tuolumne Meadow for gorgeous views of the surrounding granite mountains in Yosemite. The first 1.5 miles of the hike are relatively flat but then the fun begins. Choose from hikes throughout the park, from Yosemite Valley, the Wawona area, and Glacier Point Road to Tioga Road, Tuolumne Meadows, and Hetch Hetchy. With soaring 13,000 foot peaks, historical oak-studded river valleys, and thundering waterfalls, Yosemite Mariposa offers what could be the widest variety of hikes in California. There are other paths for experienced hikers, but that route would have taken an entire day. How to Spend One Awesome Day in Yosemite National Park, Don't Miss the Chance to See Yosemite's Waterfalls, How to See - or Climb - the Massive Rock Formation Half Dome at Yosemite, Top Natural Attractions in the United States, The 20 Best Things to Do in Steamboat Springs in the Summer, Fall in Yosemite: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See, The 7 Best Things to Do in Yosemite National Park in the Spring, How to See the Tallest Trees on Earth: California's Redwoods, Beautiful Valley: Take a Photo Tour of Yosemite Valley, The Best Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, TripSavvy uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience and for our. And here in Mariposa County, there’s plenty of that medicine to go around. Though, they got out and ran most of it; it’s not difficult at the bottom. Crossing the Merced River twice at the Sentinel and Swinging Bridges, the path is gently accessible to kids, seniors, wheelchairs and strollers alike. A popular destination in spring, this trail follows the steep Merced River canyon while passing by nearly 50 varieties of wildflowers. Best Hikes in Yosemite. Since it was October there wasn’t a drop of water coming out the falls, but I could just imagine it! Easy Hikes Lower Yosemite Falls. Even though a lot of people take it, it seldom feels crowded, and you'll be so absorbed in the scenery that you won't even notice when the road is nearby, especially when you're gawking at Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Glacier Point, and Royal Arches. The lower loop trail features a graded fire road, while the upper loop provides expansive vistas overlooking the water and surrounding hills. One of the most laid-back and easy trails in Yosemite, you get to enjoy a beautiful yet easy Yosemite hike, as well as the ability to haul kids and dogs in the car with a parking lot nearby. Hite Cove Trail leads to an old mining ghost town past spectacular views of the South Fork of the Merced River and wildflower displays in spring.Photo: Damian Riley, Distance: 9 miles out & back. Best Easy Day Hikes Yosemite National Park includes concise descriptions and detailed maps for twenty-four easy-to-follow hikes through some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. This outing is great for kids and dogs are welcome, but bring bug repellent and expect plenty of trail company on weekends, as this is one of the more popular Yosemite Mariposa hikes available. "Great waterfall and views - we did get quite a bit if mist crossing the bridge at the base of the falls, but it was a very high flow time with record snow and 95 degree temps!" Best in the spring and early summer, when there's lots of water roaring over the falls. Lower Yosemite Falls (0.5 miles/0.8 km round trip): Hike to the base of the tallest waterfall in North America and absorb some of the adrenaline-soaked spray that's just survived a 2,400-foot (720-meter) freefall. Fresh mountain air and the opportunity to get out of the car and stretch your legs, clear your mind and immerse yourself in nature. ). Best Easy Day Hikes Yosemite National Park (Best Easy Day Hikes Series) (English Edition) Yosemite National Park (Jon's Hiking Guides) Covers Yosemite's Best Day Hikes & Backpacking Trips - including HALF DOME; Trails vary from 1/2 mile to 17 miles - something for everyone! With soaring 13,000 foot peaks, historical oak-studded river valleys, and thundering waterfalls, Yosemite Mariposa offers what could be the widest variety of hikes in California. Some of the hikes below mention stops which are on the Yosemite Valley Shuttle System. Part of North America's tallest waterfall, Lower Yosemite Fall is the final 320-foot drop of the waterfall. If you park at Yosemite Village and walk to the falls instead of starting from the parking area, it will add about 1 mile (1.6 km) round trip. The trail is wheel-chair accessible, pet-friendly, and great for visitors of all ages! The rest of the year, it can be completely dry, but anytime it's a favorite place to hike to, especially for families and it gets you close to the base of Half Dome. Glancing over the different hikes at YOsemite Falls. First, Yosemite is the single most popular park in California. Four editions of Best Easy Day Hikes Yosemite are now in print. If you want to know more about hiking at Yosemite, you can find it at the ​Yosemite National Park website. The walk up Sentinel Dome is nowhere close to as steep as Half Dome and is a much easier way to summit a Yosemite dome with panoramic views of the High Sierra. The trail is wheel-chair accessible, pet-friendly, and great for visitors of all ages! The shorter trail starts from the Bridalveil Fall parking area off US Hwy 41. Take insect repellent in the spring to keep the mosquitos away, and watch out for speeding bicyclists. After your hike, explore the charming Gold Rush town of Mariposa for food, museums and the oldest (1854) Superior County Courthouse still in use west of the Rockies. In fact, this is about as close as you can get to the base of Half Dome and when the lake is full and clear, it reflects beautifully on the surface, and you'll have no trouble figuring out how it got the name "mirror.". Even if you only have an hour as you drive through the park on the way to your next destination, this short leg-stretcher is worth the quick hike. Day Hikes in Tuolumne Meadows. There is no better tool for helping you decide on which trails to hike ; Get the most out of your Yosemite vacation! The loop trail branches off to the right shortly after you start your hike. Diana Falls is best in spring and early summer when flow is highest, but worth a picnic any ol’ time. Enjoy the sound of the rushing river that winds through the valley, and keep your eyes open for deer as you walk. These areas may look close on the map, but are between 30 minutes to 1 hour drive apart! In addition to the bird show, numerous amphibians and reptiles, including the Western Pond Turtle (the West Coast’s only native freshwater turtle) live here. Few places on Earth evoke images of high-alpine adventure among majestic mountain scenery as Yosemite National Park. From oak-studded foothills to 13,000-foot granite peaks, the animals enjoy a pristine sweep of unmatched beauty where they feed and play freely. Other easy hikes in Yosemite. Yosemite National Park is a great National Park for families as there are many beautiful sites to see that require little to no hiking as well as some amazingly beautiful longer hikes. In this video, a ranger describes easy hikes in Yosemite Valley to Bridalveil Fall, Mirror Lake, and Lower Yosemite Fall. Whether you’re new to hiking, or you are trekking with little ones or grandparents, or just want to ease into the grandeur of this intimidating park, these are the best easy hikes we recommend. Phone: (209) 372-0200. The Mist Trail. The entire hike around the lake is about a 2.5-mile loop, but the walk is easy, with very little elevation gain. But if you want to just stop and stretch your legs while driving through, or if you want to introduce your kids to some pleasant hiking… Enjoy expansive views from the trail network at Stockton Creek Preserve, right next to the town of Mariposa. Mailing Address: PO Box 577 Yosemite National Park, CA 95389 . If the parking area along Northside Drive is full, try the lot at Yosemite Lodge. Starting a few blocks from downtown Mariposa, the dog-friendly Stockton Creek Preserve trail winds through a classic California oak and chaparral setting up to Stockton Creek Reservoir. Getting up close to the waterfalls or to the overlooks is absolutely worth the small effort required. Cascading more than 2400 feet, Yosemite Fall will take away … You can extend your hike on a 4-mile (6.4 km) loop trail around the lake, which re-opened in late 2012 after being closed for several years after a rockslide. You can ramble as far as you like around the valley's 13-mile paved recreational loop trail, stopping off at waterfalls, viewpoints, and meadows along the way, then catch a … The hikes in Yosemite are split into three areas: the valley floor, Tuolomne Meadows (Tioga Pass) and those along Glacier Point Road. Yosemite is full of hiking trails, many of them suitable only for the ultra-fit hiker with lots of stamina and determination, but don't let that intimidate you. The Tioga Road, which provides the only access by car to … "The trail, or actually walkway, has been revamped in recent years thanks to donations from visitors and now offers an easy approach to the lower falls, and a nice walk through the meandering creek bottoms." Nick P. Hiking. One of many Mariposa hikes, this flat, dog-friendly trail passes through both wooded and open stretches in the Yosemite Valley, perfect for kids who want to take a dip in one of several pools along the way. Yosemite Valley Loop Trail 13-mile full loop Year-round, some flooding in spring. Easy Yosemite Valley Day Hikes. Soda Springs—carbonated, cold water bubbling out of the ground—is protected within a log enclosure. The workout is for real, but the experience is truly one-of-a-kind. A few hundred feet from the turnout on Highway 41, the trail forks right (downstream) and drops .5 miles to Corlieu Falls. It’s an easy route with a … The fall flows all year long, but at a lower rate. Named after the “Cliff Man” Clifford Corlieu, this multi-tiered waterfall drops 80 feet and the rock foundation of a cabin where the Corlieu lived from 1910 to 1929 can still be found. Hippocrates, the Greek physician, considered walking to be the best medicine. Open year-round, this trail is easy but icy in the winter. . Some of the best hikes in Yosemite don’t require exertion though – easy Yosemite hikes often deliver great results. The most scenic easy hike in the Yosemite Valley starts with a spectacular view of it and ends at the base of the lower section of the falls. Ideal for a quick break when time is tight or chatting with friends and family, these strolls feature gentle slopes, shorter distances and kid-friendly environs. Tenaya Lake. After arriving at Red Rock Falls, hikers will experience a wider, more powerful cascade of 20 feet. In spring, it's easy to figure out where the Mist Trail got its name, as the fast-flowing waterfalls kick up a spray. Built 1873 to 1877, Upper Yosemite Fall Trail is Yosemite’s oldest historic trail that packs a little bit of danger, a lot of elevation climb and America’s tallest waterfall into one spectacular hike. Apr 2019. You can hike to Bridalveil Fall from two trailheads. "The trail, or actually walkway, has been revamped in recent years thanks to donations from visitors and now offers an easy approach to the lower falls, and a nice walk through the meandering creek bottoms." The park does have a few very short paved trails that could be considered hikes. The first two miles display the greatest abundance, and the hike can be extended out-and-back to visit the abandoned Hite Mine. The hike features spring wildflowers, swimming (there’s a beach at the campground, or you can scramble down in several spots for a refreshing dip) and the ever-present serenade of flowing water. From either starting point, you'll end up at a viewing platform at the base the waterfall. Explore hiking trails behind Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite. But it's to be expected, for two reasons. The classic Lower Yosemite Fall trail is a great winter hike for families as it is a short and easy trail to Lower Yosemite fall. There are some nice, short hikes in Yosemite Valley that almost anyone can manage. Getting to them all requires some hiking and a drive on Tioga Road. If you’re hiking Yosemite in the winter, we suggest you head for one of the most prominent waterfalls in the Yosemite Valley — Bridalveil Fall. From Southside Drive, the path is wide and easy to walk. This trail can be conquered quickly. 7 easy hikes in Yosemite National Park. This flat hike has a high scenery factor, going right through the middle of Yosemite Valley and giving you plenty of time to gawk around without worrying about traffic. After your journey, refuel with tasty pub fare right back where you started at Jackalopes Bar & Grill. The loop is only about a mile and is accessible from the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center. It's a good way to get a little sample of the longer, more strenuous hike that continues all the way to Half Dome. Here are 5 easy hikes you can do at Yosemite National Park: 1. This is one of the easy Yosemite hikes that’s sure not to disappoint! The trailhead is at the Lower Yosemite Fall Trailhead (shuttle stop #6). It's also one of the easiest hikes in Yosemite Valley. Bridalveil Fall is named for the mist that wafts off it when the wind blows, giving it the appearance of a wedding veil. Tools. The crowds tend to thin out on this loop providing stunning “above the falls” views of your recent achievement. These are great if you don’t have a lot of time or are unable to do the longer or more difficult hikes. Easy Hikes in Yosemite. National Park California. Tuolumne Meadows: Soda Springs and Parsons Lodge (easy) 1.5 miles (2.4 km) round-trip; 1 hour. At the top of the falls is Emerald Pool (no swimming) then the trail continues climbing to the top of 594-foot Nevada Falls. From short, easy walks to the waterfalls and viewpoints, to epic, all day hikes, there is no better way to explore Yosemite than on your own two feet. Summer 2020 Updates Due to current health guidelines, shuttle service is unavailable for the summer 2020 season. Tenaya Lake is just about as picture perfect as Yosemite gets. Photo: Tony McDaniel. Yosemite Falls is one of the most iconic views in the park, visible from pretty much anywhere in Yosemite Valley. A note of caution: while truly one-of-a-kind, this hike is very long, at high altitude, and with a short, but narrow (approximately 10 feet wide) passage on the ridge. The Vernal Falls Footbridge hike is the most difficult of these easy hikes, steep enough that you may work up a sweat. Cook’s meadow loop is a nice 30-minute stroll (another one of the easy Yosemite hikes) that starts from a paved bicycle pathway across from Yosemite Valley Shuttle Stop #6, runs through the meadow along a boardwalk and encompasses Sentinel bridge. With the trailhead adjacent to the Tenaya Lodge, the Tenaya Loop is a peaceful stroll through the seasonal wildflowers of the Sierra National Forest while being serenaded by the babbling of nearby Big Creek. The Cooks Meadow Loop is a short, easy walk with incredible scenic rewards. The trail is wheelchair accessible and leashed pets are allowed. A series of switchbacks climb 1,000 feet over the next mile giving way to a gentler climb over the next four-plus miles until reaching the summit of Clouds Rest (9,926 feet). If you drive this loop (or take the Yosemite Shuttle) you can see about half of these landmarks. Along the way, you’ll find incredible views of the Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Glacier Point and Sentinel Rock. Contact Us. Duration: 4 minutes, 35 seconds Learn more about day hikes in Yosemite Valley. That can make the rocks slippery, and the water flows fast during spring runoff, making it a dangerous spot to go off the trail. Lower Yosemite Falls. In the winter, the trail can get icy, and in the morning when temperatures drop below freezing, the upper section of the falls can freeze solid. The flume was operated by the Sugar Pine Lumber Company from 1900 to 1931, plunging 54 miles to the Central Valley town of Madera. The two paved paths both lead to the viewing bridge, creating a loop trail. IN COORDINATION WITH PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDELINES, YOSEMITE IS ONLY OPEN FROM 8 AM TO 5 PM DAILY. Views are better on the west half of the loop, and the middle section is through the woods. Views are better on the west half of the loop, and the middle section is through the woods. The trail is paved most of the way, but it can be snowy or icy in winter. Bathrooms are available along the Mist Trail portion. 8. 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