7 Trails to Hike in Yosemite ...


7 Trails to Hike in Yosemite ...
7 Trails to Hike in Yosemite ...

Looking for some great trails to hike in Yosemite this year? You're in luck! Yosemite is my home away from home during times of temperate weather and regardless if this is your first trip, or if you are an experienced hiker, I can assure you that there's a trail that fits your needs. If you love exploring nature, being surrounded by breathtaking views, and even challenging yourself physically in exciting ways, then Yosemite is bound to become one of your new favorite places as well. Read on to discover the best trails to hike in Yosemite for every experience level and fitness level.

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Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake For those of you who are not experienced hikers, or are just looking for a day hike to appreciate the beauty of nature without a lot of physical exertion, the best trails to hike in Yosemite for you would be in the valleys. An easy 2.5 mile hike to Mirror Lake offers a wonderful view of the North Dome and Half Dome from the meadow that surrounds that lake. This is a great family friendly trail, perfect for a day trip of lounging and swimming.


Bridalveil Fall

Bridalveil Fall More of a walk than a hike, the Bridalveil Fall’s trail is still a must for those just passing through Yosemite, or those making a day trip of short trails. The trail is an easy .2 mile walk that is done in an hour or less. The end of the trail is the highlight where you can see the 620 foot waterfall live up to its name. The falling water creates a fine mist that is said to resemble a veil a bride wears. To see the waterfall in its full glory, visit in spring when the water levels are the highest.


Lower Yosemite Falls

Lower Yosemite Falls A day trip to Yosemite is not complete without a hike to lower to the Lower Yosemite Falls. The trail from Yosemite Valley Village is a short .3 mile walk that offers the best up-close views of the waterfalls. This is another great family friendly trail. Just be sure to stay out of the water as the waterfall base pool is not safe for swimming. Like all the waterfalls in Yosemite, the best season for viewing is early spring.


Mist Trail

Mist Trail Looking for a hike that’s a little more challenging, but one that won’t leave you too exhausted to climb back down the mountain at the end of the day? The Mist Trail is a great moderate level 6.5 mile hike that offers beautiful mountain scenery while providing a decent amount of exercise. The trail runs along a river for a large portion of time before making the assent to Vernal Falls, past the Emerald Pool, and ending finally at Nevada Falls. If this is your first attempt at this trail, I caution that you wear proper hiking shoes with a good grip as the trail can get very slick from the falling spray.


Upper Yosemite Fall Hike

Upper Yosemite Fall Hike The Lower and Upper Yosemite Falls was actually the first trail I tried to hike at Yosemite, and I say tried because I only made it halfway. It was my first trip to Yosemite and my first hike after a long winter break. To say that I underestimated the difficulty of this trail is putting it kindly. The trail is a 7.6 mile hike of seemingly never ending switchbacks that reaches an elevation of 5,404 feet. The view of the valley below at the top (I made it on my second attempt) is unmatched, except for maybe that of the view from Half Dome.


Half Dome

Half Dome Just as famous as Yosemite Falls, and perhaps even more so is the hike to Half Dome. This trail is a grueling 15.7 mile long hike that tests both the endurance of the best of hikers, and the stomach of those afraid of heights. The end of the Mist Trail marks the half-way point to the top of Half Dome, and the least 400 feet of the hike is made up the seeming vertical granite dome with the aid of steel cables. Permits are required to make it up the cables and are sold out early in the season. If you are hiking Half Dome for the first time it is best done with a small group of experienced hikers and to be in good physical condition.


Clouds Rest

Clouds Rest Clouds Rest is a trail that can be done in a full day, but is best appreciated if stretched out overnight. The trail is a difficult 12.1 mile hike into Yosemite’s back country. While the trail should only be attempted by experienced hikers who are familiar with Yosemite’s landscape, the end point offers some of the best views of Half Dome. Make sure you take plenty of food and water, as well as a first aid kit and a water filter. If attempting the hike as a day trip, be sure to bring a headlamp for the dark hike back to the trail head.

These seven trails are just a few of the many of my favorite to hike when I visit. With so many trails and sites to view, Yosemite offers a new and wondrous adventure with each trip. Which trails have you done that you love? If you are planning your first trip, which trail are you planning on doing first?

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