The Best Hikes in Yosemite Valley

Amazing trails and scenery to be found within this part of Yosemite National Park.

The Best Hikes in Yosemite Valley

One of the best parts about visiting Yosemite National Park is going on different kinds of hikes in Yosemite Valley. You can get some incredible views by going on these hikes through this valley. Millions of tourists come to Yellowstone every year because they enjoy the variety of hikes that are possible along with the numerous amounts of outdoor activities that you can partake in too. Most people who come to Yellowstone do not enjoy hiking so you may be able to have some peace of mind by getting away from the large crowds in the spring or summer by hiking on the trails.

Mist Trail

Difficulty: Strenuous

Distance: 3 miles for a round-trip

Hiking Time: 3 to 4 hours total

Elevation Change: 1,000 feet

Trailhead: The Mist Trail also starts within the Happy Isles like the Half Dome trail. You can go to the shuttle stop #16, which is at the eastern end of the Yosemite Valley. After you get to that shuttle stop, you need to cross the stone bridge and follow the path to the left.

While Half Dome is the most famous and the most strenuous trail, Mist Trail is the most popular with Yellowstone hikers. It’s pretty popular because you can see some of the most amazing scenery when you’re hiking along the trail. You can go by the banks of the Merced River and then head up the stone steps to see the Vernal Fall, which is 317 feet high and is an amazing and awe-inspiring waterfall. You should be aware that this particular trail could get quite crowded especially during the summer season at Yellowstone. However, if you’re not looking for too much of a challenge but want to see the beauty of the national park, Mist Trail is a good option.

Nevada Fall

Difficulty: Strenuous

Distance: 7 miles for a round-trip

Hiking Time: 4 to 5 hours

Elevation Change: 1,900 feet

Trailhead: At the end of the Mist Trail, start at the top of Vernal Fall on the way to Nevada Fall.

From the Mist Trail, it’s pretty easy to go on the Nevada Fall hike afterward. It only takes a little over a mile from there to get to the top of the Nevada Fall at about 600 feet. You’ll have much fewer hikers to deal with since it’s less popular than the Mist Trail and you can get a lot of beautiful, and scenic views there too. In order to return to the beginning of the trail, you can loop back around using the John Muir Trail.

Yosemite Falls

Difficulty: Strenuous

Distance: 7.6 miles for a round-trip

Hiking Time: 4 to 5 hours

Elevation Change: 2,600 feet

Trailhead: Begin at camp four to start the trail. Then, you’ll take a shuttle to Yosemite Lodge, which is stop number seven to cross the street to camp four. The hike starts between the camping ground and the parking lot.

To get to some beautiful waterfalls that are over 2,000 feet in total height, you’ll have to undergo the strenuous hike of Yosemite Falls. It will not be easy physically, you’ll sweat a lot, and it will be a long way up to the top, but the views of Yosemite Falls are truly incredible. You can even see the Upper Yosemite Fall after going up the 135 switchbacks in total. You’ll be able to go above the waterfall itself to see the entire area. If you’re not willing to put in all of that effort, you can go to Columbia Point instead, which is only about 1.2 miles away from the trailhead. It’s not as strenuous of a hike, and you will still get some great views of the valley.

Four Mile Trail

Difficulty: Strenuous

Distance: 9.2 miles for a round-trip

Hiking Time: 5 to 7 hours

Elevation Change: 3,200 feet

Trailhead: To begin the Four Mile Trail, you’re going to need to go between Sentinel Beach and the Swinging Bridge on Southside Drive.

While millions of tourists come to Glacier Point for the spectacular views, you can see them and get some exercise by going through the Four Mile Trail. It’s a great hiking trail because you can get clear views of all of Yosemite Falls. If you don’t want to hike the 3,200 feet up to the top of Glacier Point, you can choose to take a shuttle bus up there instead and just hike down the 3,200 feet down into Yosemite Valley. If you want more than just the Four Mile Trail, which is actually over nine miles round trip, you should consider doing the 11.5 mile hike, which includes the scenic Panorama Trail and ends at the Mist Trail. If you’ve got the energy, it’s one of the best hiking trails in Yosemite on par with Half Dome in terms of its difficulty and also its reward.

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Ben W
Ben W
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Ben W

Ben helps students from around the world to improve their English language skills. Ben enjoys traveling around the world, developing his writing abilities, and reading good books.

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