Easy Hikes in Yosemite. The trail closes during periods of “High Fire Danger” and doesn’t provide much cover, so bring a hat and plenty of water. 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. The hike to the lake is about two miles, while the loop trail around Mirror Lake is about five miles. The trail is paved most of the way, but it can be snowy or icy in winter. Tuolumne Meadows: Soda Springs and Parsons Lodge (easy) 1.5 miles (2.4 km) round-trip; 1 hour. Growing trees have intruded into the scene, but if you go just a few hundred meters up the trail past the bridge, you'll get a clearer view. There is one road that loops through the Valley, linking car parks and villages to the hiking trails and viewpoints. Good places to start are off Southside Drive near the Swinging Bridge, the Yosemite Falls trailhead, or the Yosemite Lodge. Best Easy Day Hikes Yosemite National Park, Fifth Edition Worauf Sie zuhause bei der Wahl Ihres Yosemite hikes Aufmerksamkeit richten sollten! Getting to them all requires some hiking and a drive on Tioga Road. Whether it’s a slow amble through the wildflowers while the kids chase butterflies or a solo climb up the granite switchbacks as clouds pass beneath you, there’s a trail for everyone regardless of age or ability. 1) Lower Yosemite Fall. 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. The trail is wheel-chair accessible, pet-friendly, and great for visitors of all ages! After your journey, refuel with tasty pub fare right back where you started at Jackalopes Bar & Grill. The heart of Yosemite is Yosemite Valley. Last updated: August 7, 2019. 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. If you want to know more about hiking at Yosemite, you can find it at the ​Yosemite National Park website. The broadest category (meaning not all moderate hikes are created equal), these trails feature greater distances and more hills than their easy counterparts, with commensurate rewards. This is one of the easy Yosemite hikes that’s sure not to disappoint! Choose from hikes throughout the park, from Yosemite Valley, the Wawona area, and Glacier Point Road to Tioga Road, Tuolumne Meadows, and Hetch Hetchy. The surroundings are spectacular: huge rocks, lovely meadows, and excellent views of Half Dome. 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! Here’s a collection of favorite local hikes, from sneaker-ready to double-knots required. 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. Mirror Lake is a shallow, seasonal pool that fills with water in the spring and early summer. Contact the Park. Diana Falls is best in spring and early summer when flow is highest, but worth a picnic any ol’ time. 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. 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. Lower Yosemite Falls (0.5 miles round trip, minimal gain, easy) Bridalveil Falls Hike (1.2 miles round trip, 200 ft. gain, easy) Lembert Dome Trail (2.8 miles round trip, 846 ft. gain, easy-ish) Tenaya Lake (2.5 miles round trip, minimal gain, easy) This hike can be done in several configurations based on your fitness level: an easy/moderate paved trail to Vernal Fall Footbridge provides an excellent “starter” view (1.6 miles out and back/400 foot elevation gain); the epic Mist Trail to the top of Vernal Falls (2.4 miles out & back/1,000 foot elevation gain); the continuation on the Mist Trail to the top of Nevada Falls ( 5.4 miles out & back/2,000 foot elevation gain); and finally the strenuous Vernal and Nevada Falls Loop (8.8 mile loop/2,191 foot elevation gain). The eastern half of the loop is wheelchair accessible. 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. 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. Other easy hikes in Yosemite. Yosemite Falls is another great hike to take kids on. National Park California. Though, they got out and ran most of it; it’s not difficult at the bottom. The Cooks Meadow Loop is a short, easy walk with incredible scenic rewards. 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. These areas may look close on the map, but are between 30 minutes to 1 hour drive apart! Drive to Yosemite Falls. The trailhead is at the Lower Yosemite Fall Trailhead (shuttle stop #6). Duration: 4 minutes, 35 seconds Learn more about day 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. Once there, pat yourself on the back and exalt in views of Half Dome and the dramatic Tenaya Canyon as it cascades down to Yosemite Valley. A popular destination in spring, this trail follows the steep Merced River canyon while passing by nearly 50 varieties of wildflowers. (Note: Ice can make this trail difficult to navigate in winter). Not only is this one-mile hike easy to access, but it’s also conveniently located near the entrance to Yosemite Valley with a … It's also one of the easiest hikes in Yosemite Valley. Begin at Lembert Dome parking area (shuttle stop #4) Walk along the gravel road and pass the locked gate (signed Glen Aulin and Soda Springs). Some of the hikes below mention stops which are on the Yosemite Valley Shuttle System. 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. If the parking area along Northside Drive is full, try the lot at Yosemite Lodge. John Hite settled here in 1862 where he operated a gold mine for the next 17 years. Located along Bean Creek near the historic town of Coulterville, Diana Falls is a relaxing jaunt to one of those old-fashioned swimming holes where memories are made. The Merced River Trail is dog-friendly (on leash) and great for kids, just remember to bring a hat and plenty of water as there is little cover. The trail is wheel-chair accessible, pet-friendly, and great for visitors of all ages! With breathtaking scenery and larger-than-life natural landmarks, the Yosemite Mariposa region sets the stage for epic Thanksgiving vacations. 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. You can hike to Bridalveil Fall from two trailheads. 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. Phone: (209) 372-0200. 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 mine produced a total value of 3 million in today’s dollars. These are great if you don’t have a lot of time or are unable to do the longer or more difficult hikes. Soda Springs—carbonated, cold water bubbling out of the ground—is protected within a log enclosure. Part of North America's tallest waterfall, Lower Yosemite Fall is the final 320-foot drop of the waterfall. Best Hikes in Yosemite. In dry years, the flow may almost stop from late July or August through October, reducing the falls to a trickle. Leashed pets are allowed on the paved trail. It’s an easy route with a … 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! 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. 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. At trail’s end there’s a narrow spur that climbs to a seasonal waterfall, worth the effort if still running. Leashed pets are allowed on the paved trail only, and the trail is also wheelchair accessible. Some of the best hikes in Yosemite don’t require exertion though – easy Yosemite hikes often deliver great results. 8. 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. This trail can be conquered quickly. Don't be misled by older photos of the view from the Vernal Fall footbridge. The hikes in Yosemite are split into three areas: the valley floor, Tuolomne Meadows (Tioga Pass) and those along Glacier Point Road. Yosemite. For more information, please check our FAQ page. IN COORDINATION WITH PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDELINES, YOSEMITE IS ONLY OPEN FROM 8 AM TO 5 PM DAILY. Photo: Tony McDaniel. Glancing over the different hikes at YOsemite Falls. The shorter trail starts from the Bridalveil Fall parking area off US Hwy 41. Visitors to Yosemite can’t help but be awestruck when looking up at the prominent knife of granite known as Clouds Rest. 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 crowds tend to thin out on this loop providing stunning “above the falls” views of your recent achievement. No dogs are allowed on the trail. 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. Each hike on this list is not very steep and is short. Yosemite Falls reaches its maximum flow in the spring and continues into the early summer. A few hundred feet from the turnout on Highway 41, the trail forks right (downstream) and drops .5 miles to Corlieu Falls. … The trail is wheelchair accessible and leashed pets are allowed. Some of the best hikes in Yosemite don’t require exertion though – easy Yosemite hikes often deliver great results. longer, more strenuous hike that continues all the way to Half Dome. Leashed pets are allowed on the paved trail. It follows the longer Mist Trail to a bridge across the Merced River with a view of Vernal Fall. From here — the highest point of the hike at 6,000 feet — you pick up the longer, slightly less steep John Muir Trail for an alternate way back down to the trailhead. Info; Alerts; Maps; Calendar; Reserve ; Alerts In Effect Dismiss Dismiss View all alerts × Contact Us. The workout is for real, but the experience is truly one-of-a-kind. It's dramatic then, but you may get wet from all the mist. 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 … Since it was October there wasn’t a drop of water coming out the falls, but I could just imagine it! Elevation Gain: 980 feet. Part of North America's tallest waterfall, Lower Yosemite Fall is the final 320-foot drop of the waterfall. 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. The short hike to Bridalveil Fall is one of Yosemite Valley's easiest - and most scenic. From the remote high country to the sun-baked shores of Lake McClure, there’s a landmark for everyone in Yosemite Mariposa, and no matter what you discover the response is universal: hey, what’s that? Fresh mountain air and the opportunity to get out of the car and stretch your legs, clear your mind and immerse yourself in nature. The entire hike around the lake is about a 2.5-mile loop, but the walk is easy, with very little elevation gain. 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. 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. The best holiday getaways bring family and friends together in places that honor the occasion. Open year-round, this trail is easy but icy in the winter. Betsy has been writing about California for nearly more than two decades as TripSavvy's expert on the state. When the temperatures drop suddenly, the waterfalls' mist turns into a slushy flow called frazil ice. Located near Fish Camp, the journey is a two-for-one special when it comes to waterfalls. 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 Mist Trail is one of Yosemite’s popular hiking trails. First, Yosemite is the single most popular park in California. Nick P. Hiking. 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. Few places on Earth evoke images of high-alpine adventure among majestic mountain scenery as Yosemite National Park. Difficulty: Easy; Hike through Tuolumne Meadow for gorgeous views of the surrounding granite mountains in Yosemite. The meadows are most scenic in spring and early summer when the grass is green, wildflowers are blooming, and the waterfalls are at maximum flow, roughly from late April to mid-June. That's a fairly impressive publication history for a book in this series, where one edition is the norm. Explore hiking trails behind Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite. 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. The first section of this route — the Mist Trail — is Yosemite’s most popular hike and for good reason. The lower loop trail features a graded fire road, while the upper loop provides expansive vistas overlooking the water and surrounding hills. In this video, a ranger describes easy hikes in Yosemite Valley to Bridalveil Fall, Mirror Lake, and Lower Yosemite Fall. Easy Yosemite Valley Day Hikes. 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. It's a busy trail where you'll encounter a lot of other hikers. The trail from the Hwy 41 parking area is paved. With its shady tree cover and fern grotto feel, the Lewis Creek Trail transports hikers to a mythical paradise. 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). 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. During especially wet years in the spring, that mist may make you wish you had an umbrella - or a raincoat to keep you dry in the spray, which can also make the trail a little slippery. 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. Suzanne Swedo's 'Best Easy Dayhikes Yosemite' comes to mind. 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. The 410-acre Preserve is a magnet for many bird species, the Oak Titmouse, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Mountain Raven, Northern Flicker, Hooded Merganser, American Coot and Wood Duck among them. If you drive this loop (or take the Yosemite Shuttle) you can see about half of these landmarks. Make sure you have acclimated to the altitude, are in good shape, have all the proper food/gear and not afraid of heights! ©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! Four editions of Best Easy Day Hikes Yosemite are now in print. Getting up close to the waterfalls or to the overlooks is absolutely worth the small effort required. Tenaya Lake. 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. If you walk to the trailhead from Yosemite Village instead of taking the shuttle bus, it adds 1.5 miles (2.4 km) each way. 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. 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. Enjoy the sound of the rushing river that winds through the valley, and keep your eyes open for deer as you walk. Apr 2019. Yosemite National Park has a hiking trail for everyone. 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. Summer 2020 Updates Due to current health guidelines, shuttle service is unavailable for the summer 2020 season. Yosemite Valley Loop Trail 13-mile full loop Year-round, some flooding in spring. 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.". . 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. 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. 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